Sharing Our Good News (04/09/21)


Beccan Gruenberg Chosen as Student Representative for DCSD Superintendent Search

Congratulations to STEM junior Beccan Gruenberg on being selected as a student representative to take part in the DCSD Superintendent Search process. Beccan will be one of 17 students taking part in the panel. The Student Panel will interview the finalists on Tuesday, April 13 from 5-9 p.m. Students will participate via zoom

Beccan Gruenberg

Gitanjali Rao receives Good Deed Award from American Legion Auxiliary

Gitanjali Rao, the Lone Tree teen who was named TIME Magazine’s 2020 Kid of the Year, recently received a Youth Hero and Good Deed Award from the Highlands Ranch American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1260.

Out of 5,000 American youth between the ages of 8 and 16 who were nominated, Rao was one of five finalists, and later selected as the winner. The 15-year-old was recognized for her work in tackling issues such as contaminated drinking water, opioid addiction and cyberbullying. In the December cover article, Rao discussed her dedication to create a global community of young innovators to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Click the button below to read the rest of the article.

FBLA Quarterly Newsletter Features STEM School Highlands Ranch

The latest edition of the Future Business Leaders of America Quarterly Newsletter is out and it features STEM School Highlands Ranch. Congrats to Mrs Allison Doe and her amazing students for their commitment to STEM and our business courses.

Two STEM Students Win Destination Imagination Colorado State Tournament in Two Categories

Two of your students, Sachin Joseph and Syna Joseph, have won the Destination Imagination Colorado State Tournament in TWO categories: Technical and Fine Arts. Here are the details:

Link to the scores:

  1. In Technical, the team won First Place AND a Renaissance Award.
  2. In Fine Arts, the team won First Place AND another Renaissance Award.
  3. The team also won the Magellan Award for solving all six challenge types over a DI career.

Here is the text from the two Renaissance Awards:


The wow factor of this video game performance was extraordinary. From multiple cameras to dual green screens to a real rope bridge leading to a real castle. This team constructed a full-size scissor lift for a single scene. There were hands filled with flames and a story filled with betrayal and revenge. Couple all this with the remarkable skill of post-production editing. This team literally took their challenge to the next level. We proudly salute the Decodables from Highlands Ranch High School and STEM School.

Fine Arts

Achievement Unlocked! This team successfully solved the challenge using a variety of special skills including painting, sewing, programming, construction, engineering and video editing. They combined them all to earn a ton of XP and advance to the boss level. You’ve heard about this team before. They received a Renaissance Award in a different challenge. The same solution qualified for both. They are the Decodables from Highlands Ranch High School and STEM School.

Here is a description of the Renaissance Award:

1. The Award: On our journey we sometimes encounter exceptional travelers who entertain and enlighten us along the way. The Renaissance Award recognizes those among us who demonstrate extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation in their solutions or outstanding skill in engineering, design, or performance. While the destination is creativity, these fellow travelers make the journey itself memorable.

2. Criteria: This award is given for outstanding skill in the areas of design, engineering, execution, or performance.

Here is a description of the Magellan Award:

This award recognizes those students who, over the years, have completed solutions to challenges in each of the 6 competitive categories. Named after Ferdinand Magellan, who is famous for circumnavigating the globe, it reflects an individual student’s efforts to travel to all of the Destinations in DI.

Two STEM Students Win DCPA's Playwriting Competition

Now in its eighth year, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Education Department is pleased to announce six winning plays as part of its AT&T High School Playwriting Competition, two of which are STEM students (Sam Routzon, Nichole Estevez Tosi).

In 2013, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Education team launched a high school playwriting program to nurture Colorado’s young writers, cultivate theatre artists and audiences, develop new plays, and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwrighting.  Since its inception, the workshops and competition have impacted more than 25,000 students.

Due to its growing popularity, it was expanded to middle school students in the fall of 2020. The program offers free playwriting workshops and professional review of all one-act play submissions. All six winning plays will be included in the 2021 Playwriting Anthology. Additionally, the three winning High School playwrights will receive a $250 cash prize, the opportunity to develop their script with a professional director and dramaturg, and have a reading of their play streamed live. Finally, each of the playwright’s teachers will receive $250 toward the purchase of books or tools for their classrooms.

This year, the DCPA received 129 total submissions — 75 from high school students and 54 from middle school students. After careful review by a panel of artistic, literary and education professionals, DCPA Education is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 AT&T High School Playwrighting Competition:


One Last Present

bu Conrad Branch, Sophomore: East High School

A long-distant daughter returns to her father’s factory with a request for her dying child. A family drama-edy celebrating the magic and mayhem of Santa’s workshop.

Bird of Paradise

by Marina Leo, Junior: Denver School of the Arts

Within a swimming pool on a large estate, a seed salesman and the estate owner’s daughter strive for connection in this Absurdist romance.

The Bathroom Love Potion

by Ruthie McBride, Junior: Salida High School

Witchcraft makes mayhem in this high school comedy.


Will You Come to My Wedding

by Greta Bellamy | Girls Athletic Leadership Schools (GALS)

With hopes that she will join them in celebrating their wedding, granddaughter, Chloe, and her partner, Lia, extend what may be a difficult invitation for grandmother, Barbara, to accept in this family drama-edy. 

Silver Storm

by Sam Routzon | STEM School Highlands Ranch

As a winter storm whips around them, a grandmother shares memories of her husband with her grandchild. This warm drama explores the lasting pain of Alzheimer’s loss with the hopefulness that comes from remembrance.

The New Kids

by Elyse Prestopnik | Flagstaff Academy and Sarah Zhou | Summit Middle School

Middle school students (and brother and sister), Elmer and Evelyn, work together to navigate a new school in this comedy of sibling bond and sense of self.

Seven other plays rounded out the top 10 finalists, which were previously announced, including:

Ardor & Angst

by Windrem Smith, Junior | Fossil Ridge High School

The Body

by Nichole Estevez Tosi, Freshman | STEM Highlands Ranch

Chelsea in the Sky with Janet

by Loriana Cassidy / Senior, Ellie Rodak / Senior and Hannah Frost / Senior | Salida High School

Crust and Sugar Over

by Vander Ritchie, Junior | Salida High School


by Korben Davis, Sophomore | Estes Park High School

May 17th

by Piper Ruth, Senior | Valor Christian High School

 Of Life and Death

by Elliot Harmony Hales, Junior | Salida High School

After development and rehearsal with professional actors and DCPA Teaching Artists, the reading of the three High School winning plays will be live streamed from the Seawell Ballroom on Saturday, May 1 at 2 p.m. Additionally, the live stream link will be shared with each of the winning playwrights’ schools to share with their school community. 

The DCPA’s High School Playwriting Competition is made possible by the generous support of title sponsor AT&T, The Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation, and Transamerica.

Comments are closed.