STEM Earns Sixth-Consecutive John Irwin Excellence Award

2022 John Irwin Award

We’re excited to share that STEM School Highlands Ranch has once again earned the prestigious Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.

Click here to view more information on the School Performance Framework in SchoolView.

The Excellence Awards are named for a true friend and visionary of education, former Colorado State Representative John J. Irwin. This is STEM’s sixth consecutive John J. Irwin Award. (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022)

John Irwin Biography

John Irwin was born in Kansas in 1926 and went on to earn a chemical engineering degree from the University of Kansas. He continued his education at Harvard where he earned an MBA. In 1971, the Irwin family moved to Colorado where John continued his career at Kodak’s new plant in Windsor.

After a long and successful career at Kodak, he retired and successfully ran for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, serving three terms. John Irwin served on the state accountability committee, the House Education committee and was the 1992 co-sponsor of a charter school bill, with then Senator Bill Owens, that did not at that time become law. After the untimely death of John Irwin, the bill was carried with bi-partisan support the following year by then-Senator Bill Owens and Representative Peggy Kerns. John Irwin was a true charter school visionary and pioneer, as the law when finally adopted, was only the third such law in the nation. Irwin believed strongly in parental involvement in education and empowering self-governing schools. Irwin loved learning and believed reading was the basis of a solid education. Having benefited from a solid education himself, John worked tirelessly to make sure every child in every part of this state received a high-quality education.

During all of the years Rep. Irwin served Colorado in the legislature, education was his passion. In his final year, in addition to co-sponsoring the precursor to the Charter School Act, John Irwin also sponsored legislation creating the Excellent Schools Program, which through subsequent legislation evolved into the Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards program.

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