Outstanding Graduates


 

Congratulations to the thousands of Douglas County School District graduates who are well on their way towards a bright future! We recognize your accomplishments and are proud to have been part of your educational journey.

Here is just a small sampling of what lies ahead for some of our graduates. These students are being recognized by their school principals/administrators for their outstanding academic success and personal attributes! As we receive more submissions from our DCSD principals/administrators, we will add to our graduate list below.



2022 Outstanding Graduates:


Brady Barrow, PHSBrady Barrow
Ponderosa High School

I will attend DePaul University

  • Served as State Thespian officer

  • Ponderosa High School Theatre President

  • Co-Founder of the Speech and Debate Club at PHS


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“My brother was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Over the past few years, he has been in and out of the hospital countless times. Because of his diagnosis, I have learned many things. Mostly I have learned two important lessons: Family is everything and life is too short not to do what you love. My family has been so supportive of my dreams, and I am eternally grateful for them. Seeing the struggles my brother has gone through has shown me that life is too short to sit by. It's important to do what you love, which for me is comedy.”




Caleb Krunow, CVHSKaleb Curnow
Castle View High School

I will attend Lincoln Tech

  • Plans to study automotive technology

  • Accepted into the automotive CTE program at Ponderosa High School

  • Maintained a 3.5 GPA


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“I’ve had many experiences good and bad through high school, but I’m going to choose to focus on a good one that helped me to turn my life around. Putting myself first, I know it doesn’t sound the best but it's something you really need to do to get ahead or bounce back.”




Gabrielle D'Haillecourt, TRHSGabrielle D'Haillecourt
ThunderRidge High School

I will attend Colorado School of Mines

  • Served as the school's peer counselor

  • Pursued and excelled in rigorous classwork through entire high school career

  • Plans to study chemical engineering


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“My sister has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, but during my senior year of high school she went on a nine-month mission trip. I missed her like crazy - but it also was an experience that taught me a different level of independence. In a way, not having the presence of that concrete companionship helped me branch out and try to develop more relationships. It helped me realize that even though not all people are meant to be your friends, there is still potential for solid friendships everywhere. I have learned that developing relationships requires hard work on both ends, but in the end it is very rewarding.”




Luke Dry, HRHSLuke Dry
Highlands Ranch High School

I will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point

  • Peer mentor of the HRHS Sources of Strength program

  • Competed in state track in 2021 and 2022

  • Made the varsity basketball team as a freshman


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“A personal experience that impacted me as a person, or changed my outlook on life, was the last track meet of my sophomore year of high school. This meet was also the first, and only meet of the year, due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic. Covid-19 affected everyone differently, and this event serves as a benchmark, and oftentimes reminds me of how precious life is, and how quickly the things we love can be taken away if we are not careful.”




Mandy Fleetwood, RCHSMandy Fleetwood
Rock Canyon High School

I will attend the United States Air Force Academy

  • Will continue her swimming career at the Academy

  • Earned a 4.44 weighted GPA and 4.0 unweighted GPA with 12 AP classes

  • Named an AP scholar and National Merit Scholarship commended student


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“Transferring high schools at the age of 15 has significantly impacted me as a person and changed my outlook on life. While transitioning to a new school, I also was faced with being held back in athletics and then later going into quarantine that soon took a year and a half from a school I was so ecstatic to come to. However, I feel it helped shape me into a more appreciative and present person going into college and the future.”




Jade Gromer, CHSJade Gromer
Chaparral High School

I will attend Auburn University

  • Daniels Fund Scholar

  • National and state runner-up in high school cheerleading

  • Honored for having 250+ community service hours at SkyRidge Medical Center


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“It was September of my Junior year and I was waking up to do school on a screen. Looking around on my zoom call I could see the light missing from my classmates eyes. Not being able to see each other during a time of uncertainty took a toll on everyone, but it truly made me realize how fast our world can change. Life is so fragile and we sometimes take it for granted. COVID helped me treat the moments I have with my favorite people as a gift and not a guarantee.”




Sean Harris
Castle View High School

I will attend Pacific University

  • Learned the Japanese hiragana and katakana "alphabets"

  • Named First Team All-Conference for basketball

  • Completed high school with a high GPA


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“A personal experience that really shaped my outlook on life was when a woman brought six kittens into my job at Hot Topic. We were really busy that day, but the entire staff (and store, for that matter) dropped everything to pet the kittens. This made me realize that no matter how frustrating or busy your day is, it's always important to take a rest or a quick breather to recollect yourself.” 




Sarah Hayden, CVHSSarah Hayden
Castle View High School

I will attend Grand Canyon University

  • Plans to major in Biology: Pre-Med

  • Endured the AP Capstone Diploma Program

  • Soloist performer at three annual productions of the Nutcracker


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“Working at the senior center and interacting with the elderly so often really made me realize the importance of treating people with kindness and consideration. You never know what struggles someone may be going through, and the most important skill I learned was to be respectful and give everyone a smile.”




