Page 1


Vol. 9, No. 1 October, 2011

Rock Canyon High School • The School That Leads • A Douglas County School • Parent Newsletter

5:00 Abner has his first meeting with the SAC.

8:15 in the hallway during access, talking with students.

Aug. 5 Principal Andy Abner meets with the entire RCHS staff for the first time.

Photos by Kathleen Kennedy

A day in the life of Principal Andy Abner. 8:45 meeting on updates to attendance and discipline issues.

11:30 working on SAC agenda with assistant Kathleen Kennedy.

12:30 Abner has his first meeting

with the graduation committee.

“One of the best parts of this job so far is getting to know the students. They have been exceptional and so welcoming.” He arrives at school by 6:45

a.m. and spends the first hour of the day answering emails and phone calls and meeting with staff. It is then out to the hallways for Mr. Abner so he can talk with students until classes start at 7:45. There are no typical days. There are meetings and more meetings - district, feeder, principal, staff, BLT, SAC, meeting with various RC groups, community members, parents, and students. There is planning - budget, long range, professional devel-

opment, school improvement, building physical needs, safety, etc. There is supervision and evaluation of staff and classroom observations. Abner, was named Rock Canyon’s third principal in April, officially starting his duties in July. He was busy from the start hiring a new athletic director, an assistant principal, two deans, as well as 15 new staff members. A graduate from Illinois State University with a BS in Technology Education and a MA from the University of Phoenix in Education, Administration and Supervision, Abner served as an assistant for the past six years at

1:30 Abner meets with first year teacher Emily Nault to discuss goal setting and evaluations.

Douglas County High School. Rock Canyon is the only high school Abner applied for. During the 2008-09 school year he lead the accreditation process at RHMS. He was so impressed with the RC feeder schools, he soon knew that was the feeder he wanted his children to attend. He had not intended to apply for a principal position until he saw the RC position was open Illinois natives, Abner and his wife Katie have three sons and have lived in Colorado for 10 years. Abner’s long term goal - shaking his childrens’ hands as they walk across the stage at Rock Canyon’s graduation.

2:10 Dean Lissa Staal stops in for advice on clubs.

2:40 Yearbook class shows Abner a spread they are working on.

2:30 watching student from multimedia taping in hall.

2:20 visits an AP chemistry class.

With only AP Gregg Sheehan returning from the Administration team, we have several new faces in the front office. See page 9 for information on new Athletic Director Tom Brieske. Megan Brown

Assistant Principal “I’m excited to be back ‘home’ at RCHS where so many great students and staff members come together to make a really special school.”

With a BA in Political Science form Colorado College, an MS in Eco- nomics from Colorado School of Mines and Principal License from the University of Phoenix, Brown taught ten years at Heritage HS before joining the RCHS staff when it opened in 2003 teaching Social Studies. For the past three years she worked for the district as the Grant Director and Curriculum Coordinator. This year she has returned to RCHS as an Assistant Principal. Brown works with students whose last name starts with Sc - Z. In addition to working with the Counseling and Language Arts Departments, Brown’s other duties include classified staff, Alternative Education, College and Career Center, Curriculum Guide, Grade Reporting, Infinite Campus, Master Schedule, Parent Conferences, Student Recognition and Student Teachers. Brown and husband Francis have two daughters.

Nick Laatsch

Lissa Staal

“I’m so excited to continue to be a part of the Rock Canyon community. Go Jags!”

“I love being a bigger part of Rock Canyon. This is such a special place and I enjoy getting to know both teachers and students in a new way.”


A graduate from the University of Montana with a de- gree in Geology and from Grand Canyon University with and MA in Administration, Laatsch has spent the last six instructional years teaching science at RCHS. This year he as changed roles and is working as a dean of students. He is working with students whose last name starts with Mi - Sa. In addition to working with students, other duties include working with the Social Studies and Visual Arts Departments, the Library Media Center, classified staff, attendance, Back to School Night, Code of Conduct, Capital Improvements, TCAP testing, Emergency and Security, PLAN/PSAT, Technology and Vortex. Laatsch and wife Elizabeth have two sons and a daughter.


Staal graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in History and French, received her teaching licensure from Calvin College and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Staal has spent the last six years teaching social studies at RCHS. This year as dean of students Staal is working with students whose last name starts with Hu - Me. In addition to working with students, other duties include working with the World Language and Performing Arts Departments, classified staff, Co-curricular Activities, TCAP, Special Event Weeks, Field Trips, New Student Orientation and Student Leadership. Staal and husband Jeff have two sons.


Jaguar News

From the Principal,

Andy Abner

RCHS Test Results

New Staff

Rock Canyon continues to be a leader in the state and district in academics. The class of 2011 exceeded national and state standards for CSAP, ACT and SAT test.

Danita Whelan,

2011 ACT Results

Science, Chemistry, EES

Rock Canyon juniors took the ACT tests in April, 2011. • RC exceeded the state average on 5 of 5 assessments. • RC exceeded the DC district average on 5 of 5 assessments.

Composite English Math Reading Science

RC District State Avg. Avg. Avg. 23.5 21.7 19.9 23.2 21.0 19.0 23.5 21.9 20.0 23.2 21.5 19.9 23.5 21.8 20.2

(The ACT RCHS composite score to students taking at least one AP class was 26.1. For students taking and passing an AP class, the score was 27.1.)

2011 SAT Results University of Kentucky, B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Master’s Environmental Engineering, B.A. in Chemistry, Master’s in Education. Whelan worked as a environmental consultant for two years, then volunteered at a women and children’s shelter in Mexico for a year, then taught in Kentucky for five years before moving to Denver. She is sponsoring the Ballroom Dance Club, and enjoys rock climbing with the Outdoor Club

Laurie Bhattacharya SPED, Severe Needs

Composite 561

Math 566

Writing 543

Spring 2011 CSAP Results*

Colorado students are assessed once a year in order to measure their performance on state academic content standards, using the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP.) Rock Canyon students excelled in CSAP testing. • At or Above Proficient performance exceeded the state aver- age on 7 of 7 assessments. • At or Above Proficient performance exceeded the district average on 7 of 7 assessments.

9th Reading 9th Writing 9th Math 10th Reading 10th Writing 10th Math 10th Science

RC District State Avg. Avg. Avg. 85 78 66 75 67 53 58 50 38 84 76 65 66 59 47 55 41 32 76 58 47

* Colorado State Assessment Program – a series of tests for freshman and sophomores to measure individual progress on the Colorado Model Content Standards. The results are used by the State as part of the school “report card”. Congratulations to all our students, staff and parents. It takes hard work, support and encouragement from all for Rock Canyon students to be successful.

RC 2011 – 2012 by the Numbers BA Bethany University, Teaching and Special Education Credential, San Jose State University. Bhattacharya has been a SPED teacher in Colorado Springs and San Jose, CA. In addition to the Marshall Islands, Bhattacharya has traveled to England and India.

CONTACTING US The Canyon News is printed 2 to 4 times during the school year. Publisher is Principal Andy Abner. Editor is office manager Kathleen Kennedy. RCHS is located at 5810 McArthur Ranch Road in Highlands Ranch, CO 80124. RCHS opened in August, 2003. Mission Statement: To Empower, To Explore, To Encourage and To Excel in Education.

Students: Staff: The number of students attending 6 Administrators Rock Canyon continues to increase 5 Counselors each year. This year our enrollment 73 Full-time Classroom Teachers is at 1,723 students: 6 Part-time Classroom Teachers 375 seniors 4 Other Certified 386 juniors 1 Resource Officer 412 sophomores 29 Support Staff 478 freshmen 1 Part-time Support Staff

As the school year shifts from its summer season into its fall term, I am pleased to say that Rock Canyon High School is off to a great start and continues to flourish. Many impressive and soul-stirring things have already happened this year and many exciting things will be happening this semester and school year.

Our 9th graders were welcomed, encouraged and nurtured by the people and programs that make up the components of a thoughtfully designed Link Crew. The sole purpose of the Link Crew is to help all RCHS 9th graders make a smooth and successful transition to high school. I feel that this program has been highly effective, and that it has played a significant role in improving our building’s climate and has helped prepare students for the realities of high school. The RCHS community has thoroughly enjoyed an exciting production of “Bad Seed” from our Performing Arts Department. I continue to be absolutely amazed by the many talents of our students and staff within our community. I commend all of the people who worked on this production and I look forward to future entertainment from our Performing Arts Department. There is not a day that has gone by that our students are not doing amazing things in our classrooms, fields, courts, stage and community. I am continually impressed by the work that our students are doing that represent Rock Canyon in the highest regard. This work is supported and encouraged by what I believe to be an incredible staff. It takes every staff member of RCHS to create an environment where students can reach their maximum success. I am proud to be part of such an amazing group of professionals who are truly committed to the success of your sons and daughters. Our academic data continues to be at the top in the state of Colorado and in Douglas County. We are clearly a top choice for students who want to be prepared for that next step after high school. We find pride in this data because it represents so much hard work that comes from this community. Our students, parents and staff have spent countless hours working so very hard for success in this area. Our homecoming week was fun filled and packed with excitement. Every event throughout the week had increased attendance this year and the spirit displayed by staff and students was second to none. Our athletic teams had a wonderful week each capturing many different levels of improvement and success. The homecoming dance was hosted in our gymnasium and proved to be another great time to be had by all. As always, we welcome our community through our doors. One great way to learn about all of the happenings at RCHS is to visit our website or “Like us on Facebook”. We can be found on Facebook under Rock Canyon HS. Another great way to learn of the happenings at RCHS is to pick up your own copy of “The Rock” student newspaper outside of the Main Office. Our student newspaper is absolutely amazing and covers our school events and many other issues that our students are interested in very well. We continue to seek improvement and greatness in everything we do. We continue to strive for excellence. I cannot tell you how important your positive support of Rock Canyon means to me. I believe that all of us together have the ability to make incredible changes in the world we live in through our youth. They truly are the future and we must do everything we can to ensure they have every resource to prepare them for the demands they will face. Thanks for all you do to make Rock Canyon a great place to be.

