Challenger takes flight at Heritage

The Challenger Eagle visited Heritage on Tuesday, October 11. The presentation demonstrated the importance of charity to students in a unique way.

Challenger was rescued by humans during a storm in 1989, when he was only a baby. After two attempted releases back into the wild, Challenger was determined to rely on humans too heavily. He was then placed in the care of the American Eagle Foundation (AEF), who decided to name him after the Challenger Space Shuttle, in honor of those who passed away on that fateful flight.

Students who got the chance to see the eagle seemed to be really entertained by him.

“I really enjoyed learning about our nation’s bird. The work that they’re doing for the birds makes me want to get out and make a change,” says Olivia Biggers ’17.

Challenger soon became an American icon thanks to the AEF when he began performing free-flights during the Star Spangled Banner at major events. He was the first eagle to perform like this, and he has appeared at several MLB World Series, presidential inaugurations, NFL games and quite a few well-known TV showsㅡfrom Good Morning America to the David Letterman show.

A parent suggested having Challenger make an educational visit while he was in town to Assistant Principal Jill Schrader, since the school mascot is an eagle.

“The foundation likes to take a 30 minute educational program to a local school and have the bald eagle perform and discuss the care and preservation of these majestic birds,” says Schrader.

Challenger’s story ended up teaching students about the value in helping their communities as well.

I had not heard their story before about how and why they started the foundation until they spoke yesterday.  After hearing it, I immediately thought how well it tied in with Mike Smith’s message at the beginning of the school year. I hope that students see that it doesn’t take much to make change happen within their school or community,” adds Schrader.

To learn more about the AEF’s birds and support them through donating or virtually adopting one of their birds, visit


Challenger spreads his wings on command for the crowd.


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Social media usage spreads through Heritage

A recent poll of Heritage students shows how social media has become a major part of many high schoolers’ lives and has impacted the way people communicate, spread ideas and share news.

From Snapchat’s initial release date of September 2011, it has gained much popularity since then. In the poll of Heritage students, it was found the 60.6% of students picked Snapchat as their most used app, while the next top answers were Instagram (15.2%) and Pinterest (15.2%). Other answers included Tumblr, News, and Music sites.

Snapchat’s growing popularity has impacted many people with use for communication, news, and to keep up with friends. Many people have even started using it over texting and calling.

“My most used social media site is Snapchat and I use it because I like being able to talk with people who I don’t get to see as often,” says Ali Lamberson ’19.

Even while some classes don’t allow use of phones or use of social media apps, the use of social media during school and outside of school is growing, including the use of Snapchat. During school just over half of the students said use social media less than 10 times, but the second half of the students said that the used it much more with a range of 15 to 30 times throughout the school day.

Outside of school a little over half the students answered that they use social media about 20 to 30 times at home or other places. One fourth of the students use social media less than 10 times outside of school and the remaining fourth answered that they use the sites between 40 and 50 times. All of the highest numbers, during school and outside of school, were from Snapchat users.

“I like using social media, like Snapchat, because I can share fun things with my friends and talking with them makes me happy,” says Elisabeth Roemer ’19.


The poll showed that about 70% of the students said that they used social media constantly throughout the day, instead of more in the morning or at night. 27% said that they used it more at night and only 3% answered that they use it more in the morning. Other questions included how often they use social media during school and outside of school, what time of day students tend to use sites more, and why they like using social media.

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Schrader assists HHS



Ms. Jill Schrader takes on her new role as assistant principal with enthusiasm, looking forward to the coming changes in the year ahead.

This year, Ms. Jill Schrader stand as a new assistant principal here at Heritage and is excited about all the new opportunities it provides.

“Ms. Riendeau has brought up the topic a few times about me becoming assistant principal. So I finally went back to school to get my degree, and when Ms. Sedivy retired last year, Ms. Riendeau said I should try for the position and I ended up getting it,” says Schrader.

Although Schrader no longer spend as much time with all the students, she still enjoys some of her new perks as the assistant principal.

“I no longer have to write sub plans, that is probably the nicest thing I don’t have to worry about,” says Schrader.

However, as a teacher, Schrader is known to coach several sports around the school, including volleyball, swimming and tennis. Schrader hopes to continue her coaching as assistant principal, but she is not sure if she will have enough time to fit it all in.

