These Rock Canyon High School graduates from CPN are ready to take on the world. Back row: Chad Sprath, John Sievers, Matt Mundwiller, Sean Byrne, Johnny Musso and Nate Cook. Front Row: Brad Porter, Amanda Yourick, Sarah Branson, Kelsey Fischer and Nate King. (photo by Elean Gersack)
by Elean Gersack, with contributions by Lisa Crockett
Friday, May 25, 2007, was a momentous day for Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) and the seniors from Castle Pines North. The 210 seniors officially received diplomas as the first graduating class from the high school.
In the spring of 2003, Dan McMinimee, RCHS principal - and a core group of staff and teachers - met with then eighth graders from Cresthill Middle School, Castle Rock Middle School and Academy Charter School. The group began to create what is now the culture and vision of the school.
The following fall, those eighth graders started their freshmen year at RCHS utilizing the Rocky Heights Middle School building. In the fall of 2004, RCHS officially opened its doors with those students (sophomores) and freshmen. Rock Canyon is the high school for the entire Castle Pines North community. Before Rock Canyon was built, students had to attend Douglas County High School in Castle Rock.
“I know these kids more intimately because we started this school together. I’m really excited about what we have accomplished and about being able to watch these kids follow their dreams,” said McMinimee.
mixed feelings about graduating. “I’ve been involved in the school from the very start. We (the student council) were allowed to submit ideas for school colors and the name of the school. I loved high school and I can honestly say I have only good memories of my experiences here,” said Eggett.
Prior to the ceremony, a senior banquet and a senior awards night were held at the school on May 18 and May 21, respectively. The banquet, organized entirely by the student council, was themed “Remembrances and Memories” and students received “Most Likely To…” awards. At the awards night, the theme was “Recognition of Accomplishments” and seniors were awarded for academic, athletic and activities success.
Seniors voted for staff and teachers who impacted them the most over the years. The top three were selected to speak at the graduation events: Kristi Piccone, Science teacher, spoke at the banquet, Greg Doan, assistant principal spoke at awards night and Jack Kennedy, Language Arts and Journalism teacher spoke at the ceremony. Eight others were asked to read student names as they received diplomas during the ceremony.
On the day of the ceremony, 20 valedictorians (4.0 or greater G.P.A.) walked across the stage at Shea Stadium, along with all of the other graduates - including XX honors and XX high honors students, to receive their diplomas.
Science teacher, Kristi Piccone will miss her students. “I love the subject I teach, but what keeps me teaching is my interaction with students. It’s going to be really strange to come to school next year and not see all the seniors who are graduating. It’s been very rewarding being their teacher,” said Piccone.
“My time at RCHS has gotten me ready for life -- I know I’ll be ready for what comes next because of what I’ve learned here,” said Eggett. Eggett plans to attend CU Boulder in the fall and then pursue dental school.
In the end, it was a time to celebrate and move forward. “We’ve provided the spark so these kids can go on to do great things,” said McMinimee.
Congratulations to the 2007 Senior class of Rock Canyon High School!