Celebrating the Class of 2017

On Saturday, May 20th, West Leadership Academy graduated its second class of seniors.  95% of the graduates have been accepted to a post-secondary institutions and collectively they have earned over $400,000 in scholarships!

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West High School Alumni Awards

30 graduating seniors from West Leadership Academy, West Early College and West Career Academy were recognized for their achievements by our Alumni Association.  The awards ceremony was held in our auditorium in front of the entire high school student body.  West Leadership seniors were presented with awards and scholarships ranging from $100 to $1500 based on need and merit.

$1500 Alumni Scholarship Awards
Axel Abundez-Abundez
Jayline Castellanos

$1000 Alumni Scholarship Award
Deisy Flores

Dale Weiland Memorial Scholarship Award
Leslie Valles

Alumni Committee Special Awards
Ana Romero-Gonzalez
Giselle Abundez-Abundez
Julio Ameca-Porras

2017 Teacher Awards
Ernest Peck and Mary Coyle Chase, Speech Award
Julio Ameca-Porras

Alumni Athletic Award
Joliet Moya

War Memorial Citizenship Award
Yulises Espino

Jay T. Slagle, Life Science Award
Ana Romero-Gonzalez

Alumni Scholarship Award, Valedictorian
Ana Romero-Gonzalez

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West kicks off the first week of October with two college fairs

October is College and Career Readiness Month for Denver Public Schools.  On Tuesday, October 4th, the West Campus hosted the Student Leadership Summit with USHLI (United States Hispanic Leadership Institute).  Students heard from guest speakers Carlos Ojeda Jr. and Ernesto Mejia from CoolSpeak about overcoming the struggles of growing up poor and Latino.  The speakers motivated students to find their voices, shed the labels that are holding them back, and to be the greatest versions of themselves every single day.  One West Leadership senior was given $100 to share with his family, with the message that there will be more financial help to come after he graduates from college.  Representatives from 20 colleges were present.

On Thursday, October 6th, West hosted the larger Colorado Council College Fair.  Students met with representatives from 45 different colleges and post-secondary institutions.

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Welcoming the Class of 2020 to High School

This year’s 8th Grade Continuation Ceremony was hosted by Middle School Principal Dave Alex and Executive Principal Teresa Sena Klava.  Student speakers included Angelo Anchondo, Fransee Samayoa-Ramos, and Ashley Sanchez.  Councilman Paul Lopez, who graduated from West High School in 1997 and now represents West Denver, was the keynote speaker.

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DPS recognized as an AP District of the Year by College Board

On March 10th DPS was recognized by College Board not only for having consistently increased enrollment in AP courses between 2013 and 2015, but also for increasing AP scores.  A representative from College Board stated that this is an anomaly, as school districts usually see decreases in AP test scores when they show drastic increases in enrollment.  All of WLA’s AP students boarded buses to Thomas Jefferson High School to attend the event.  Many DPS schools were in attendance but West Leadership was called out because we were founded with the help of College Board and we are the last remaining College Board school.   WLA currently offers AP Geography, AP Spanish, AP Calculus, AP Language and Composition and AP Literature with plans to offer even more AP courses next year.   AP courses prepare students for the rigorous coursework they will receive in college.
Event report by Keabeth Gonzalez
Photography by Jayline Castellanos-Orozco

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Spring Musical

Little Shop of Horrors

The West Campus spring musical was a success thanks to the dedicated cast and crew from West Leadership Academy, West Generation Academy and West Career Academy.  Special thanks to Ms. Walburn, Ms. Kennedy, Mr. Cooke and Ms. Irvin for all their hard work!

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Race Forum with the Denver Nuggets

On January 20th WLA hosted retired NBA player Mark Randall, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, and Nuggets players Randy Foye and Jameer Nelson to kick off Black History Month. There was a panel discussion about race and discrimination. The purpose of the event was to get students ready to study civil rights in Mr. Curtiss’ US History class. All WLA 10th graders attended.  Highlights were a shooting prize contest and hearing the message the players sent of not being persuaded by peer pressure and to seek help from teachers and mentors when you need it.
Event Report by Jorge Celis
Photography by Leslie Valles

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75th annual Singing Christmas Tree

Generations of West Cowboys Unite Under West Campus Singing Christmas Tree
Story from thecommons.dpsk12.org

This week, the West Campus celebrated the 75th Anniversary of its annual singing Christmas tree. The tradition has been a constant in the community since 1941. “I can only imagine what it meant to the community, as the nation entered the war, to have this bright light during the holidays,” said Greg Cooke, executive director of the West Campus Singing Christmas Tree.
Approximately 80 voices were included in this year’s singing tree, including those from students in grades six through 12 at West Generation Academy and West Leadership Academy, as well as 35 alumni — representing six decades of West Cowboys. New this year was a multimedia element of the show, with video from alumni speaking about the significance of the singing tree in their own lives.
One alumnus shared his story about how the singing Christmas tree helped him rekindle his love for music after his pursuit of a career in that field was put on hold when he was drafted into the Vietnam War.

For West Leadership Academy principal Teresa Klava, this year’s performance represents unity for the West Campus, which is shared by West Generation Academy and West Leadership Academy. “We’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past five years, but the West Cowboys and the West Campus are still a part of our community –- and the tree exemplifies that,” Teresa said.

 

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Photography by Jim Guerra.