Bringing new experience to Heritage

Hailing from the consistently sunny and warm Miami, Florida, a new teacher has trecked to tumultuous Colorado to serve as a teacher at Heritage High School.

Ms. Nicole Tarullo has taken up the position of teaching Algebra I, Algebra Support and Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus this 2014-2015 school year.

Ms. Tarullo incorporates technology into her lessons while teaching her Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus class.

Ms. Tarullo incorporates technology into her lessons while teaching her Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus class.

“Heritage chose me,” Tarullo says. “I knew it was a good school and area.”

Offering a technology influenced approach to teaching, Tarullo merges her experience in the young and rapidly expanding Miami environment with the established, nature-oriented Littleton scene.

“I am looking forward to learning a lot from her experience as a teacher in Florida and her skill in technology,” says Ms. Addie Wade, a fellow math teacher at Heritage.

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Lynch returns to Heritage

A familiar face to the halls of Heritage is returning to her post this school year and her first year back has a lot of excitement in store.

Ms. Penny Lynch has come back to Heritage High School after working at the school for six years, and leaving for a nine-year recess to be a stay-at-home mom and for her three children.

Ms. Lynch jumps back into teaching with her Honors Geometry class during the first week of school.

Ms. Lynch jumps back into teaching with her Honors Geometry class during the early weeks of school.

“My youngest is now in kindergarten, so I chose to work here because I already knew it was the best school,” says Lynch.

She fills the role as an Honors Geometry and Algebra II instructor, and she is very excited to get back into teaching at Heritage.

“She brings a lot of new vitality and enthusiasm to the math department,” says Ms. Abbie Wade, a fellow math teacher.

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Supporting students

This 2014-2015 school year is witness to a multitude of new faculty members joining the Heritage High School community, but one face stands out from the rest.

Ms. Deborah Grace is this new face. She has taken up the important role of supporting Heritage students as a part-time school psychologist. Grace also meets with the students personally to help them achieve in academics.

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Ms. Grace aids students in their learning and finds ways for them to succeed in high school and their future lives.

While she is new to the school, Grace is no stranger to the Littleton Public Schools district.

“I did my practicum at Ames and Field Elementary and this is my community. I’ve always wanted to work in this school district,” says Grace.

What sealed the deal on Heritage was its sense of community, and both parents and students do their part to contribute to this.

“My daughter went to the Junior Bells camp and the parents and girls were all very nice and made it feel like a community,” says Grace.

Grace is now a part of the Heritage community and enriches its members with her support and desire to help.

“It’s a new opportunity for Heritage. Creating a team is a cool opportunity because there was always only one psychologist, and now we can share opportunities to work with kids,” says Ms. Carla Cde-Baca, another school psychologist at Heritage.

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Heritage Cross Country hits the ground running

Eagle Cross Country was off to a speedy start with the first race of the season, the Pre-State Cross Country meet, also called the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede, held on Thursday, August 22.

The meet took place in Colorado Springs at Bear Creek Park, on the same course where the State Championship meet will be held later in the season. The five kilometer course was true to the spirit of cross country, run on dirt trails with two water crossings and an ascent of a devilishly steep hill.

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Heritage runners crest the top of a hill on the Pre-State cross country course.

“It’s a challenging course,” says Chris Pohs ‘15, a varsity runner and team captain.

The terrain surprised several of the freshmen and sophomores at the meet, some of whom had never run a high school cross country race before.

“It was tougher than I thought,” comments Katie Gage ‘18.

“The hill was worse than everyone said, but all the cheering motivated me to keep going,” agrees Sofia Uhlig ‘18.

The meet was an opportunity for the runners to familiarize themselves with this course in preparation for state, as well as to test their competition and see how their summer training has paid off. There were fourteen teams in the boys’ race and thirteen in the girls’ race, with the toughest competition coming from Grandview, Smoky Hill, Regis Jesuit and Pomona High Schools.

Twenty-eight Heritage athletes raced at the meet, consisting of the Varsity and JV teams for boys and girls. HHS teams placed exceptionally well, with the Boys Varsity, Boys JV, and Girls JV all winning their respective categories. Heritage also had several runners place in the top ten of their races.

Boys head coach Brian Runyon was pleased with the results, noting the improvement in his team as compared to the previous season, which he attributed to the rigorous summer training of his athletes.

Commenting on his goals for the season, Runyon emphasizes that he wants the team to have fun. However, he also anticipates strong performances at upcoming meets.

“All of our training is designed around succeeding at League, Regionals and State,” he says.

