On Wednesday, March 21st, West Leadership Academy students attended a special performance of the Hamilton Musical at the Performing Arts Center. The show was the culmination of a unit in which students spent weeks studying about Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers. Teams from 60 schools competed by researching, writing, and performing original pieces that were submitted to the Hamilton cast. Before Wednesday’s show, students from several schools were selected to perform their pieces for the audience, including WLA students Jose Torres-Andazola, Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas, Rossy Martinez-Sanchez and Alexandra Andazola-Chavez. The event was covered by The Denver Post and Chalkbeat.
West Leadership Academy is part of Denver University’s VIP (Volunteers in Partnership) program, designed to promote self esteem in students and bridge the transition from secondary to post-secondary studies. Our middle school AVID students visited DU last week to tour the campus and learn about some of the many opportunities DU offers. Students were greeted by a West Leadership alumni and current DU freshman, they then participated in an engaging presentation by the Physics Department, and finally received an extensive tour of the campus. Students were impressed by the library, athletics facilities, and they especially enjoyed eating lunch in the dining hall. This experience gave students a glimpse at college life and motivated them to work harder to achieve their goals.
October is College and Career Readiness Month at Denver Public Schools and it’s also the month of the annual West Campus college fair. This year all of our high school students had the opportunity to learn about admissions requirements, financial aid, majors, and student life from the representatives of 40 different colleges and universities.
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
$1000 Alumni Scholarship Award
Dale Weiland Memorial Scholarship Award
Alumni Committee Special Awards
2017 Teacher Awards
Ernest Peck and Mary Coyle Chase, Speech Award
Alumni Athletic Award
War Memorial Citizenship Award
Jay T. Slagle, Life Science Award
Alumni Scholarship Award, Valedictorian
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.
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.
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