School Accountability Committee Members of the SAC, front row: Vice-Chair Susan Beane, Cate dela Garza RC teacher representative, Melinda Emch RC teacher representative; back row: Recorder Jane Babilon, PTO Representative Linda McGavin, Principal Andy Abner, Chair Kristine Turner. Absent: Tammy Heflebower and Niomie Fittes. Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

School mascot: Jaguar. School colors: Black and Vegas gold. School slogan: The School That Leads. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mon. - Thurs. and 7:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Fri. or by appointment. Telephone numbers: main office 303-387-3000, 24 hour attendance line 303-3873002, main office fax 303387-3001, counseling office 303-387-3022, counseling office fax 303-387-3031.

Culture of Achievement and Recognition:

Your SAC (School Accountability Committee) has been busy this year. Members have already begun work on establishing an Academic Booster Club. Discussions have been held around the best way to handle booster clubs in general, and the suggestion has been made that parents have more input over how they would like to support their student’s activities, either through direct donations or fund raisers. Many parents have expressed that they would prefer to donate financially without the obligation to participate in multiple fund raisers. We are evaluating ways to provide parents, students and teacher sponsors with more choices. The SAC has also begun work on College Resume Building. This project will encompass such programs as school academic competitions and awards, grants for teachers to explore further education and grants for curriculum enhancements that encourage students to participate in regional and nationwide competitions. These diverse competitions are great experiences and resume builders which challenge students in areas from math and essay competitions, to screenplay competitions whose writers earn the opportunity to see their work

performed on Off-Broadway. The SAC will help fund these competitions which will help students build college ready resumes and promote our school, teachers and students. The SAC will be active in making sure that grant and competition recipients are recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments. Another goal of the SAC is to provide grants to teachers who need technology improvements in their classrooms. If you are interested in joining the RCHS College Resume Building Committee, please contact us. We appreciate your support. If you have any other comments or suggestions, please contact us. The following members sit on the SAC committee so please feel free to share your school interests with them: Andy Abner, Jane Babilon, Susan Beane, Catherine de la Garza, Melinda Emch, Tammy Heflebower, Linda McGavin, and Kristine Turner. Meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to attend. As physical space is limited, please contact kathleen.kennedy@ if you plan to attend. The next SAC meeting will be held on Nov. 9 at 3:00 p.m.


Access time occurs Wed. from 7:45-8:40 am. Access is an optional attendance time for most students. Students that have make-up work, extra-curricular meetings, or discipline issues may have required attendance during this time. Busses will operate at regularly scheduled times. Teachers will be available at 7:45 a.m. or by appointment during Access on most Wednesdays. However, on the following: Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Feb. 1, March 7 and April 4, all staff will be attending collaborative staff meetings at 7:00 a.m. Students are welcome to be at school but must remain in the commons area. Teachers will not be available to students until 8:00 a.m. The purpose of this time is to allow teachers to focus on student achievement and staff collaboration. We believe that every student has the potential and ability to succeed in classes. Students must take personal responsibility for their own success by taking an active role in their education and by contributing to their education. It is our responsibility to provide students with a forum in which they can make those contributions, and the teachers’ responsibility to be accessible for additional help for challenging concepts and practices. Access counts as “instructional time,” and as such, it must provide an environment and activities conducive to learning. Students must either be in a classroom, lab, library, or commons during Access time. All school behavioral expectations are to be followed. Access is also an intervention for students who are struggling or need to do makeup work. It is scheduled at the beginning of the day and is optional for student attendance. Students who do not maintain a grade of “C” or higher can have mandatory Access attendance with an assigned teacher as a means of academic intervention. Students who do not show for scheduled meetings with a teacher during Access may face disciplinary consequences for failure to attend. Students who have been absent should utilize Access to complete any work missed. Failure to do so in a timely fashion may result in loss of credit for work missed during excused absences.

Counselor Corner

Jaguar News

New Staff Matt Peharda Math Algebra 2, Geometry

Assistant Principal Megan Brown and Athletic Director Tom Brieske get into the Homecoming spirit during the Homecoming Parade on Sept. 23. The parade included floats by several school groups, the band, Football, Cheer and Poms teams. Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

and tools available to students today! If you have any questions regarding your account, please email or call Barb at 303/387-3022.

Peer Counseling:

We have trained Peer Counseling II students available to assist their peers academically (i.e. tutoring, organization); career and college (i.e. Naviance); and personally/socially (i.e. relationship issues, crisis) each period of the day. Students can come to the counseling office and request to meet with a Peer Counselor. Currently there are twentytwo students taking the Peer Counseling I class taught by Melanie Perea and Marlaine McMechen to become trained Peer Counselors. Peer Counseling I students are available during both lunches on Fridays to tutor students in the counseling center.

Counseling Groups:

Counseling Assistants Barb Cocetti and Cindy Sharp help students check-in for a visit with a representative from CU Boulder. There are 13 visits scheduled from a variety of institutions of higher education just between Sept. 27 and Oct. 10. Representatives from all across the U.S. come to RC to tell students about their colleges and universities. Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

Check out our new counseling web page:

We invite you to visit and explore our counseling website with hopes it will provide valuable information. We have multiple tabs which give students and parents’ information on a variety of topics including: Naviance, Advanced Placement, Counseling Newsletters, Community Service, Financial Aid, Military Options, Parenting Tips, NCAA, Peer Counseling, School Profile, Testing and Tutoring Opportunities, power point presentations, and forms. Please take some time to look at our web page and familiarize yourself with our site.

Group counseling is often an excellent opportunity to address a variety of emotional and academic concerns. We are currently offering three counseling groups through our counseling department. Parents and or students are encouraged to contact the counselor facilitating the specific group if they feel it would benefit the student in participating. We run the groups during the school day, rotating periods each week so students are not missing the same class period each week. Parent permission forms are required to participate. 1. The Grief Group is for any student who has suffered a significant loss. This can include a parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, or even a pet. If your student would like to be a part of this group at any time during the coming school year, please contact the facilitator of this group, counselor Sue Young. 2. N-O-T; Not on Tobacco is a voluntary program for students who desire to quit smoking cigarettes. N-O-T is sponsored by the American Lung Association and geared toward adolescents. This group is facilitated by Melanie Perea. 3. Family Change is a group facilitated by Sheila Redler to help support students whose families are going through a change. This could be someone moving in or out of the house, including having an elderly grandparent to care for, a new baby, hosting a foreign exchange student or perhaps a sibling moving away. These students are typically working to improve the impact of this change on their academics.

Trends in College Applications: We frequently meet with the Admission’s Representatives from various colleges to monitor how our students are doing with college applications and acceptance rates. Some of the recent trends include: 1. It is best to apply to college/s as soon as possible. Students who apply and are accepted have more availability to scholarship and financial aid as well as priority in dorm selection. We recommend all students have their applications out prior to Fall Break, definitely no later than Thanksgiving Break. Many colleges are denying qualified applicants because they are filled to capacity. 2. When seniors are taking an additional SAT or ACT, it is still best to apply and write in the application that they are registered to take an additional ACT or SAT test, and their “scores will follow.” Each time a student registers to take an ACT or SAT test, they are able to send their scores out to 4 colleges at no cost. If they do not request the scores to be sent to their college preferences, they could have to pay for it at a later date. Always put the RCHS code 060748 on test registration. 3. Students should follow all directions in each individual college’s application closely. Some colleges require hard copies of transcripts and/or letters of recommendation while other colleges prefer electronic copies. Some colleges require an essay, and others do not. Nearly all colleges prefer electronic applications. 4. Students want to make sure their essay topics match the topic they have been asked to address. Essays are the students’ opportunity to demonstrate their communication skills via writing as well as address special circumstances. An essay should be perfect. There is no room for grammatical errors or typos! 5. Students need to make sure their application is complete with all documents submitted as well as the application fee. Overall, Admission Representatives are telling us that Rock Canyon students are doing a great job on their applications.

Mark Your Calendars!


Counselors are currently meeting with each of their senior students to complete their final credit check and assist with the college application process. Each senior should sign up for their senior meeting through our counseling secretaries. Please inform us if parents will be attending the meeting. All Senior Meetings should be completed by October 30th!

Naviance is a web-based program that the District purchased in order to assist students and parents with college, military and career planning. Each student has a login to their account where information can be stored (such as personality profiles, colleges they’re interested in or applying to and Letter of Recommendation Profile) and research can be done for a wide variety of colleges and careers. Parents can also access the same information through their own accounts and are encouraged to explore the fantastic resources


Oct. 10 and 12 - Parent Teacher Conferences Oct. 12 - Plan and PSAT tests Nov. 8 - Financial Aid Night Jan. 18 - 8th Grade Parent Night Feb. 7 - Junior Parent Night March 7 - Parent Teacher conferences

Freshman Presentations:

We recently completed PowerPoint presentations with each Freshman Advisement class. The counselors informed our freshman students on a variety of topics to help them become more knowledgeable and successful. Topics covered included: Terms to know, Graduation Requirements, CCHE Admission Requirements, Community Service, GPA, Honors classes verses AP classes, ways to get involved at Rock Canyon, how to stay informed, Naviance, how to see your counselor, and Tips for Success. We encourage you to ask your child about this presentation!

Sophomore presentations:

We will deliver Sophomore Presentations during October and November. These presentations will cover a variety of topics including graduation requirements, GPA’s, what colleges look for, career pathways, Naviance resources, extra-curricular activities, how to be successful and getting involved in school.

Junior Meetings:

Immediately following registration for the 2012-2013 school year. During the junior meeting, counselors will utilize Naviance to address a variety of topics including: career pathways, college searches, credit checks, testing, letters of recommendation, the college application process, scholarships, financial aid, college campus visits, military options, as well as answering individual questions and concerns.

Senior Meetings:

Please remember to check our web page for more information.

Peharda attended Monmouth College, Ill, where he ran cross country and track and was head of the Students for Organized Service. He has a BA in Mathematics, with a concentration in Secondary Ed. During college, Peharda was the manager of a specialty running store in Illinois where he met and ran with numerous Olympians. His first teaching job was at his old high school in Illinois. His first teaching job in Colorado was at Elizabeth High School. Now at Rock Canyon he loves everything about it. He cannot imagine a better school. Peharda runs for the Boulder Running Company racing team. If you run local road or trail races, you have probably seen him in one of the obnoxiously bright neon green shirts.