Heritage XC has several weeks of races and training before those final competitions, and the runners are excited for what lies ahead. Upcoming meets include the Cherry Creek Invitational on Friday, September 5 and the Liberty Bell Invitational, Heritage’s home meet, on Friday, September 12.

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Football in Florida

Football Story Picture-Morgan Smith

The Football team stretches in preparation for their practice.

After coming back from Florida, the Heritage football team is ready for this season.

Although the boys lost, they gained a lot from the experience. Coaches Tyler Knoblock and Justin Byleveld see that the team can really work together. With a team that can work together on and off the field, the football players are a close knit family that plays for not only Heritage, but for each other.

“I liked how we responded to adversity,” says Byleveld, the outside linebacker coach.

Playing a team that was at a higher playing level helped show the team and the coaches their strengths and weaknesses, which they can learn from and use later in the season.

“We bonded in the second half,” says Jared Leonard ’15, a wide receiver on the team.

Knoblock sees the boys having a bright season in the future. They are making plays and the staff and players will continue to click into place.

“We sit down and look at the film and they realize how close they are,” says Knoblock.

This team has been training and is ready to be competitive this season. They have seen their challenges in Florida, and they are ready to address them and get better throughout the season.

“I really want to beat Arapahoe this year,” says Frank Umu ’15, a defensive tackle on the team.

“Once we all start working together, we are a tough team to beat. I’m looking forward to the next couple of games and eventually the play-offs,” says Keith Heimbrock ’15, a corner back on the team.

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Cheering for Heritage

Cheer Stroy Picture-Morgan Smith

Coach DeMarco demonstrates a backflip to a member of the Cheer team.

The new cheer coach, Mr. Vincent DeMarco, is not only new to Heritage, but he is also new to Colorado.

DeMarco says that the hardest thing is getting used to Denver. He came from Alabama, where cheerleading is a little bit bigger than it is in Colorado, but he is ready to take on the challenge. This year’s focus is on game cheering rather than competition.

“The cheers will focus on supporting the other teams first,” says DeMarco.

DeMarco’s favorite part about coaching is the structure and the challenge to always get better. The goal is to always be improving.

Highlights for the cheers this year include competing, succeeding, having a new coach and cheering at football games.

“I’m looking forward to the new coach because of the new style,” says Lucy Passaglia ’16.

The girls like that DeMarco is very enthusiastic about cheerleading; he has a passion for it. He sticks to his word and is more organized. When he came to coach he knew exactly what he wanted to do and he stood by his plan despite other opinions .

“He is more involved and more experienced,” states Enya Testard ’15.

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STEAM exposes careers students may be overlooking

While most classes at Heritage cover only the basic information, the STEAM program, which took place over the summer, takes a different approach.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

“It’s basically a way to classify programs, careers, courses of study that promote those areas,” says Mrs. Maureen Stewart,  a counselor at Heritage. “I proposed to any staff member interested if they wanted to be part of planning a STEAM summer program for any interested high school student.”

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Students participate in a DNA lab during the STEAM program held this past summer.

STEAM took place from July 28 to July 30, and over the course of four days, students participated in various activities, including a field trip to CU Boulder where students met with researchers and professors, a hands-on crime lab activity courtesy of the Littleton Police Department, a visit from a prosthetic specialist where students were able to glance at the biomedical field and a lecture on the various functions of satellites.

“The students were divided up into teams and they built small satellites out of soda cans,” says Mr. Kevin Keena, videographer and marketing director for the Heritage STEAM program. “The goal was to launch the Satellites with weather balloons but that didn’t happen because of bad weather.”

“Regarding future plans for STEAM, we are hoping to make it an annual institute”, remarks Mrs. Jami DeVries, an English teacher who helps plan the program. “We are already talking about what we are going to plan for next year.”

Students have the opportunity to participate in planning next year’s program and should contact Mrs. Stewart in the Counseling Office if they are interested.

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Amidon eager to be a Heritage Eagle

With school back in session, there’s been a new face around the halls.

Mrs. Nicole Amidon is a new Heritage Eagle working as an Assistant Principal and school psychologist. Amidon has mostly worked with high school kids, teaching for ten years and being in administration for another ten. She first got involved in education because she loved teaching English, working with kids and helping them succeed. “At the heart of it, it’s really about helping kids,” says Amidon.

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Amidon is eager to be a Heritage Eagle!

Amidon’s goal for students this year is to help them succeed in their education, which hopefully is their goal too. As a new staff member, she eagerly anticipates meeting the students and staff. During her twenty years in education, Amidon has been inspired by the passion of students. “If I can leave kids with a sense of who they are and how they fit into the world, that’s ultimately the most important thing,” says Amidon. “Mrs. Amidon will be a wonderful asset to our school,” says Ms. Kerry Ficklin, the secretary to the Assistant Principals.

