School Notes

Posted 9/10/10

Ranch student completes Cosmosphere program Connor Murphy, of Highlands Ranch, son of John Murphy and the late Deborah Murphy, graduated from the …

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School Notes


Ranch student completes Cosmosphere program

Connor Murphy, of Highlands Ranch, son of John Murphy and the late Deborah Murphy, graduated from the Investigate Space: Mars Academy program July 18 at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Murphy will be in fifth grade at Copper Mesa Elementary this fall.

Mars Academy is a three-day residential camp for students entering grades 5-6. Developed by Cosmosphere staff, the Mars Academy program introduces campers to space science, while also emphasizing teamwork and problem solving in a fact-paced learning environment.

As part of the program, Mars Academy campers learn the geology, climate, and conditions that exist on the Red Planet. Campers also launch air-powered rockets and guide a student-programmed robot around an obstacle course. The camp culminates in a simulated robotic mission to Mars. Each team creates a mission patch before their simulated journey. Visit

Milam earns bachelor’s from Western Governors

Darlene Milam, of Highlands Ranch, received her bachelor of science degree from Western Governors University (, an online, nonprofit university. The school awarded degrees to more than 1,275 graduates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as many who are stationed overseas on military assignments. This is the largest graduating class to date, with 714 undergraduate and 565 graduate degrees awarded.

Behrens earns degree from Coe College

Cass Behrens, of Highlands Ranch, earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration with a minor in economics at Coe College. Behrens is the son Richard and Cheryl Behrens.

Highlands Ranch teacher earns Boettcher award

Highlands Ranch High School social studies teacher Gayle Heckman received the Teacher Recognition Award at the 2010 Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Awards Program earlier this month.

Heckman was nominated by 2010 Boettcher Scholar Carly Barnard, who wanted to recognize Heckman as a teacher who has made significant contribution to her growth and education and as a person of influence who has impacted her life.

In addition to a recognition plaque, Heckman also received a $1,000 grant to use toward a special program or project at her school.

Jazz club looks for sax player for Youth All Stars

The Denver Jazz Club’s Youth All Stars needs a tenor sax player. Any high school student in the Denver metro area can audition from 6:15-8:45 p.m. Sundays at Flesher-Hinton Music Store, 3936 Tennyson St., in Denver. Intermediate jazz experience is preferred. The Denver Jazz Club Youth All Stars schedule performances that do not conflict with school activities.

E-mail or call 303-328-7277. The Youth All Stars was created in October 2009 by retired public school music educator Ed Cannava. The All Stars perform during breaks of the professional bands at each Denver Jazz Club monthly session.

Lian makes the grade at Azusa Pacific

Highlands Ranch resident Madison Lian, an art major, made the academic dean’s list at Azusa Pacific University.

Ida earns a bachelor’s degree

Highlands Ranch’s Kelsey Ann Ida earned a bachelor of arts with high distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Stiverson graduates from Trinity University

Jillian Stiverson, of Highlands Ranch, graduated cum laude from Trinity University with a bachelor of arts.

Livingston completes degree at Northern Colorado

Caitlin Livingston, of Highlands Ranch, graduated in August from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology, with a minor in communications. Livingston was a 2006 graduate of Mountain Vista High School.

Leadership alumni collect school supplies, money

The Giving Tree, a project of Leadership Douglas County Alumni, collected $14,867 in school supplies and $3,260 in cash donations during its drive in July and August. Partners for the drive were Douglas County Libraries, Safeway, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Sky Ridge Medical Center, California Cafe, Pasquini's Pizzeria, Go Putt! Miniature Golf, UBS Financial Services and a team working with The Meadows in Castle Rock.

The donations went to the offices of the Douglas County Educational Foundation to fill requests from families in need. To request supplies for your student, go to education/dept/dept.php? sectionid=15297, click on Fill the Gap and then on the Kids Helping Kids school supply request form.

Highlands Ranch teacher presents at conference

Susan Elliott, a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Highlands Ranch High School, presented at the 2010 Teachers Network Teacher's Conference, Sept. 6-7 in Singapore. Elliott presented "Top Teachers Overseas" and two breakout sessions geared toward educators. After the conference, she toured deaf schools then met with politicians, parents of deaf students and deaf community leaders as part of her Educational Tour.

Corrigan makes dean’s list at Univ. of Montana

The University of Montana named Elizabeth Corrigan of Highlands Ranch to the spring 2010 dean’s list.

Brown earns chemistry degree from Fort Hays

Cristopher Edwin Brown, of Highlands Ranch, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Fort Hays State University.


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