Gina Landis, Social Studies, Anc Civ, 45 Present, US 65-45

Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Colorado, BA in History from Creighton University. Landis taught World History, Economics and Government at Bear Creek. She also taught American Studies at Columbine High School. Although she took some time off from the traditional classroom, she never really left education. She has tutored and subbed for many years and has done adult education for a home health care company for almost ten years. Landis has three children. Her daughters go to RCHS. Maddie is a junior who plays varsity soccer and field hockey. Kate is a freshmen who is a junior varsity pom. Jonny goes to Rocky Heights Middle School and is a sixth grader. Landis feels that she really understands teens much better now that she has two of her own and a preteen. She is super excited to be back to teaching. Rock Canyon is such an amazing place and she is honored to be part of this great staff and community!


Jaguar Need to Know

New Staff Emily Nault, Social

Studies, US 65-45, Psych, 45 Present

How to find information about RCHS • E-blasts will be sent to your email account regarding important, timely informational topics. You must have your email account in IC in order to receive messages. • The RC web site: • Infinite Campus, parent portal account, we post daily announcements. • Canyon News, the parent newsletter. It is available in hard copy in the main office and is also posted on the web site. • High School sports: • RCHS Facebook, the page can be accessed @

Who is my student’s counselor and administrator and why do I need to know?

If you or your student needs to talk to or see an administrator or counselor for any reason, he/she should contact the assistant principal/dean or counselor assigned to him/her. If you as a parent, have concerns about your student, you should contact the assistant principal/dean or counselor assigned to your student. Students A – Da AP Gregg Sheehan and Counselor Sue Young Students De - Ho AP Tom Brieske and Counselor Marlaine McMechen Students Hu - Me Dean Lissa Staal and Counselor Mike Sullivan Students Mi - Sa Dean Nick Laatsch and Counselor Melanie Perea Students Sc – Z AP Megan Brown and Counselor Dan Davies

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, BS in Secondary Education with a Major of Social Studies and a Minor in Psychology. This is Nault’s first year of teaching. Before coming to Colorado she was a Special Education Para-Professional in Michigan. She has extensive background in special education, specifically working with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nault is very excited to be working at Rock Cayon with an excellent and driven staff, and to be educating a special and kind student body. She’s looking forward to having a great first year and getting to know all the wonderful people that are involved here.

Kate Herrin,

Language Arts, English 1 & 2

Volunteer Update

BA in English Literature from Colorado State University, MA, in Secondary Education from Regis University. Before coming to RCHS, Herrin taught at ThunderRidge and Highlands Ranch High Schools. Prior to teaching she was a Media Specialist for various Advertising Agencies throughout Denver for several years. Recently married, Herrin is a true Colorado native and her family is still here. She is a true Colorado enthusiast and loves everything our state has to offer (hiking, skiing, biking, etc.) She loves teaching and loves helping students appreciate literature and grow as young writers.

Please Note Change in the School Calendar

The district has made a change in the calendar. March 2 is now a PDD day for staff (it was a grading day.) No school for students. March 5 is now a student contact day (it was a PDD.) March 23 is now a Teacher Work Day (it was a student contact day.) No school for students.

Rock Canyon Volunteers are extremely important to the Rock Canyon High School community and because of your involvement all of our students and staff benefit. So where can you find Rock Canyon volunteers ? Counseling Office/Front Office Library help Parent/Teacher Conference Meals Student Directory School Store Fashion/Variety Show (fund raiser for After Prom) After Prom Staff Holiday Lunch Snacks for ACT testing Teacher Support* Vision & Hearing Screening Staff Appreciation Week

In addition, all sports, school clubs, band & orchestra use parent volunteers.* Throughout the year teachers and staff will use parent volunteers for field trips, lab help and other miscellaneous times. If you want to be involved and have not filled out a volunteer interest form or are not receiving emails regarding your area of interest, please contact to make sure that she has your correct email address. You may also call her at (303)387-3008. Please check the website under Parent Central then Volunteer Information for updates of volunteer events and meetings. Please feel free to contact Karen if you have any questions and we look forward to another great year!

– Karen Brankin, RCHS Volunteer Coordinator (303)387-3008

More Things on Attendance

Juniors Alex Coe and Kassidy Vatter check-in with attendance assistant Cindy O’Neill. Photo by Kathleen Kenendy

24 hour Attendance Line: 303-387-3002

Please call the 24 hour attendance line for any attendance issues, including absences, late arrivals and early releases. There is a dedicated attendance secretary who continually pulls off the messages, prepares release slips for students and enters the information into Infinite Campus. If you are requesting an early dismissal, press 1. If you are calling in a tardy you will press 2. All other attendance issues you will press 3. Trust that it is indeed faster and more accurate to call the attendance line than calling the general 3000 number. Please do not call the 303-387-3000 number concerning attendance issues as this is not an attendance line. Absences not cleared by the end of the day will be listed as unexcused. Parents have 48 hours to call or have their student bring a note to the attendance window to excuse the absence. Please be considerate when deciding to take your student out of school. Every time a student comes into a class late or leaves a class early it affects the learning of everyone in that classroom. Our goal is to have as few classroom disruptions as possible during the school day so that maximum learning can take place in the best possible educational environment.

1. Tardies: A tardy is missing less than half a class. There are no excused tardies without documentation. After missing more than half the class the student will be marked absent even if physically present in classroom. 2. Reason for absence: A reason must be given for all student absences. 3. Partial day absences: Excused with a parent note or call the 24 Hour Attendance Line. Include: reason for absence; time leaving; if applicable: approximate time of return. 4. Afternoon early release: Inform attendance office before 1 p.m. the day leaving. If extreme emergency exists, parent may come in to request release. 5. Afternoon early release note: Running a pass to a student interrupts an entire classroom’s learning. A pass will not be run to a student during the school day unless an extreme emergency exists. 6. Sign in/Sign out: Freshmen: always! Upper Classmen: Open periodno; lunch-no; regular class period—always. 7. After lunch: If student comes back late after lunch (due to an appointment) but did not sign out, the student will be marked unexcused (unless student has formal documentation.) 8. Individual class period absences: Only the teacher/counselor can excuse. Do not call the attendance office to excuse it. 9. Substitute teacher marks absences: Only documentation can change absence. 10. Advanced absence forms: Three or more days of absence require this completed form which can be picked up in the main office. Emergencies and surgeries exempted. 11. Community Service hours: Student can be excused with documentation but cannot count these hours towards graduation community service requirements. 12. Ditch/Skip days: RCHS recognizes no senior ditch days nor approves any skip days. 13. Attendance reporting: a note brought to the attendance office day of absence or 24 Hour Attendance Line.: 303-387-3002.

Please consult your student’s planner for more information on Rock Canyon policies!

Jaguar Need to Know

Important Upcoming Dates* Oct. 10 & 12 Parent - Teacher Conferences, 4:00 - 7:30 Oct. 12 Plan / PSAT / ASVAB Oct. 17 - 21 Fall Break, Offices Closed Nov. 4 Professional Development Day, No Students Nov. 23 Teacher Comp. Day, Offices Closed Nov. 24 & 25 Thanksgiving Holiday, School Closed Dec. 13 - 15 First Semester Finals Dec. 16 Teacher Work Day, No Students Dec. 19 - 30 Winter Break, Offices Closed Jan. 2 New Year’s Holiday, School Closed Jan. 16 MLK Holiday, School Closed Jan. 20 Professional Development Day, No Students Feb. 20 President’s Holiday, School Closed March 2 Professional Development Day, No Students March 7 Parent - Teacher Conferences, 3:30 - 7:45 March 12 - 15 TCAP Testing March 23 Teacher Work Day, No Students March 26 - 30 Spring Break, Offices Closed April 20 Teacher Comp. Day, Offices Closed April 24 ACT Testing Day May 7 - 18 AP Testing May 9 - 10 Senior Finals May 11 Senior Check Out Day May 17 Senior Reception May 18 Senior Honors Night May 18 - 23 Second Semester Finals May 21 Graduation, 8:30 a.m. Shea Stadium May 24 Teacher Work Day, No Students * Dates and times are subject to change.

RCHS Drop Policy

Day 1 - 10: Follow established two-week card system. AP drop forms will be accepted anytime during the two-week period, but will not be addressed until days 8-10. Days 11-20: A student can drop a course for admin dismiss or student aide only if they remain in a a minimum of 5 other classes. Student’s transcript will reflect either a “W/F” or “W/P”, depending on his/her grade at the time of drop. There will be no GPA consequence. Day 20+ : A student can drop a course for admin dismiss or student aide only if they remain in a minimum of 5 other classes. Student’s transcript will reflect an “F” and a zero will be factored into their GPA.

Office Hours

Student Contact Days M – Th: 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. or by appointment Non Student Contact Days - the office may be closed or office hours may be reduced to allow staff to attend staff or department meetings/trainings.

Office Depot gives back to schools

Every time parents, students and school supporters give RCHS school’s ID number 70201803 when buying school supplies at Office Depot, RCHS will receive credits equal to 5% of qualifying purchases. Present this number at checkout when shopping at Office Depot.

Target gives money back to RCHS Each September Target gives RCHS a Take Charge of Education donation check. Take Charge of Education donations are accumulated when supporters of RC make purchases using their REDcard. Target donates up to 1% of purchases made with RED cards, back to the schools. To sign up for this program see a Target store or go to for details.


New Staff Patricia Villegas,

World Language, Athletic Trainer, Spanish 2, Ath Training

RC School Store

The School Store is open every day during lunch. New items this year are: Stadium chairs $50, Neon Hoodies $30, New Jag logo t-shirts $10, RC Blanket $35 and Hoodie Embroided jag logo $50.

Does Your Student have a Douglas County Library Card?

