September 30, 2022

Advanced Chemistry students Joe Delsasso and Brayden Harms during this afternoon's mini exhibition, showcasing gas behavior 

senior Jaida L'aDnier gets shrink wrapped to demonstrate gas behavior for the Advanced Chemistry mini exhibition

Greetings Ospreys,

Between John Grotenhuis' Engineering and Design students visiting Fort Lewis College's Engineering department yesterday and the hands-on science demonstrations from Steve Smith's Advanced Chemistry students outside at lunch today, it's been a big week for the sciences at the Nest. We're grateful to FLC for welcoming our students to campus to learn about ongoing research and view the resources available there, including the wind turbine used to test airplane wings and the observatory. 

As a reminder, if you're curious to learn more about what's happening in classes, AHS Teacher Digital Portfolios are a great resource. You'll find them on the Faculty & Staff page of our website, linked below each teacher's photo. 

Student Council election results will be announced on Monday. Curious to learn more about the Ospreys running for open grade-level representative spots? Check out the videotaped candidate interviews on the Animas Quill Instagram feed.

AHS Regatta Returns

Za Barrett '23, Animas Quill

Animas High School students and staff gathered Wednesday by the river at Santa Rita Park to revive a lost Osprey tradition. Each advisory group crafted a cardboard boat and raced across the river in the school's first post-pandemic regatta.

"The regatta has been a long tradition at Animas, but hasn't been utilized as a team-building, school spirit thing for several years," said dean of students Dave Farkas, the organizer of the event. "My desire was to bring back a tradition, and to do it every year, as this way for the whole school to show up…win, lose, or draw on boats that may or may not float…and have a really fun, school-wide activity." Students did just that- socializing, splashing in the Animas, and cheering on the racers. 

"I'd like to do it every year in the fall, when the river's low but warm," added Farkas. "I'm going to solicit students and staff to see how we can make it better next year." 

Junior Niko Peterson, who claimed victory for Carlin Nielsen's advisory, attributes their success to their creativity. "We took a look at the rulebook and found some loopholes…and decided that it would be better to put the boat on my back and for me to swim across than for me to try to be in a boat." Instead of sitting inside a craft, Peterson dashed across the river with a cardboard fin on his back. "Next year, I hope there are some stricter guidelines, because we definitely went around them, and found a way to not be in a boat," admitted Peterson. "Hopefully they make it more regulated, so it's more even and fair." Still, he concluded, "I'm excited to have a pizza party and enjoy the winnings." 

Other advisories focused less on the rulebook and more on physics. Some made surfboards with strategic air pockets, while other designs emulated kayaks or rafts. Advisor Steve Smith took a ride downriver in a cardboard canoe. "I somewhat designed it off a Viking boat…that's why it was in a V formation," recounted the canoe's creator, senior Nizhoni Benally. She built it with two layers and lots of duct tape. Though it strayed off course, Smith was in the boat longest, waving to the onlookers as he floated several yards downstream. 

At the end, students and teachers were left soaking wet and brimming with joy. "I love Animas community already," said Peterson, "but when we're all outside and in nature…it feels like we're not just a school, we're a group of people who enjoy being together and doing activities that a lot of other people wouldn't necessarily want to do. I liked seeing the community come together."

"This is how we do school," remarked Smith after the race. "Young people finding joy in their daily existence- that's something we all need, and I think that's something that Animas High School does well." 

Upcoming Events  

Director of college and career counseling Erin Cummins-Roper is off to Aspen with a small flock of Ospreys for the weekend to attend the Western Slope College Fair.

On Monday, our health consultant, Jana Edmondson will conduct free vision and hearing testing for all 9th graders. 

On the heels of their 2nd place finish in Snowmass, the AHS mountain biking team heads to Nathrop for the final race of the regular season next weekend.

Counselor's Corner

The Healthy Living Program is a free 6-week program designed to support wellbeing in families with teens living in Southwestern Colorado. Learn more here.

Are you an adult member of our Osprey community (staff, board member, family member) who has a safe, stable living environment? Do you have extra room in your home--and in your heart--to temporarily house Animas students who become displaced from their homes? In an effort to support our student community, we are working with Oak Tree Youth Resources to provide modest financial support to “host homes” for students who are temporarily in need of a different living environment.


If you are interested or want more information, please contact Erin Skyles, School Counselor/Social Worker, [email protected], (970)247-2474 x2337.

Have a great weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!

Thank you to Lola's Place for hosting our first TWIGS Happy Hour of the year this week!

Much appreciation to Osprey Parent Cheryl Albrecht of Lead Off-Leash K9 Training for leading the TWIGS Hike this morning!

Upcoming Events

Western Slope College Fair: Sun. 10/2, 10am-2pm in Aspen (more info)

Hearing/Vision Screening (9th grade): Mon. 10/3

AHS Mountain Bike Race: Sun. 10/9 in Nathrop

TWIGS Parent/Guardian Coffee: Mon. 10/10, 8:30am at AHS

TWIGS Talk: Tues. 10/11 6pm at AHS

PSAT/NMSQT (11th grade): Wed. 10/12, 8:30am-12:00pm at AHS

Development Committee: Thurs. 10/13, 1pm

Fall Break (no classes): Fri. 10/14

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 10/17

2nd Quarter XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 10/19

Student-Led Conferences (9th through 11th grade): Thurs. 10/20, 4-6pm

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 10/20, 5:30pm

AHS Events Calendar
AHS 2022/23 School Calendar
TWIGS Website
Donate Now to the Elevating Animas Campaign
Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education

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