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Expanding leadership qualities in the Continental League

Over 380 students gathered at the Denver East Church on August 29 for the 2014 Shakin’ Up Leadership Conference hosted by Heritage High School. All 13 high schools in the Continental League attended with hopes of learning how to improve their school’s leadership.

Planning started in April of 2014 in the Student Government leadership class at Heritage High School. Students in Student Government prepared to plan and execute a leadership conference that would both help and benefit students from all aspects of the 13 high schools, from sports to Student Government.

Students spent the day listening to speakers, attending workshops and learning how to beneficially lead different groups in their school. Attendees were nominated and selected from sports coaches, teachers, administrators and student government sponsors that are highly involved in athletics and activities.

“Heritage wanted to make the conference more leadership based than just Student Government activity based. We wanted to make it a whole school thing versus a student government thing,” says Mrs. Kristen Brethauer, social studies teacher and Student Government sponsor at Heritage.

The speakers’ organizations included Dan Dietz from the Danny Dietz foundation, Charlene Moser from Lynda’s Legacy and Dr. James Jackson and Dr. Anna Marie Jackson from Project Cure. Other speakers included Amanda Hurley about leaving a positive digital media, Senator Linda Newell about the fact that a title doesn’t guarantee a successful leadership and Steve Spangler with how science relates to leadership.

The keynote at the Continental League Conference was national speaker Phil Boyte. Traveling all over the United States, Boyte speaks about students making an impact in every activity and on every person they talk to.

“I want people to realize that they do make a difference. In whatever way that is, people do make a difference,” says Boyte.

In the afternoon, students were able to split up from their schools and visit different speakers, including Boyte. In Boyte’s mini workshop, he spoke about how to manage a crazy life through high school. By avoiding six-second decisions, thinking ahead and taking a second to compose yourself and breathe, Boyte believes students in high school can survive.

Phil Boyte speaks to a variety of students that are involved in sports and activities from the 13 high schools . Boyte speaks about managing a crazy life in high school.

Phil Boyte speaks to a variety of students that are involved in sports and activities from the 13 high schools . Boyte speaks about managing a crazy life in high school.

“If I take care of myself, I can take care of other people,” says Boyte during his workshop.

After the conference students were excited to bring back Boyte’s message to their school sports and activities.

“I think it was very inspiring and I think Heritage can use what Phil said to impact our school in a positive way,” says Celeste Borg ’16.

Borg is involved in Community Relations and Link at Heritage. She was nominated by a link sponsor to attend the conference and bring back ideas to help Link in future years.

In 1997, The Boomerang Project started a support group for incoming freshmen called Link. Founders of this project included Phil Boyte, Carolyn Hill, Mary Campbell and Micah Jackson. Boyte used principals from his Link in his speech at the conference.

“I enjoyed Phil’s message. It was good because it’s applicable to what Legend is specifically working on. It speaks to Legend because we talk about being a family and his message motivated us to make that happen,” says Auggie Mostillo ’15 from Legend High School.

Heritage Student Government smiles for a picture to celebrate their successful day of running a leadership conference. The conference has been in planning  sense April 2014.

Heritage Student Government celebrates a successful day of running a leadership conference. The conference has been in planning sense April 2014.

The 2014 Continental League Leadership Conference branched its wings out by adding in other students who weren’t just involved in student governments. In high hopes of helping the leadership roles in the 13 schools, students took back ideas and information to their schools to improve the leadership roles in different areas.

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New member of P.E. department joins Heritage

Heritage welcomes Chad Hanson. He was hired after two teachers retired from the P.E. department.

Mr. Chad Hanson brings his past experiences and versatile skill set to Heritage as a new addition to the physical education department.

He teaches several P.E. classes, such as swimming, health, spinning, recreational games and social dance. While coaching, Hanson takes pride in teaching integrity to his athletes.

“If you start with integrity, winning and losing will sort themselves out,” says Hanson.

Hanson proved the success of this method as he led tennis teams from high schools he previously taught at to tennis championships, and then taking the win.

Part of the hiring committee and a fellow physical education instructor, Mrs. Lori Lee explained Hanson’s previous teaching career and willingness to expand his skills promised that he was the one to hire.

“He hit the ground running, making sure every class that was left is covered, like swimming. We asked him if he had a WSI certification and he said that he didn’t have one but he could get it, and he did,” she says.

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