Ross Johansen, HRHSRoss Johansen
Highlands Ranch High School

I will attend the United States Naval Academy

  • Master of Ceremonies at Highlands Ranch High School

  • Two-time state athlete for the HRHS swim team

  • Maintained a 4.0+ GPA


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“A personal challenge I faced in high school was with swimming and state. Swimming has been a part of my life for over 10 years and has been a very positive experience. During my junior season, I was extremely close to a state cut in the 100 free, however, the time evaded me for most of the season. At the final meet before state, I was able to make the cut. While I'm lucky my challenge was small compared to many others, it taught me the important lesson of positivity. I believe positivity is key to achieving goals. No matter the outcome one has to be proud of their accomplishments and look at their efforts in a positive light.”




Logan Kelley
Castle View High School

I will attend the University of Colorado Boulder

  • Achieved A’s in AP Human Geography and Honors Humanities as a freshman

  • Earned a 5/5 on the AP Government and Politics exam, despite half of the class being online due to COVID-19

  • Stayed true to doing his best in class despite dealing with personal mental health issues


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“During my sophomore year of high school, I steadily fell into a depression and anxiety slump. COVID-19 covered up my parents seeing it, as I began to hardly interact with anyone at all. It became immensely difficult to do anything efficient in the day, and all I usually did was watch TV shows. Over time though, I steadily gained back socialness, my ability to do things, and so forth. It wasn’t overnight, but I was able to get help. I now know the struggle people with mental illness face, and how badly the need for help is against this.”




Lily Klement, RENSLily Klement
Renaissance Secondary

I will attend Regis University

  • Plans to study nursing

  • Senior Capstone Project led to weekly work with rescue dogs at the Dumb Friends League

  • President of the National Honor Society


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“Voyages throughout all of my K-12 career have impacted me, but the voyages I went on in high school have been pretty awesome. Last year, my class went canoeing and I remember sitting at the campfire at the end of the night telling stories. Voyages have been such an impactful thing for me because I have gotten to connect to nature and myself, along with growing with my crew. I am very excited for my upcoming senior voyage where I will go white water rafting!”




Alexander Kolody, TRHSAlexander Kolody
ThunderRidge High School

I will attend Berklee College of Music

  • Plans to major in music performance and professional music business

  • Recorded his first EP for this senior project 

  • Hopes to record many EPs in the years to come


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“I went thru a difficult period recovering from an accident that severely injured my hand and affected my ability to do what I love which is playing guitar, but thanks to the amazing community at ThunderRidge, my family, my friends, and my teachers, I was able to recover and here I am today still doing what enjoy and going to college to continue my music education.”





Outstanding GraduateMatthew Lesher
Eagle Academy

I will attend Metropolitan State University

  • DCSD Perseverance Scholarship recipient

  • Honor Roll awardee 

  • Plans to study nursing


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“During high school a lot of crazy stuff happened that made me thankful for what I have today.”





Alisa Popover, eDCSDAlisa Popova
eDCSD

I will attend college in the future.

  • Graduating as an eleventh-grade student

  • Involved in sports and AP classes

  • Logged 1,745 verified community service hours


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“I have seen how helpful and nice people are.”




Tabitha Reading, MVHSTabitha Reading
Mountain Vista High School

I will attend Belmont University

  • Daniels Fund Scholar

  • Four-time 4.0 GPA letter holder

  • Four years of student government/leadership


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“February 28, 2019, my dad passed away. I felt defeated because my hero was gone. My dad’s death changed me and transformed my life. It forced me to find strength inside myself. Through prayer, I decided not to let fear of the unknown destroy me but to remain steadfast in hope for a bright future and unwavering in desire to make the world a better place. Every day since, I have created beauty from my dad’s ashes and know he is proudly watching over me as I grow into a confident, fearless young woman determined to make her dreams reality.”




Grace Schroeder, eDCSDGrace Schroeder
eDCSD

I will attend the University of Denver

  • Plans to study psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience

  • Offered multiple merit scholarships from various colleges

  • Studied ballet at the most elite institutions in the country


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“A personal life experience that has particularly shaped me was the pandemic. That may be rather cliche, but it really strengthened and helped me decide my path in life. While I have always been interested in therapy and psychology, I was particularly guided by COVID's effects on the brain and how that influences behavior as well as the collective mental health struggles during this time, leading me to pursue clinical psychology.”