Beginning in January 2009 a partnership was initiated between Douglas County Schools District Libraries and Douglas County Libraries to provide electronic database resources for all the county’s students. In order to access these database resources from home, students in Douglas County Schools need a public library card. A user name and password is not required from school computers. A link to these databases can be found at the RCHS Library Webpage. A link from the RCHS Library webpage separates all the databases by subject area which may be beneficial to students when researching for school assignments. The databases include Biographies in Context, Culture Grams, EBSCO MAS Ultra, EBSCO Student Research Center, Facts on File History Databases, Facts on File Science Online, Global Issues in Context, Literature Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and World Book Online. These online databases are state-of-the-art research tools where information is updated frequently. These databases include full-text magazine and newspaper articles; citations from various reference works; television and radio transcripts; pictures and maps appropriate for all content areas. Most are tailored specifically to high school curriculum. Because the sources are vetted, students do not have to evaluate the sources for their accuracy, reliability, and authenticity. To apply for a Douglas County Library card or look up an existing DCL card number, go to RCHS also subscribes to Electric Library which is also accessible from the RCHS Library Webpage org/library/ Please see the article on the “Hidden Web”. – Submitted by Sharon Stevens, RCHS Teacher/Librarian

BA in Spanish Literature and a BS in Health & Physical Education from the University of Wyoming, MS in Athletic Training from Indiana State University. She has studied at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain and at the University in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Villegas worked in Texas as an athletic trainer/teacher for the past 20 years. She is proactive as a member of the Junior League of Denver and the DCPA Alliance organizations. Her mantra is “prepare the student for the path, not the path for the student” and “to win takes talent, to repeat takes character.” Self esteem and confidence are important if a student is to be successful.

Katie Rockwell,

Social Studies, US 65-45,

World Geo, US Econ, 45 Present

Frequently Asked Questions What do I do if my student is absent or tardy?

To report your student absent or tardy, please call our 24-hour attendance line, 303-387-3002 by 8 a.m. You will need to report the absence every day that the student is out of school. For an extreme emergency, call 303-387-3007. Please do not leave attendance messages on the Rock Canyon main line.

What if my student is coming in late?

If a student is arriving late, the student must sign in at the attendance window (even during passing periods.) The parent/guardian should call ahead to the attendance line or send a note with the student to explain the late arrival. Arriving at school without signing in at the attendance office will result in an unexcused absence. If a student oversleeps or has an unexcused reason for being late and arrives to school within 10 minutes of the start time (7:45 a.m.) they should report to their first period class and will be marked as unexcused tardy. If students arrive after 7:55 a.m. they must check in with attendance.

What about an extended absence?

An example of a extended absence is any absence consisting of 3 or more days. In this instance, please contact the attendance office to receive a prearranged absence form. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their teachers to collect assignments for the days missed. Students need to be present during final exams in December and May, and for PLAN/PSAT testing in October, TCAP exams in March and ACT Testing in April. Please plan accordingly.

How does my student leave early for an appointment?

Freshman students may not enter cars or leave the school grounds during school hours without advance permission from the Principal, inclusive of lunch periods. Other students, who do not have a regularly scheduled class period, may leave campus without advanced permission of the Principal. This flexible schedule option for students is a privilege and subject to revocation based on grades, attendance or disciplinary action.   Anytime any student must leave before the end of the regular school day, the student must have parent permission in advance. It is the student’s responsibility to pick up a pass from the attendance office. Leaving school without signing out at the attendance office will result in an unexcused absence. • The parent may send a note with the student to explain the early departure. • The student must come to the attendance office to receive a pass to leave the building. • If the student must leave due to illness or unanticipated needs, the student must come to the attendance office and the parent/guardian must be contacted to approve the early departure.

May I bring in an item my student has forgotten?

Yes, however, it is your student’s responsibility to collect it from the student drop off table by the security window. We cannot deliver items to students.

Can I get a message to my student?

We will do our best to write a message to your child and will call names at the end of the day for students to come to the main office. It will be up to them to listen to the announcements to hear their name.

May my student ride home on a friend’s bus?

Yes, but your student must bring a note giving parent permission to the main office first thing in the morning to receive a bus pass. All students need to show their student ID to the bus driver, have a bus pass and will need to pay for transportation.

How do I find out if there is school during severe weather conditions?

Please tune to your morning TV or radio news station. Please do not call the school, as this is not a school decision to open or close. The decision is made at the district level. Delayed start for Rock Canyon means opening ninety minutes later than usual (9:15 a.m.) This applies to bus stops as well. You can call the weather hotline at 303387-SNOW, or check the district web site. We are the North area in Highlands Ranch.

What happens if my student gets sick at school?

Students who are feeling ill should tell their teacher and then go to the health room in the main office. If students remains at school, they will be sent back to class after resting for 10 minutes. The maximum time that any student feeling ill can spend in the health room is 30 minutes. If students are not well enough to be in class, they need to call a parent and be picked up from school. Please keep your student home when they appear to be ill in the morning.

May my student have medication at school?

Yes, students may carry one day’s dosage medication with them. The medication must be in the original container. We do not have Tylenol or any other type of medicine at school.

Is there a phone that my student can use?

Yes, there is a guest phone in the front office. This phone may be used during office hours 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (3:15 p.m. Fridays.)

Please consult your student’s planner for more information on Rock Canyon’s policies!

Undergraduate and Masters from University of Puget Sound. BA in International Relations Foreign Language - Asia/Japan; Masters in Secondary Education. Rockwell has taught language arts, social studies, family consumer science, computers, and Japanese. She has taught in Washington, Virginia Beach, Kentucky and Colorado. She grew up in Hawaii, loves the outdoors and the mountains and beach. She has a passion for Asian and European cultures and contemporary issues. Rockwell has two daughters ages 7 and 12.

Weather Closure/Delay

If school has a delayed start due to weather, the delayed start this year will 1-1/2 hours (this is a change from a one hour delay.) The District will use the following methods to notify parents about weather-related school closures and schedule changes: • Local television and radio broadcasts, • District website, • District Weather Hotline: 303387-7669. More detailed information on weather related closures and delays can be found on the district website at:


Jaguar Academics

New Staff Mike Sullivan, Counselor

Creighton University BS in Psychology, University of Northern Colorado, MA in Counseling, University of Colorado, Denver - 30 credit hours in Spanish. Sullivan has worked 8 years as a High School Counseling- (the last 7 at DCHS.) He has taught science and math, was a Youth Minister for 6 years and worked with At-Risk Youth for 3 years. Sullivan lives in Highlands Ranch with his wife and two young boys. He looks forward to meeting the RCHS students and families. He is committed to assisting students in their current and future successes.

Cindy Powell, Science Physics, EES

Language Arts Speech and Debate

“I’m consistently awed by their ingenuity and adaptability. This semester was no different.” – English teach Karly Bloom commenting on her Creative Writing students.

Photos by Lauren Scheriman ‘12

Classroom Spotlight: Palpable Poetry

Illinois State University B.S. and M.S. (Biology Biochemistry) Powell worked as a Biochemist at Sigma Chemical Company, taught at Illinois State, Southern Illinois University, St. Louis Community College and Pikes Peak Community College. She has taught biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy & physiology. Her last position was at Hands On Labs designing experiments and writing lab manuals for universities. Powell likes to hike and throw pots (ceramics). She has two daughters in college and a son in the army.

it was a great day when ...

...... a student said, “We should dance.”

You see, I’d spent weeks trying to convince Jazz Choir that it would be a good idea to do some light dancing when they performed in front of the entire student body at the Pep Assembly. We’d spent hours perfecting the singing, watching videos of other choirs dancing, and practicing the dance, but I still had students holding out because they might be ridiculed. The day before the assembly, it was time to decide: dance or not? When my popular, football-playing tenor said, “We should dance,” I almost cried. Those words conveyed that they believed enough in themselves, choir, and what they were doing to take a risk. I knew in that moment that this choir will know no bounds and will be the best of my career thus far. ... As for the dancing? They were FABULOUS and nobody said anything remotely negative. I could not be more proud. – Julia Dale, Choir Director

Each semester, Karly Bloom challenges her Creative Writing students to make their poetry more tangible and interactive. They are assigned a “Broadside” project, where the only requirements are that the poem is their original work and that it is displayed in a creative way. I’m consistently awed by their ingenuity and adaptability. This semester was no different. One student wrote a poem about keeping score in life, where a person loses points for cracking her knuckles and even more for sneaking out of her house at night, but gains points for every laugh evoked and friendship maintained. The poem was displayed on a scoreboard, where the last few lines said, “I was much too busy living to be concerned with such a score / but sorry sir if I’m correct, I believe your board says three to four.” Another student wrote a poem called “If I Had a Monster” and displayed it on a monster that she stuffed and sewed together out of fabric. It is a non-threatening poem about what it would be like to have a monster to spend time with. The stuffed monster that she made is adorable and looks like it may leap off the shelf in our classroom. Another student’s poem contained the lines, “The flood of your tears and fire of broken mirrors, melts the tide flaming in my heart / Rip me apart / force me under / If I could pause and wonder, this curiosity would be my thunder.” She created an ocean and waves by using frosting and food coloring on a piece of cardboard. She took dolls’ arms, which emerged from the box, and each fist held up a stanza from her poem. There are so many talented students at Rock Canyon who are able to mold their ideas and their passion into something unspeakably powerful, and it is an absolute gift to witness these moments.

