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Fashion show to showcase creativity, collaboration of Cresthill students

HIGHLANDS RANCH – Step aside Paris and Milan. For one night, Cresthill Middle School will be the center of the fashion world.

The school is event hosting a fashion show on Thursday night, showcasing the unique hand and machine stitched work of eighth graders in Cresthill’s Creative Sewing Class.

“We will be displaying the outfits that we have created this quarter. We will have a big audience to show all of our hard work,” explained Cresthill eighth-grader Audrey Ng. “[Our models] are going to go down the runway, strike two poses and there will be photographers to take some pictures.”

The event is completely student-organized, from start to finish. Each student has a role as the 25 different design teams bring their fashions to the public. They could choose to be anything from fashion designers to models, graphic artists to writers, and photographers to team leads.

Ng chose to be the fashion designer for her group.

“I did a lot of the sketches of our outfits and created a big poster board with all the materials we used,” Ng said. “I do enjoy fashion designing and being creative with ideas about different outfits. This project really helps me by using my creativity and making different ideas for outfits.”

Ng believes this experience could help her, if she continues to pursue a career in fashion.

“I do enjoy fashion designing and being creative with ideas about different outfits,” said Ng. “This project really helps me by using my creativity and making different ideas for outfits. It definitely helps for preparing for future careers, in case I do want to do something like that,” Ng said.

Not everyone was as excited about fashion or the Creative Sewing class when it began in October.

“When I started, I wasn’t at all interested in fashion at all. I thought it was just going to be something that I didn’t really want to do. Something I had to get through to get a passing grade. Now, after working hands on with a lot of this, it has definitely become more of an interest of mine,” said Aiden McCarty. “Personally, I am focused more on the male side of things, designing male fashion. That is not only comfortable, but also fashionable.”

On Thursday night Aiden will model the fashions his team created for as many as 500 parents, who will pack into Cresthill’s Commons to see the results.

“I think they’ve done a great job. I’m so proud of my students,” said Cresthill teacher Rene Smith-Tomczak. “The skills they’re learning in here right now are not necessarily about completing an outfit or making sure your outfit is perfect. It is about the journey and your learning—how you get there as a team.”

“It’s a perfect way for students to have a real audience, a goal to shoot for and all the while learning the important components in their World Class Outcome and 21st Century Skills,” said Smith-Tomczak added.

While the fashions on the runway will be picture perfect, the students say it took a lot of resiliency, collaboration and leadership to perfect them.

“I think most people don’t know what goes into preparing an outfit like this,” said Aiden McCarty. “There are a lot of preparations and creativity a lot of teamwork that goes into this.”

“When we first started I wasn’t sure if we would be able to pull it off because it is such big task," added Maggie Collins.

At the beginning the teams had to overcome quite a few challenges.

“It wasn’t very easy in the beginning. I know my team had quite a few flops -- with the shirts, especially,” said Maggie Collins. It took a lot of working together to get our outfits to be what we wanted them to be.”

“It was very challenging to come up with something unique that hasn’t really been done before and we have to work with the supplies we have and make due with our resources,” Ng said. “That encourages a bunch of exploration and curiosity in terms of finding an idea that works for you.”

“When you’re curious, flexible and open to ambiguity, it becomes very easy to look at materials that maybe haven’t been used before,” added Aiden McCarty.

Among the many challenges students were presented with, was creating an outfit out of unconventional materials, like newspaper and duct tape.

“It is really cool because it is much different than a normal dress,” Ng said.

The students had the ability to choose their own theme and say they appreciate the voice and choice that Ms. Smith-Tomczak gave them.

“She lets us do our own thing. She doesn’t micromanage us and make us do a certain type of outfit. She lets us design our own thing and do what we want,” Taylor Stinnett said. “The really big benefit is that you want to do it more if you have a choice.”

Additionally the teens believe the learning they’ve gained during Project Fashion Runway and the culinary experience they had earlier in the semester, in which they served food in a restaurant-like environment, will stick with them longer than the more traditional assignments they’ve had before.

READ MORE: Cresthill ‘chefs-in-training’ whip up 4Cs during Culinary Extravaganza

“It is quite different from other projects because we have many projects that are just research and presentations. This one is a lot more interactive.  It really helps us learn more creatively,” Ng said.

“The more things stand out the more you will remember it,” Stinnett explained. “If you were just doing some sort of research paper, you wouldn’t remember it as well, because it would just be a bunch of facts. When we do more hands on things where we are involved then it will help us remember it.”


Project Fashion Runway Event 
Thursday, Dec. 17, starting at 7 p.m.

Cresthill Middle School, 9195 Cresthill Lane in Highlands Ranch

The event will be held in the CMS commons

Doors will open and seating will begin at 6:40pm

The show will begin promptly at 7:00pm.

The show is free and open to the public, however space is limited.


December 17, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category: Middle School Education

District News

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DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

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Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.