Sonrisa Scott, TRHSSonrisa Scott
ThunderRidge High School

I will attend the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

  • Student Body President, three-time Class President

  • Created "Grizzly Gives Week" at ThunderRidge High School

  • Completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“While the basis of my morals has always included empathy for others, ThunderRidge’s first Grizzly Gives Week assembly truly revolutionized this passion and manifested my personal outlook on life. Through the sea of yellow t-shirts and flashing phone lights, each student sang The Climb and I was struck by the beauty of compassion and kindness. The power of togetherness and unity in a single moment changed my vision of the underlying good in the world, and the power of my generation. The gym was not one of competition at that moment, but rather a place of home for the Grizzlies.”




Daniel Shore, HRHSDaniel Shore
Highlands Ranch High School

I will attend Texas A&M

  • Plans to study aerospace engineering

  • Obtained his pilot's license while in high school

  • Team captain of the cross country team


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“The pandemic really affected me personally. My life changed so drastically, and I really had some growing up to do. The pandemic, while tough and frustrating at times, really shaped me into the person that I am today through the grit and determination that it took to better myself in every possible way through one of the hardest times in my life.”




Britney Van, MVHSBritney Van
Mountain Vista High School

I will attend the University of Colorado Boulder

  • Earned and maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school

  • Engaged in multiple extracurricular activities including FCCLA, FBLA, Key Club, National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society

  • Earned the Nursing Assistant Certification during her senior year of high school


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“My childhood consisted of my parents abandoning my brothers and me to feed their gambling addiction. My parents incurred debts so large, they landed in prison and lost everything of value, including their children. I was taken in by my paternal grandparents and have been raised by them ever since. Losing everything I had made me want to succeed even more. I made a promise to myself that I would not let my upbringing hold me back from a future that I know I deserve. I immersed myself in my studies, and realized the importance of a robust education, as it will facilitate my growth to further a lifelong dream of mine, which is to work in the medical field. Because I wasn’t cared for, I empathize with people in need and aspire to care for others. The hardships of my past challenged my limits and tested my capabilities. I am grateful for this experience, the understanding that I have gained about myself, and who I want to be in the future.”





Sophie Whitehead, LHSSophie Whitehead
Legend High School

I will attend the University of Colorado Boulder

  • Boettcher Scholar recipient

  • 2021 AP Scholar with Distinction, completing 12 Advanced Placement courses throughout high school

  • 350+ community service hours


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“During the 2020 election cycle, even though I was not old enough to vote, I decided to volunteer for a local political campaign. Soon after I attended weekly volunteer meetings and wrote hundreds of postcards informing constituents of our platform, I was promoted to Volunteer Coordinator. This experience impacted me significantly because it taught me how to relate to and find common ground with people from all walks of life. I now understand the importance of civic participation and spreading voter awareness.”





Aidyn Woodall, DCHSAidyn Woodall
Douglas County High School

I will attend Northeast Community College

  • Set a new school 5K cross country record

  • Lettered 21 times in high school in sports, clubs and academics

  • Received a scholarship to play soccer in college


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“Experiences during my high school years that really impacted me were when I was injured from sports. Sports are sort of my entire life and I encountered a few injuries from them during all of high school. These moments when I couldn’t play the sports that I love were very difficult for me. But, I learned some good qualities from this time away. I learned to be patient and work on bettering myself mentally and physically. I also had time to focus on school. Being away from sports is very hard for me, so these injuries really impacted me but I always came out of them stronger.”





Zane Zakroff, MVHSZane Zakroff
Mountain Vista High School

I will attend the University of Colorado Boulder

  • First MVHS student to participate in the Colorado All State Jazz Choir

  • Student representative on Mountain Vista's School Accountability Committee

  • Earned a cumulative GPA above 4.0


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“This year I encountered some mental health issues that severely impacted my health. While it was the hardest thing that I’ve been through, I learned so much about myself and how to live in this current life. Nothing has produced more growth in me than this experience and I am a completely different person than who I was a year ago. I appreciate the little things and live in the moment, which has been very valuable to me recently. Lastly, I am so incredibly thankful for my support system for helping me through day in and day out.”





Rachel Zwerenz
Ponderosa High School

I will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder

  • Critics Choice Award recipient at the 2020 Colorado Thescon, built the Macbeth stage set

  • Received five 5’s and one 4 score on AP exams

  • Named a Boettcher Finalist


Describe a personal experience that you encountered during high school that significantly impacted you as a person or changed your outlook on life.

“Being a Vice President, Scenic Designer, Technical Representative, and Technical Director with Ponderosa Theatre Company has been one of the most rewarding journeys I’ve ever experienced. Not only has it given me an opportunity to grow as a leader, I’ve also grown as a designer and a technician. Over 4 years with my theatre company, I’ve developed skills that I hadn’t expected to--such as carpentry and using 3D modeling software. Not only has theatre strengthened how I see the world artistically, it’s also strengthened my analytical skills and affected how I tackle complex problems.”

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NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to [email protected]