Performing Arts Band

Marching band has been working hard since the spring to prepare this years show, “The Music of Riverdance.” The band will play at home football games, area parades and several field show competitions in the metro area this fall. Jazz band had its first concert with the orchestra on Oct. 4. The bands, choirs and orchestras are planning a performance trip to Hawaii in the spring of 2013! As a reminder, we need interested students to turn in their enrollment forms to the directors ASAP. Each of the directors will take care of mailing the forms and the check to our travel company for you. Thank you for your support of Rock Canyon Performing Arts. We are excited and looking forward to a successful school year! – Joel Naegele, Band Director


The Choir department is looking forward to another great year! All of the choirs performed for the school during the Homecoming Assembly and received rave reviews from teachers and students alike! Our first concert, entitled, “What’s in a word?” was Oct. 5. All four choirs performed great works from different cultures and times focusing on the texts of the pieces. Jazz Choir will take their talents on the road, performing for the Castle Pines Home Owner’s Association meeting and for Clare Bridge Senior Home in the month of October. Women’s Select Choir will participate in the Castle View High School Women’s Choir Festival towards the end of the month. Our next concert, a multicultural look at the holiday season, is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. We hope to see you at one of our concerts soon! – Julia Dale, Choir Director

As part of Competitive Speech and Debate and the RCHS Debate Team, our school sent 10 delegates to the Douglas County Youth Congress in August, a one-day event that brings youth delegates (ages 13-19) together with elected officials and other policy makers. The primary outcome for the day was youth input on policy issues/ laws that affect them profoundly. Our youth delegates were paired with high-ranking staff members who will make sure that their recommendations get heard. Among the issues are delegates debated were: Rules on Participation in Sports & Other School-Related Activities: How much can school or employers govern what happens outside of school or work? • Bullying / Cyber bullying • School District Budget – YOU Make the Cuts • Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools • Truancy: Effective Responses. Some of the adult participants were: • Partnership of DC Gov’ts entities; all members of each entity invited • Douglas county Chiefs of Police & Sheriff • Douglas County staff (particularly those staff members who attend Partnership meetings) • State Legislators • Federal Legislators. The Douglas County Youth Initiatives goals for today were that adult leaders would leave with policy recommendations (collective, not individual) from youth delegates and that: • Youth delegates would leave with common-sense tools on how to advocate for their views with adults • Youth delegates would leave with concrete ways to influence policy that affects them • Influential adult attendees (policy makers) would leave prepared to solicit and include youth input into policy decisions • Youth & adults would be granted the opportunity for dialogue on important youth issues. As a speech and debate team we’re excited that kids got the chance to participate. We are also hosting our first speech and debate tournament at RCHS on Oct. 29 called the Great Pumpkin Tournament. It is a novice tournament, for first time speakers, and our varsity kids will have the opportunity to judge. Look for more information on this and much more under Activities/Speech and Debate on the RCHS Website. If you have any further questions, contact me, JoAnn Moran, Speech and Debate Coach at joann.moran@

Margins is BACK!

Rock Canyon High School’s annual literary magazine is back! Margins features our students’ written and visual creative accomplishments in a student-designed and professionally printed publication. Not only is this a great opportunity for our students and the community to come together through the creative arts, this is also a fantastic opportunity for students to learn professional publishing skills. Upon completion, we will submit our magazine to national scholarly press organizations for award consideration. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience in a creative, hands-on environment. Please consider supporting this year’s issue, as much of our success depends upon your contributions. Pick up a Copy: If you missed last year’s issue, students can still purchase copies from Ms. Moore in room 3800 for $10.00. Copies will also be available at Parent/Teacher Conferences. All sales directly support this year’s publication. Advertise With Us: Each advertisement is custom-designed to not only fit your company’s needs, but to also fit within the unique design themes of our publication. For more information, please contact us at Sponsor a Page: For your sponsorship, you will receive a complimentary copy of Margins, and you will be featured on the Sponsors’ Page of our magazine. You may sponsor as many pages as you would like, up to 100 pages, for $20 per page. Feel free to request specific page numbers when you send your sponsorship for pages 1 – 100. Please send your advertisement and sponsorship orders to Maurissa Moore at Rock Canyon High School, 5810 McArthur Ranch Road, Highlands Ranch, CO 80124. Make checks payable to Rock Canyon High School with Literary Magazine Advertisement or Literary Magazine Page Sponsorship in the memo. You may also send them to school with a student to Ms. Moore in room 3800. Thank you for your time, consideration, and support!

Jaguar Academics Science

Eric Schmit’s Aquatic Biology classes visited the Denver Aquarium on Sept. 1. Pictured above are sophomores Kailen Clark, Nick Nelson, Abby McCarty and Emily Mossberger . Photo by Eric Schmidt

Aquatic Biology

Aquatic Biology is a semester-long elective science course on the study of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Each student has the opportunity to tour the Denver Aquarium. At the aquarium students will dissect squid and view a “behind-the-scenes” tour. Back at school the students also dissect the bony fish [perch] and the cartilaginous dogfish shark. The most impressive internal feature of the shark is its large, oily liver which helps support its buoyancy along with large pectoral fins. Also, it’s a myth that ALL sharks must keep swimming in order to breathe as some species lie quietly on the bottom during the daytime, allowing the water currents to keep their gills irrigated. The deadliest neurotoxin in the world is said to come from the phylum Cnidaria [means stinging cells]. It’s a small animal called the “box jellyfish” [Class Cubazoa] and several stings to the torso may result in death within five minutes during the summer months off the northeast coast of Australia. Finally, this class offers a final project instead of the traditional paper-and-pencil final exam so if you want to skip the written final and experience an exciting and fun science class that will teach you about all the marine and freshwater animal phyla, take Aquatic Biology!

Earth, Environment & Space Science

This class is an activity-driven trip through the subjects of astronomy, earth science, weather and ecology. Students learn about how stars and planets were formed as well as more practical topics like the seasons, earthquakes, volcanoes and rocks. Earth Science and plate tectonics come alive and are made more relevant by discussing issues affecting water use in Douglas County as well as answering the question; where should you buy/build a house? This year a studentactivity project may follow this question. E.E.S. helps lay the groundwork for the scientific method and producing full lab write-ups. Students will also learn how to listen and take notes, an important and vital skill for more advanced science classes at Rock Canyon and college beyond. In the springtime Mr. Schmidt’s students design their own experiment, using radish seeds while changing one experimental abiotic [non-living] variable. They also do an energy town meeting, researching and presenting their “energy” use to the “town council” in each classroom, learning how renewable and non-renewable resources differ from each other. – Eric Schmidt, Science Teacher

Science has been off to a great start this year with our wonderful returning staff and two new teachers! We would like to introduce Danita Whelan and Cindy Powell. Danita joins us in the areas of Chemistry and Earth and Environmental Science. Cindy joins us teaching Physics and Earth and Environmental Science. We are very fortunate to add these two great teachers to our outstanding Science faculty! Each of our courses is focusing on lab design and data interpretation, as well as the content of the area. We hope our students will learn the beneficial lab skills of the specific courses they are taking and be better prepared for college and possibly lab careers. All Science courses at Rock Canyon are lab-based; therefore, students should gain skills in each that are geared toward a specific type of science. Our hope is that our students see the relevance of the labs and the career choices in the field of science. STEM is and has been for the last few years a buzz word in Science education. We feel that students at Rock Canyon are given a very strong foundation in the STEM content. We encourage students to follow the pathway of EES to Biology to Chemistry to Physics so that they may truly have a well-rounded science education. If students want to have more time to take AP sciences and elective science courses, they now start out in Honors Biology. In order to get their well-rounded science education, those Honor Biology students must take Astronomy and Geology. Each year many Rock Canyon students take multiple science courses as they assess their interests in the arena of science. We encourage them to expand their interests so that they may find a career path that suits them. If Engineering is their passion, they have many Chemistry, Physics and Engineering options. If Biology is where their interest lies, we have covered everything from the medical to the environment to animals and marine life. One of the most exciting areas we offer in the STEM sciences is Biotechnical Engineering. Not only does this class offer college credit but the opportunities for involvement in the leading science field today are discussed daily. In grant news, our Eco Club was awarded $1000 for placing motion-sensing lights in four bathrooms. In addition, last spring Mrs. Fordham was “granted” three different awards (for a total of $12,000) for equipment she could use to further her students understanding of real-world Biotech Engineering. Congratulations to both of you! Thank you for sending your wonderful students to Rock Canyon High School. We value their science education as much as you do! – Kristi Piccone, Department Chair


As the Colorado state standards are changing, the RCHS math department is putting forth a collective effort in order to adapt to the current curriculum to the new state standards. One of our goals is to make the transition as seamless as possible. The process entails sifting through pages of new standards, identifying where current curriculum gaps lie, and determining the most efficient (and effective) way to fill any gaps. The primary goal of the department is to make sure all of the students will not be slowed down in any way because of the new changes. The changes in curriculum will set students up for success in college, while also making sure that students are appropriately prepared for state assessments. This seemingly simple task proves to be much more challenging than it appears, but the department is collaborating to ensure that students have the skills necessary continue to perform at high levels on state assessments and in their future endeavors – Matt Peharda, Mathematics Teacher


New Staff Kristin Gibson, SPED, Moderate Needs

BS in Biomedical Sciences, Calvin College and from Grand Valley State University. Special Education Teaching Certificate from Metro State University. This is Gibson’s 6th year teaching Special Education. She has worked at Challenge to Excellence Charter School working with kindergartners to 8th grade special education students. Prior to teaching, she worked doing laboratory and clinical research looking at breast cancer prevention and different pharmaceutical studies. Gibson spends her summers on a private lake in Michigan with her two teenage daughters boating, skiing, tubing, and fishing. She also enjoy golfing, hiking, and snow skiing.

Manuel Gonzales, ITS Technician, Boys Tennis Coach

World Language

Rock Canyon is offering Chinese, French, and Spanish this year. Students have been busy getting settled in to classes and are off to a fantastic start. One of the best ways for students to memorize large amounts of vocabulary is by making good old-fashioned flash cards. Students can write English on one side of the card and their new language on the other side. They can study themselves or have a parent or friend quiz them. Another good flash card activity is to have students say each word aloud in the target language to practice speaking. A list of other good activities and websites to help students learn their new language is being provided at parent-teacher conferences. The list is also available on the RCHS website under World Language. Thanks for sending us such great kids! – Dayna Moore, Department Chair

Texas Tech UniversityBachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Master of Public Administration. Past work experience includes I.T. and Community Volunteer Manager for Head Start at South Plains Community Action Association, Student Counselor at Texas Tech University Upward Bound Programs, Instructional Technology Specialist at Oklahoma State Department of Education. Gonzales is a Certified United Stated Professional Tennis Association Pro. His two favorite things are technology and tennis, so he enjoys very much what he does at Rock Canyon!

World Language Department Takes Educational Tour to France and Spain

Sixteen Rock Canyon students visited France and Spain during the summer with World Language teachers, Erin Toews, Courtney Luedtke-Bacon, and Cate de la Garza. The trip began in Paris, France and ended in Madrid, Spain. The group traveled from Paris to Rocamadour (a charming French village in the countryside) and then traveled on to Biarritz (a city on the French west coast). After crossing the border into Spain, the group visited Pamplona (home of the Running of the Bulls), Barcelona (located on the Mediterranean Sea), and ended in Madrid (the capital). The students experienced authentic French and Spanish culture throughout the entire trip. They took advantage of the many opportunities to use their French and Spanish language skills in everyday situations. It was a wonderful experience for all involved and an experience none will forget.

