August 31, 2018
juniors Zoe Hollowell and Noelle John working on coordinate geometry and trigonometry concepts in Math 3
Dear Osprey Community,

AHS College Counselor Jess Adams had a strong turnout for the Senior/Parent College Night this week; for those who were unable to attend, you can find Jess' slides from the presentation on her Digital Portfolio here.

Sean has already shared this news with juniors and seniors in class this week, but thanks to a grant we've recently received, we are partnering with Durango Academic Coaching to offer SAT Prep Classes to AHS students free of charge. The classes will be offered to juniors and seniors this fall, meeting once a week from 4:00 to 5:30 on Mondays for a four week series. Classes begin September 10 (preparing for the SAT on October 6), October 8 (for the SAT on November 3) and November 5 (for the SAT on December 1). There are ten spots available in each class, with three spots still open for the first session. In the spring, we will offer two sessions for freshmen and sophomores to help them prepare for the PSAT, one beginning February 25 and the other beginning April 1.  Please email  to reserve your spot. 

sophomore Mason Zufelt trying out the silks with Alpine Aerial Acrobatics, one of our XBlock community partners
Many thanks to our IT Director Dusty Grannis for getting all our school photos completed and Student ID cards created. The cards are in their final stages of being coded so that they will connect with our new school security system and the Durango 9R buses. Next week, Dusty will send digital copies of student photos to families, so that those who choose to can get prints made through an online service such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. Once Student IDs are ready to distribute, we will send out communication to our students and families describing our new security system in more detail.

We look forward to seeing you at Parent and Family Orientation next Tuesday, September 4, 5:30 o 6:30. New families are particularly encouraged to attend, but certainly everyone is welcome to come meet your student's teachers and advisor and learn more about the year ahead. 

Next Wednesday is the first day for XBlock classes. Students received an email today asking them to select their top five choices and classes will be posted in Infinite Campus by the end of the day on Tuesday. Please be sure that your student has selected classes, brings any necessary clothing, shoes and gear on Wednesday, and that your family has a plan for picking your student up at the XBlock location if it is not one of the ones that meets on campus. We are grateful for our community partnerships with Alpine Aerial Acrobatics, Axiom Cycling Studio, The Rock Lounge and CrossFit Catacombs, allowing us to offer a wide range of physical education options for our students.

sophomores Annika Nelson, Mylie Lanier, Chris Atchison and Andy Vera (on exchange from Mexico) doing some hands-on plant taxonomy in Biology class
Sophomores will venture out on a camping trip to the San Juan National Forest Wednesday after school, staying at the Florida Campground and returning before the end of the day on Friday. The trip is an extension of the Hero's Journey Project in Humanities, and also an opportunity for strong relationships to form at the start of the year to support learning across academic disciplines.

On Thursday, the Marketing and Communication Committee will meet from 5:30 to 7:00 in Ashley Carruth's classroom. This subcommittee of the Board of Directors is open to new members, and with our 10th anniversary year now underway, there are plenty of projects to help with, including further developing our marketing plan, organizing fundraising events and more. Please join us if you'd like to learn more and get involved.

As a reminder our Add/Drop Deadline for first semester classes is next Friday, September 7; students cannot add classes after this date, and if they drop a class, it will result in a "W" for withdraw on the transcript.

Finally, our intrepid Head of School, man-about-town Sean Woytek, will be at the Fort Lewis College football game tonight at the Durango High School stadium, alongside Durango 9R Superintendent Dan Snowberger and new FLC President Tom Stritikus. Next Friday, September 7 between 4:00 and 8:00, we hope you'll stop by the Twin Buttes Harvest Festival to support Sean as he judges the Chopped culinary competition. There will be live music, kids' activities, farm tours, bike demos and yummy food--it's sure to be a good time.

Enjoy the long weekend (no school on Monday!) and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
AHS Board of Directors Updates

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Linda Fitts-Liberman, who recently completed her term on our Board of Directors. Linda has dedicated countless hours to AHS, leading the Parent Advisory Committee and the School Excellence Committee over the years. We appreciate her keen insight and intellect, as well as her perspective as a parent of two Ospreys. Linda's commitment to academic and cultural excellence at AHS has strengthened our programs and we will miss having her on the Board.

The AHS Board of Directors has five new members, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have them aboard as we prepare to enter the next decade of our school's development. Tom Morrissey has rejoined the Board as Vice President after a hiatus, and brings deep institutional knowledge and a dedication to best busines practices to his unwavering support for our school. 

AHS co-founder Dr. Jesse Hutt  is excited to represent both founder and parent voice on the Board as she dedicates herself--in her amazingly energetic and passionate way--to promoting our school in the community. As a pediatrician, Jesse saw many students who were disengaged with school, which inspired her to create a new school in our community that would help students become passionate lifelong learners. We are so grateful to have her continue her involvement with AHS in this new role!

Alumna Martina Pansze, AHS Class of 2014, who is also the daughter of AHS co-founder Gisele Pansze, looks forward to sharing her perspective as a former student to inform Board decisions. Martina recently graduated from Whitman College and she is excited to use her strong writing and community-building skills on the Board.

Jennifer Thurston, parent to Alumnus Duke Millet, AHS Class of 2012, has joined the Board because she saw how Duke's time at Animas shaped his future. Were it not for the rocket scientist who visited AHS when Duke was a student, he may not have ended up as an Embry Riddle graduate in the aeronautical engineering field. Jennifer has deep multi-generational ties to Durango and she is glad to be part of helping Animas set its roots down deep here, too.

Finally, Acasha Mick, who moved her family back to Durango after her children advocated that they wanted to graduate from AHS, is pleased to be able to give back to the school that has given so much to Luke, a senior, and Annabelle, a junior. 

The next AHS Board Meeting is on Wednesday, September 19, 5:30-7:30pm at AHS. All are welcome.

Upcoming AHS Events
  • Osprey Night Out: Fundraiser at Grassburger: Wed. 9/12, 11:00am-9:00pm
See the 2018-19 School Calendar 

Visit the AHS Facebook page