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Parker school home to two best-in-state awardees in financial writing competition

PARKER— Bragging rights earned, Pine Lane Elementary recently learned that not one, but two of its students won Best-in-State in a national writing contest in both elementary and middle school divisions.

Stephanie Kawamura, the Discovery Gifted/Talented teacher at Pine Lane, annually involves her students in The Stock Market Game, a program of the SIMFA Foundation that provides kids with an online simulation of the global capital markets. This simulation culminated in the InvestWrite challenge, in which students wrote essays about real world financial issues.

"Encouraging students to explore stocks and to think about their financial future is essential," Kawamura said.

Her fifth grade student, Graham Blocher, won First-in-State in the the InvestWrite elementary school division. Graham researched and analyzed Dell Computer Corporation's products and history.  Through his essay, Graham concluded that Dell Computer Corporation is a good investment. "This company is inspirational to me because it has fallen but has always stood right back up again. I hope it is an inspirational to you," he said.

Sixth-grader, Garrett Dzurinko, won First-in-State in the middle school division. Entering the competition against other sixth through eighth grade students truly raised the bar for this young writer.  During the 2015-16 school year, Garrett won the national award for the elementary division, earning him a laptop computer and camera.  After winning the elementary national award, Garrett was inspired by the middle school national prize, with hopes of winning a trip to New York during the 2016-17 school year. Garrett researched and analyzed Facebook's journey into the virtual reality (VR) sector, concluding that Facebook will be successful long-term.  In his essay, Garrett stated, "Facebook branched into VR as the next step towards their goal of creating a greater open and connected world.  With Facebook’s unique ideas for VR, I believe they will be successful long-term."  

The boys, along with their teacher, will be attending the SIFMA award ceremony at The University of Denver in May.

May 11, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category:

District News

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”

Eleven Douglas County School District schools have been named recipients of the 2017 John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an "Exceeds Expectations" rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.