Western States Honor Orchestra

Dominique Pataroque ‘13 and Ryan McGavin ‘12 have been accepted to participate in the Western States Honor Orchestra. They will be going to UNC on November 3 through 5 to work with some great guest conductors and play with some of the most talented string players in the state.

The students in the photo are: Back Row from left to right: Jack Martinuzzi, Jacqui Hemphill, Taylor Broschat, Ashley Poindexter, Chris Schneider, Rochelle Green, Adriana Collings, Katlyn Humbarger. Front Row from left to right: Danielle Swift, Abby Baroffio, Lauren Payne , Kayla Neil, Carly Lombard, Victoria Felderman, Cristina Bommarito, Camille Pfaff. Photo by Courtney Luedtke-Bacon

Literacy Connection

Welcome back to another great Rock Canyon school year! I want to be sure that you know that I have posted many Literacy Links under the Parent section of Rock Canyon’s web page. There are many helpful websites that you and your children can utilize to find teen reads and to help with a variety of academic tasks. Also, make sure your children take advantage of Wednesday morning Access time for extra

help and making up missing assignments and tests with individual teachers. There are also many tutoring opportunities for students here at school. Just ask the teacher of the subject for which your child needs extra help! And last but not least, use the school library and our media specialist Sharon Stevens, including her library webpage full of fabulous resources for students! Rock Canyon has a wealth of avenues that your students can take to achieve academic success. – Carol McFarland, Rock Canyon Literacy Specialist


Jaguar Academics, Activities

New Staff Kellie Hellam, SPED Resource Teacher

BA in elementary education and psychology from Loretto Heights College, a MA in elementary education from the University of Phoenix and special education coursework at Western State College. This is Hellman’s 4th year teaching Special Education. She has worked in Jefferson County and Sheridan School districts in elementary and middle school settings. She is also working at Redstone Elementary this year. A resident of Highlands Ranch, Hellman’s children attend ThunderRidge and Coyote Creek. She has lived in Colorado for over 40 years and considers herself a native.

Library / Media Center What if Google Doesn’t Know

Librarian says tapping into the “Hidden Web” can help students make the grade.

With the help of sites such as Google and, students have become savvy online searchers. But even the most agile Internet searchers find that some questions just don’t produce the right results, leaving them unable to adequately complete their assignments. Sharon Stevens, RCHS teacher/librarian, says the problem may not be that the answer isn’t out there, but that the usual search engines just can’t get at it. General search engines search what’s free on the Web, but often the most accurate, educational information resides in what insiders call the “Hidden Web”— password-protected subscription websites typically not open to Web search engines. “Free search engines are great for finding simple answers to simple questions, but when the answers really matter — like a student’s homework— teachers and librarians recommend using something more authoritative,” says Mrs. Stevens. “When you search the free Web you have no idea whether you’re getting accurate information or not.” By using the resources selected by the school and public library, students are consulting sources designed specifically for student research. “It’s like a grocery store versus a gas station’s food mart. You find the selection and quality doesn’t compare to the gas station’s convenience.” Using more authoritative resources doesn’t mean more work or paying extra, students just need to add the school library’s link to Da-

tabases by Subject Area website found online at com/a/ to the “Favorites” or “Bookmarks” list. The library makes these resources available free to every student and faculty at Rock Canyon. Once logged on, students can find information that can help with assignments and homework at any grade level, and access a wealth of resources. These resources are what teachers want and expect students to be using for assignments. Mrs. Stevens says a good way to remember to use this resources is to place the following user name and password information by home computers or scotch-tape the table over the information on page 23 in the RCHS student planner. – Sharon Stevens, Library Medial Center



Biography in Context Electric Library Culture Grams User Name: 93-63645 EBSCO Databases Password: bigchalk Facts on File Databases Global Issues In Context Issues & Controversies US Literature Resource Center Opposing Viewpoints in Context WorldBook

User Name: Your DCL card number Password: Last four digits of your phone number Example: User Name: 23025005316351 Password: 1234

George Piccone,

SPED, Educational Assistant

Lauren Wearsch ‘13 plays the roll of Rhoda Penmark and Morgan Hayes ‘12 plays the roll of Leroy in The Bad Seed, performed Sept. 29 - Oct. 1.


Bad Seed and On Borrowed Time Anchor October

University of Colorado with a degree in Biology. Piccone has worked in several different careers including the airline industry, the restaurant business, and real estate, but the majority of his life was spent in the fire/rescue business. He has a nationally recognized fire instructor certification, and was the dive rescue instructor for the fire department dive team, as well as an instructor for various other specialty fields including high angle rescue, confined space rescue, aircraft and vehicle extrication, and urban search and rescue. His interests are many and varied. He likes watching his nephew play in the NFL (Houston Texans), and all his other nieces and nephews play their various sports. He also reads a lot and has been accepted into the Masters Degree program by the Augustine Institute, and will begin classes in January.

A Club Fair was held in the gym during Access on Sept. 7. Thirty-five club and activity groups participated by setting up tables and giving information (and some treats) to RC students about their groups. Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

The production season for 2011-2012 officially began for drama with a rare event: a performance of the play, Bad Seed, by understudies to help celebrate the Homecoming festivities. Performances by the regular cast ran Sept. 29 - Oct. 1, and were a huge success! Simultaneously, Drama Club and Thespians prepared for a field trip to see To Kill A Mockingbird at the DCPA, built a float for the Homecoming parade, and registered for the 2012 Colorado State Thespian Conference, which will be held in Denver in December. To end the month of October, the advanced drama class will present a student-directed production of On Borrowed Time, a play about a family that wants to hold off the angel of death long enough for the granddaughter to grow up. While the theme is similar to shows such as Death Takes a Holiday and Meet Joe Black, this version is very warm-hearted and quite humorous at times. On Borrowed Time will be presented for FREE at 7 p.m. Oct. 27, and is open to the public. Drama Club is as busy as ever, with almost 75 members; 60 of them auditioned for the fall plays this semester. They also planned social events such as nights at Skate City and at Jump Street. Improv Club has grown this year, and while still planning another Improv Night in the spring as a benefit to charity, is also exploring opportunities to perform first semester, too. Two more auditions are planned this semester: those for the musical, Once Upon A Mattress, will be held the week after Thanksgiving, and those for the One Act Festival will be held the first week of December. – Cindy Baker, Drama Director

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department has gotten off to a great start with 3 new members, 2 with role changes, and 2 new classes. All of these changes have only added to the things that have helped make the Social Studies Department so successful. The three new members to the Social Studies department are: Emily Nault hails from Detroit and is in her first year of teaching and has definitely added her own unique style to the Social Studies Department. Often she is seen dressed up as a historic character, out making connections with every student she meets, or just yelling out exciting history facts. Katie Rockwell is a former middle school teacher in Douglas County, Mrs. Rockwell is excited about starting the high school teaching chapter of her career. Mrs. Rockwell brings a vast collection of extra teaching tools to the classroom, from Junior Achievement speakers/activities to educational IPod’s which she uses to be a 21st Century educator. Gina Landis is back to teaching after taking years off to raise her family. Mrs. Landis brings a creative side to teaching that helps inspire students to look at history in a whole new way. So far the students

Poster Design by sophomore Kinsey Riley.

have had the chance to explore the west, see the everlasting effects of Progressivism, and even dissect the Wizard of Oz to truly understand the impact of Populism. Mrs. Landis has already been dubbed the cheerleader of the department for the enthusiasm she brings to the classroom. This past year we said good bye to one of the departments founding members Darren Withey as he headed off to Legend High School to be closer to his home. We also saw the roles of two teachers change. Chris Page is now the Social Studies Department Chair. Lissa Staal has left the Social Studies Department and is now Dean of Instruction. The Department has also added two new classes, Pre Law and Leadership. The word around school is that these classes don’t just challenge the students academically but are also preparing the students for many future endeavors they may encounter. Overall Social Studies is still “the place to be” when it comes to getting involved, getting challenged academically, and really making a connection with your teachers! – Chris Page, Department Chair

Students decorated their Advise room doors during Homecoming week. The winning door was that of Julia Dale’s Advise, playing to the theme of “Celebrate the Glamour of the Grammys. Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

Jaguar Activities


New Staff

Lauren DeLay,

Language Arts, English 2, Study Skills

Students at Escuela Verde school in Uvita, Costa Rica are excited and a bit anxious as they enter their new school building which opened Aug. 1.

Key Club - The Escuela Verde Project

At the beginning of the year Principal Andy Abner named Escuela Verde Rock Canyon’s sister school. A team of eight students have the goal of raising $10,000-$15,000 for this bilingual school in Uvita, Costa Rica. The pancake breakfast at Applebees on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. will be the biggest event, and the entire team would love support from everyone in the community. The cost for the all-youcan-eat breakfast is $7 per person. Tickets can be purchased from Key Club members or in room 5300 at RCHS. Need a vacation? Eight beautiful vacation homes in Costa Rica and Colorado will be auctioned off at the pancake breakfast, along with themed baskets several advise classes have been assembling. Each purchase made will go directly to scholarships or curriculum for the students attending Escuela Verde. There will also be a “Giving Tree” during this time that allows families to donate money for specific items such as scholarships and supplies for the school. Buffalo Wild Wings will be holding an event to raise money for Escuela Verde all day on Friday, Nov. 4. Come enjoy wings and a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to Escuela Verde.

Yearbook Adviser Kristi Rathbun and students Carly Lombard ‘12, Karly Hanson ‘12, Julia Adams ‘12, Julia Henning ‘14, Sydney Boyle ‘12, and Nichelle Tesone ‘12 attended the Balfour Intensity Workshop in Sept.


Striving to strengthen the theme and design of Rock Canyon’s 2011-2012 Black & Gold yearbook, six members of the yearbook staff including five editors and one staffer went to Dallas, Texas Sept. 16-19 to participate in the Balfour Intensity Workshop. At the workshop, the editors and staffer had the opportunity to work with numerous professionals in the yearbook realm and also were able to tour the factory where Balfour Industries creates yearbooks and other published works. The team learned a lot and came back to Colorado with many new ideas and skills that they are now putting to use during 6th period.

