Elizabeth High principal reflects on school year

May 25 graduation ceremony will send 168 young people out into the world

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 5/20/19

As 168 seniors prepare for graduation on May 25 and their launch into the world of adulthood, Elizabeth High principal Bret McClendon took some time to reflect on the school year, and shared his …

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Elizabeth High principal reflects on school year

May 25 graduation ceremony will send 168 young people out into the world

Posted

As 168 seniors prepare for graduation on May 25 and their launch into the world of adulthood, Elizabeth High principal Bret McClendon took some time to reflect on the school year, and shared his thoughts about students and the achievements made at the school. He also spoke about the November passage of Ballot Issue 4A, a voter-approved mill levy override that will provide the Elizabeth School District with additional funding of up to $1.59 million per year.

What challenges have the school and students overcome this year?

“To be quite honest, it’s been a pretty traditional school year,” said McClendon. “I don’t think there’s been any particular challenges to overcome. We’re all cognizant of what’s going on in the world around us. These kids are learning how to navigate a little more socially challenging society.”

What are some accomplishments of the graduating class?

“I think on the whole, as a district, the passage of 4A was big for these kids. We had a lot of kids who were out actively campaigning and helping get the word out to get it passed. We had some great kids getting involved in their community and helping to better their education opportunities.”

How did the passing of 4A affect the students?

“The impact will mainly be felt next year and moving forward, but this year it did help us as far as hiring new teachers to the building and the district; we’ve been able to offer more attractive salaries than in the past. It has also allowed for more technology in the classroom, and next year we will be sharing a school resource officer with Elizabeth Middle School.”

How did special programs, sports and the new coding program fare?

“Across the board, we have some juniors and seniors who were the first to be exposed to our first coding program. They’re incredible kids, and I’ve had an opportunity to play a couple of the games the kids have created and they’re really something else. This is the first year for the coding program and we were fortunate to have the opportunity and get some training for the teachers, and were able to put it to use. We had a good number of students involved in the program.

“Our theater arts department once again had multiple seniors that were award winners and participated in state-level competitions. This was an excellent class for that. It’s a challenge and we’ve had some really great seniors in this class that have been real leaders this year.

“We also had our first individual state wrestling champion in a few years, and as a team the most number of wrestlers we’ve had go to the state tournament. Track and field is sending several students to state competition, with potential to have multiple state champions, especially in our heavy senior class.”

What will you tell seniors at the graduation?

“I’ll probably emphasize the need for them to vote and educate themselves on issues surrounding them, and to continue working together as we move forward. Their education was a team effort, we have a great staff and they work really hard to see that these kids get the education they need for whatever endeavor they take on when they leave.”

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