Colorado University, Boulder, with a degree in English literature and a secondary teaching license. DeLay taught English 2, English 2 Honors and English 1 Honors last year at Douglas County High School. DeLay grew up splitting time between upstate New York and Colorado where she graduated from Douglas County High School.

Tess Rogers, SPED Educational Assistant, Head Volleyball Coach


Diversity Club

The Diversity Club took its first cultural excursion on Saturday, Sept. 16 to Los Cabos II, a Peruvian restaurant located in downtown Denver. This was a great way for the students to experience Peruvian cuisine and learn about Peruvian culture. Students tried a variety of traditional meals and learned that the typical cuisine of Peru has a Chinese, Incan, and Spanish influence. Several of the Spanish students involved in Diversity Club tried out their Spanish skills with the wait staff. Diversity Club plans cultural outings every other month and anyone who is interested in joining should talk to Mrs. Luedtke-Bacon.

In our journalism class, Mr. Ubowski, a student teacher from Metro State, is infusing 21st century skills into the classroom. Some of the 21st century technology that is being implemented is responsible social media use, blogging, publication design, photography, and the business of being on the web. His focus is centered on helping students achieve a positive digital citizenship through this education. By using a new student publications website,, created with the help of several newspaper staff members, the journalism students will create news stories, opinion pieces, and feature stories, all with photographs and/or videos, that are relevant to Rock Canyon and the community surrounding it. The site will launch in the beginning of October with a full recap of Homecoming activities, sports, and the dance.


The newspaper, The Rock, has published its first edition of the year with smashing success. The newspaper staff has renewed vision and vigor to provide the school with the best reporting, photography, and coverage possible. In addition to the monthly publication of the newspaper, staff members will also be adding content to the student publications website: – Kristi Rathbun, Adviser Our sponsor, Eric Schmidt, has been climbing since 1986 and instructing students how to climb since 1995. This club gathers parents and students for breakfast at an area restaurant on climbing Saturdays in order to arrange rides and meet everyone, including other adult volunteers. Parents often accompany their students and may provide rides for other students as well. The club provides all the necessary equipment, including ropes, shoes, helmets and harnesses. Students need only bring a lunch, sturdy shoes and rain gear along with their water and sunscreen. Student club membership is contingent upon the receipt of $30 for the annual fee, a permission/release of liability form and a Boy Scout Venturing application on file. Phone calls for climbing outings are usually made twice a month. There are never more than 8 students taken on an outing. Students do not have to attend each and every outing. Registration for new and returning students will take place in January. See you on the rocks! – Eric Schmidt, Sponsor

Watch RCTV The Outdoor Club climbed Mt. Sneffels on July 28. Pictured are Alex Cripe, Chris Segura ‘14, Ian Frazier ‘13 and Kevin McLoughlin ‘14 with sponsor Eric Schimdt.

Rock Canyon Outdoor Club

Rock Canyon Outdoor Club offers students the opportunity to hike and climb (outdoors only) from April through the end of October. The club is a cooperative venture between Rock Canyon High School and the Boy Scout Venturing organization, the latter providing insurance for its volunteer leaders and co-ed students between the ages of 14 and 21. This past summer four of our students climbed and made the summit on the more difficult route up Mt. Sneffels, one of Colorado’s classic “fourteeners” between Ouray and Telluride!


Clubs at RCHS are open to all students and are driven by student interests. A student initiated club can be started by completing a Club Charter form. This form must be completed annually to maintain the continuation of a club. The following clubs, have current charters.

Anime Club, Art Club, Ballroom Dancing, Biotechnology Training, Bowling Club, RC Canyon Campus Clean-up Crew, Chess Club, Chinese Club, Cupcake Club, Diversity Club, Drama Club, Duct Tape Club, Dumblendor’s Army, Eco Club, Equestrian Club, Fellowship of Christian Students, HAPPI Club, Inprov Club,

Rogers attended Colorado State University, Majoring in history with a teaching concentration in social Studies. Rogers has been played and coached volleyball professionally in Finland. She also helped in the classroom with English lessons. She has coached and taught classes at Lamar University.


Senior Connie Xu, has been named a Semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Connie is one of 228 Semifinalists in the state of Colorado. Connie now has the opportunity to advance to the Finalist level and compete for National Merit Scholarships. Congratulations to the Black and Gold yearbook for being named all Colorado by the Colorado High School Press Association. The book earned top honors in each of the five categories it was judged on. The students and adviser Kristi Rathbun will receive their official award at the State Journalism Convention being held Oct. 13 at Colorado State University. Intercultural Dance Club, Literary Magazine Club, Mathletes Club, Men’s Choir, Model Congress, Model Railroad, One Life, Outdoor Club, Photography Club,Rock Band, Ski and Board, Student Alliance, Unified Basketball & Soccer, Wiffle Ball, Young Democrats, Young Republicans, and ZALA.


Jaguar Athletics

New Staff Tom Brieske, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal

Sept. 24 the Jags defeated the Falcons in the Homecoming game played at DCHS Stadium. Left, AJ Cocetti ‘12 get his ankle taped. Photo by Lauren Scheirman ‘12

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden Bachelor of Arts in Education from Eastern Washington University, Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. Brieske has taught high school physical education and health in Montana and Colorado. He played baseball at Eastern Washington University and coached for eight years prior to entering administration. This is also his eighth year of high school administration. He and wife Lisa and have two daughters, Allie (7th grade at RHMS), and Emma (5th grade at Wildcat Mountain). In his spare time he enjoys watching his kids participate in sports, and loves to golf and ski.

The fall sports season is in full swing at Rock Canyon high school and winter sports are right around the corner. The first official day for winter practice is Friday, Nov. 11, so please make sure you have all paper work turned in to Lori Rommel prior to that day to make sure you are ready for try-outs. The sports offered at Rock Canyon during the winter season are boys and girls basketball, girls swimming and wrestling. The Douglas County School district has also started a CHSAA sanctioned ice hockey team this year that will be based out of Mountain Vista high school, but will be open for try-outs to all DCSD students. The winter “Meet the Coaches” night for parents will be Thursday, Nov. 17 in the RCHS cafeteria starting at 7:15 p.m.

Top 10 Reasons kids participate in high school athletics,

compiled by the UCLA Sports Psychology Lab: 1. To have fun 2. To improve my skills 3. To stay in shape 4. To do something I am good at 5. The excitement of the competition 6. To get exercise 7. To play as part of a team 8. The challenge of the competition 9. To learn new skills 10. To win

Boys Soccer

Rock Canyon Boys Soccer, once again had a tremendous turnout for tryouts with 76 young men, from which we formed three teams. I truly believe we have one of the deepest soccer programs in the state. So far this season the Varsity is 6-1-1, Junior Varsity is 7-1 and C-Level is 3-12. Things look very promising for this season as well as for the future, considering the Varsity squad has only 6 seniors. Jaguar Soccer has its sights set on winning the Continental League, making the playoffs and challenging for a State Championship. Good luck to all! – Sean Henning, Head Soccer Coach

Boys Golf

Congratulations to juniors Matt Dalton, Josh Gardella, and Andrew Romano for qualifying for the 2011 state golf tournament. They will represent Rock Canyon on Oct. 3. and 4 at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction. Also, congratulations to the Junior Varsity golf team. They secured their fourth Continental League Championship in a row at the Links Golf Course on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Garrett Waltermire ‘14 took 1st place overall with a score of 66, and Grant Adams ‘13 took 3rd place with a score of 69. The boys finished 6th at the State Tournament held Oct. 4. – Jason Dunkle, Head

2011 Spring Girls Golf

The 2011 girls Golf team took 3rd place at State, with Allie Johnston ‘12, placing 6th over all and 1st Team all League. The girls were 2nd in League as well.


The three poms teams are very busy! They enjoyed a fabulous homecoming week, as well as a successful Jr. Jags Pom & Cheer camp working with youth in the community teaching alongside the RCHS cheerleaders. Coming up are regional competitions as well as the League Championships, Freshman & JV Invitational & the Varsity State Championships. The Freshman poms team at RCHS is undefeated in their history as a team, and our JV team has won the JV Invitational for the last three seasons and aim to bring home a 4th title! The Varsity team has set their sights on being in the top three at State. Good luck to these hard working athletes as competition season approaches! GO JAGS! – Christina Leone, Head Coach

Jaguar Football The 2011 season is off to a good start for the Jaguars. Over one hundred players showed up on Aug. 15 ready to begin working hard and learning how to become a team. A team that represents themselves, Rock Canyon High School, their families and a great community. The varsity ventured out on the road to Montrose for their first of six away games. The Jaguars fell to the Indians 27 – 21 in a highly competitive game. The “Boys of Fall” rebounded nicely and improved their record to 3 – 1 with a victories over Dakota Ridge, Goldin and Falcon. The JV has an identical record through the first two games they have battled in. The freshman team is constantly improving and working hard to gel. That group just got their first “W” on Thursday Sept. 15 bring their record to 1 – 2. All the teams at Rock Canyon would love to see the public come out and support all levels of athletics at Rock Canyon HS. Please bring the family come watch the kids compete. – Tom Lynch, Head Coach


The 2011 Rock Canyon Softball team worked their 2nd Kidz Night Out. The team teaches foster kids how to catch, throw and play softball. The team showed the kids how to do drills, hit off the tee and actually play the game. Afterwords, the team had juice, cookies and played with the kids painting, drawing, playing trucks, and dancing. The team learned as much from the kids and the kids did from them. The team keeps the drawings the kids made in their dugout for luck! Currently the team is in 2nd place in the conference and looks forward to Regional’s and State on Oct. 21. – Deb Kortbawi, Head Coach

Katie Cook ‘12, was named maxpreps National Fastpitch Player of the Week for week ending Sept. 25. Top: Pitcher Katie Cook ‘12, winds up as third baseman Brooke Wakefield ‘13 looks on. Right: Alli McCloskey ‘13 waits for the pitch. The Jags played Wheat Ridge on Sept. 26. Softball photos by Jack Kennedy

Below: Varsity Cheerleaders on their float at the Sept. 23 Homecoming Parade. Photo by Todd Lytle.

Jaguar Athletics



2011 is a transition year for Rock Canyon Volleyball, but exciting nonetheless. New head coach Tess Rogers brings 4 plus years of professional volleyball experience to the Jags. Young inexperienced teams will be made up for in youth with energy and passion while laying the foundation of dedication for future Jag volleyball teams. Throughout the summer players have put many hours of training to help take this program to the next level. This season has contained many competitive memories for all players and we hope to make many more. – Tess Rogers, Head Coach

The Sophomore Volleyball team coached by Sue Young played Regis on Sept. 27. Above Sarah Butler ‘15, Megan Boyles ‘14 and Monica Grimm ‘14 work to return the ball. Photo by Jack Kennedy

Senior Jacob Dysart finished 2nd in the Rock Canyon Cross Country Invitational held Sept. 24. One hundred twenty boys from 18 teams competed. Photo by Eric Schmidt

sports preview

Boys and Girls Cross Country 2011

The 2011 Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams opened their season over the Labor Day weekend at the prestigious Pre-State Invitational in Aurora. The boys team captured the 5A team title led by Jake Dysart, Torin McCue, and Connor Johnston. The girls led by Haley Olcott and Megan Cooney garnered a 7th place finish. There were no official results from the JV races. The second week of the season saw the teams compete at the Centaurus Invite. The boys finished 3rd, while the girls placed 6th. The boys were led by Jake Dysart’s 1st place finish and the girls by Megan Cooney’s 6th place. The boys JV placed 2nd and the girls JV 5th. The JV teams were led by Steven Theodore and Char Jackman. At the “Invitation Only” Liberty Bell Invite, the boys, led by Jake Dysart’s 7th place and new school record of 15:59, placed 6th. The girls once again led by Haley Olcott and Megan Cooney placed 10th. The boys JV placed 2nd and the girls 8th. Char Jackman and Jacob Blackburn led the way for the JV squads. On Sept. 24, the Jags hosted their 3rd Annual Rock Canyon Invite. The boys placed 2nd while the girls finished 4th. Once again the boys were led by Jake Dysart’s 2nd place and Lucas West’s 10th place. Haley Olcott and Megan Cooney paced the girls. The JV boys were runners up for the 3rd consecutive week. EJ Katsoulas led the way for the boys, while Anna Martinuzzi paced the girls to a 4th place. – Dan Davies, Head Coach

Winter sports: Boys Basketball Wrestling

Girls Basketball Swimming

Spring sports: Boys Baseball Lacrosse Swimming Track and Field

Girls Golf Lacrosse Soccer Tennis Track and Field

Girls Basketball

The Girls Basketball team is gearing up for the winter season by hosting open gyms and playing in the Metro State Fall League. There are two teams playing, a Varsity and JV team. The Metro Schedule can be found on the girls basketball website. Expectations continue to rise for the program as a large number of players will be returning from the team that a year ago finished 16-9, the best record ever for the girls program. Rock Canyon has posted back to back winning seasons and will look forward to raising the program to new heights this upcoming season. The girls basketball team will continue to have open gyms until the season begins. Please check the RCHS Girls Basketball website for dates and times. The Preseason Camp will be Nov. 7 and 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the Gym. Tryouts will begin on Nov. 11. If you have any questions see Mr. Seaquist in room 4101 – Robbie Ballard, Head Coach

Girls Swimming

Conner Draper ‘12 warms-up before his match against Mountain Vista on Sept. 27. Photo by Jack Kennedy

Boys Tennis

The boys will be competing in the 5A Regional Tournament in Grand Junction, CO October 6 and 7. We had about 42 students sign up for tennis this year with 11 of those playing on the Varsity. We have a very young team with only 3 seniors leaving the Varsity team this year. – Manuel Gonzales, Head Coach


Rock Canyon is off to another great start with a ten point increase in the overall score compared to last year’s first meet. Look for more scores as the season progresses, and congratulate our gymnasts as they continue to advance as athletes and champions. Rock Canyon gymnasts are: Sarah McCarty, Madi Mucilli, Gabriela Rindfleisch, Rebecca Skalla, Kailey Epp, Ashley Hart, Sophia Benosman, Jordan Clark, Lia Cristadoro, Adrienne Gullia, Sydney Qui, Lindi Riley, Monica Sandoval, Rachel Teeter, Ali Stapleton, and Misty Thomas. – Kristi Price, Assistant Coach

We have an awesome meet schedule planned for the season along with some fun activities and opportunities to improve your swimmer’s technique. Our first official practice starts on Friday, Nov. 11. In addition, our Annual Rock Canyon Swimlabs Stroke Analysis afternoon will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 in 20 minute increments, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Swimlabs on Bronco’s Parkway. Swimmers will receive a personalized CD of their swimming and instruction. If you would like to participate, please email me at and let me know what time you would like to come in between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. so that I can start scheduling. It’s a great way to start the season! We are off to a fast start with our first 2 meets being home meets at Northridge Rec. Center. These are our only home meets of the entire season and include Ponderosa, Thursday, Dec. 1 and Regis, Tuesday, Dec. 6. In order to show our great Jaguar Pride and Spirit, we would love to have as many swimming and diving parent volunteers for these 2 meets as possible so they will run smoothly and efficiently! Information on volunteer opportunities for these meets as well as other fun events will be posted on our website! In addition, there will be a parent meeting in October where we will provide information regarding suit sizing and equipment orders. We have a lot to look forward to this season and hope your swimmers and divers are as excited as we are. GO JAGS! – Nicole Vanderpoel, Head Coach


Wrestlers Alex D’Agostino, Eli Fuschman, Kevin McLoughlin, Rob Monroe, Alek Peters and Connor Sullivan (to name a few) have been working through out the Spring and Summer. The Jaguar Coaching staff is looking forward to an exciting season following the Spring, Summer and Fall workout camps/sessions the wrestlers have participated in. In preparation for the upcoming season wrestlers and coaches are preparing through preseason workouts at the following times: • Mondays and Wednesdays, Conditioning Workouts @ 3:10 p.m., meet on the North-East corner of the track. • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Open Mat Technique Sessions from 6:15 - 7:30 p.m., meet in the Rock Canyon Wrestling Room. Information regarding the Jaguar Youth Wrestling (K-8) program will be available shortly on the website and through the elementary and middle school. Should you have any questions about the upcoming season, please contact Martin Castro. – Martin Castro, Head Coach

Boys Lacrosse

The RC Lacrosse Program just recently started its off-season training. This year, it is more structured and has clearer goals. The coaching staff is excited to see the player development and team unity that will be accomplished this fall and winter. There are some talented players starting to move up through the ranks. Thus, there will be some great competition to make the varsity squad. This season can possibly be one of the deepest squads RC has ever had. In addition, the lacrosse program continues to tighten and grow its relationship with the University of Denver Sport and Performance Psychology program. There are six coaches from that program on staff this year. Three of these coaches are sport and performance consultants (one for each squad). This is an absolutely great partnership that blossomed three years ago and has immensely aided our young men. And as always, we still require our studentathletes to maintain a higher GPA than CHSAA requires and have 20 hours of community service prior to the start of each spring season. As you can see, there is currently some great things going on in the lacrosse program. We plan on continuing to build the program and achieve new heights. We also hope to see you in the spring at our games and supporting us. Thank you to all of our fans and everyone who supports us. – Louis Golden, Head Coach


The 2012 RCHS baseball program will again be young this spring, continuing to grow under 2nd year coach John Cronican. As they did last year, the Jaguars will play a very competitive nonleague schedule, including a trip to Las Vegas for spring break. – John Cronican, Head Coach

Practice, Practice, Practice – for Everyone

Sports teams spend hours in practice before they play that first game, as well as scrimmaging and participating in preseason tournaments. This is also true for students of many activities such as marching band, newspaper and yearbook. While the teams were out in August working on their skills so were the students of Kristi Rathbun’s yearbook class. They were out in force, learning to how take those not so easy to take sports pictures, write captions and get quotes.

August 12 At practice Megan Bahr ’15 catches a softball Coach Sapienza hit to her. Varsity softball practices right after school from 3:30-6:00, and JV practices from 3:155:30. Photo by Krys Durman ‘14

August 12 At a preseason football practice Justin Sauer ’14 catches the football. At a preseason practice the football teams worked on tactics and set plays. “We work hard at practice and we prepare for the games well,” said Sauer. Photo by Maddie Jackson ‘13

August 15 Dillon Smart ’12 returns the tennis ball to his opponent at practice. “At practice the seniors lead the drills, but we all still work together. I like how well the team gets along at practice and at matches,” Smart ’12 said. Photo by Davis Livingston ‘13

August 16 Practicing for their homecoming assembly dance, the varsity Poms team learns how to dance together as one. Varsity Poms practice 4 times a week from 3:15-5:30 after school. Photo by Katie Lillard ‘12

August 18 Darcy Vogt ’15 stretches before cheering at practice Thursday after school. The JV cheer team practices every day after school except for Thursdays. During winter the cheer team competes in several competitions. Photo by Hannah Banks ‘12

August 27 John Rehl ’13 passes the ball off at a roundrobin tournament at Rock Canyon High School. Since the tournament was just for preseason the boys and the coaches on both teams were trusted to ref their own games. Playing together for the first time they all learned many things about each other. Photo by Katie Lillard

August 27 Taylor Thomason ’13 runs in the Dakota Ridge Cross Country Scrimmage on Saturday Aug. 27. “Cross Country is a good sport to keep me in shape even though it’s really hard. Running helps get things off my mind,” Thompson said. Photo by Sarah Rosenkrans ‘13

August 27 Rock Canyon’s varsity volleyball celebrates after a point during their pre-season tournament. “We improved a lot through the course of the day both individually and as a team,” Hahn said. Pictured are Lauren Hahn ’12, Erin Babilon ’13, Shelbi Odette ’13, McKenna Benson ’13 and Paige Mathieson ’14. Photo by Katie Lillard

August 31 Adrienne Guillia ’13 practices gymnastics at Encore Gymnastics Academy Wednesday after school. “I have been doing gymnastics since I was 4 years old. Gymnastics is addicting, I love preforming in front of people,” Guillia said. Photo by Sarah Rosenkrans

Rock Canyon High School October 2011 Issue of Canyon News Parent Newsletter  

October 2011 Issue of Canyon News Parent Newsletter