“I will try to coach the swim team in the winter sports season and I will see how that goes and decide if I can move on to coach tennis,” says Schrader.

Schrader might not be with students as often anymore, but they all wish her luck as she takes on her new position in the school.

“I had Ms. Schrader for Chemistry and I really like the class and how she taught it. I miss her as my teacher but I know she will be really good as assistant principal,” says Natalie Oliveira ’17.


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“Speak for the Silent, Stand for the Broken” Mike Smith A Reminder and Plan for Action

Mike Smith visited Heritage early this year and captured the Heritage audience with his unique story and take on life.

His strong urge to find one’s legacy and to strive to find people in one’s community who need acknowledgment and support may have impacted some of the Heritage student body, but on October 3rd Heritage gifted twenty five students with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills at Regis and revisit that message with Mike Smith himself as well as members of the Jostens Renaissance community.

Jostens Renaissance is a foundation that focuses on improving school culture and positivity. Guest speaker Dr. Phil Campbell, a member of the Jostens Renaissance community and also a renowned staff member of Portland High School, shared his journey with Jostens Renaissance and how he applied their methods on improving school environment to mend the lack of culture and encouragement at Portland High, to student leadership in several different schools. Campbell emphasized on building connections between students and teachers and also on fostering the relationships between students using positivity. He inspired students at the conference by ensuring that “ we can win” the challenges leaders face when attempting to improve their schools atmosphere.

Students weren’t the only ones inspired to make change or improvement on October 3.  As Dr. Campbell shared many of his school’s creative ideas to help reinforce a positive, supportive atmosphere, staff members new and old from schools across the state found themselves influenced to seek a deeper sense of culture within their schools.

 As Mike Smith took the stage he stole not only the Heritage audience, for a second time, but also high school leadership from across Colorado . His reliability and casual nature engaged many in his life story, but as he made his message clear, this time, audience members found themselves devoted to making positive choices that lead to a positive legacy.

When speaking directly to the present members of the Heritage Leadership Panel, Mike Smith reinforced his cause and voiced his high expectations for Heritage after their now second time receiving his message.

Heritage leadership plans to take many actions regarding improving the school’s sense of community.

While it is a great task, Heritage recognizes “ that real world problems take action”  as Mike Smith said during his speech.

One of leadership’s priorities is to give the HHS building character  that expresses the school’s culture and pride by utilizing students and their accomplishments. They also hope that the plans to enhance  the school’s environment bring unity to clubs and students through giving each heritage club and group the opportunity to bring awareness to themselves that will hopefully influence students to get involved with different parts of their school community.

Leadership can not carry all of the task on their shoulders, it will take the support of a vast majority of the Heritage student body to truly initiate positive changes throughout the school.

Mike Smith explained to the Heritage community that “Helping happens when no one else is looking.”

While Heritage does not carry a negative atmosphere, engaging in simple acts of kindness towards others would make a world of difference to the Heritage community. You don’t need to join a club or do something great to motivate the school towards positivity.


25 Heritage leadership students accompany Mike Smith at Regis High School to build school culture and start their legacies.



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Mike Smith leaves a lasting legacy

Mike Smith’s impact is still felt at Heritage High School even a number of weeks after he visited. In advisory, students are reminded of his message as they watch his videos and complete mini-lessons.

They feel Smith’s lessons are having a positive effect around the halls of school.

“People are inspired. They want to make a difference in their community and their own life,” says Tara Serocki ’18. Smith’s videos remind her to never give up. Making a positive impact can be simple.

“Mike Smith inspires students to leave a legacy and make an impact,” says Gabby Schimmoller ’18.

However, Smith’s lesson had a different effect on Lauren Thomas ’18.

“The video reminded me to make good choices so I can have a good future,” says Thomas.

That is important to think about while going through school and dealing with friends. Smith reminds students that the people they are friends with and the choices they make can make a big impact on their future.

Students at Heritage seem to be acknowledging their legacies and taking into consideration his lessons. They are engaged in his purpose. There is a new feeling around the halls of Heritage.

Students work on a mini-lesson that Mike Smith portrays through a video. His legacy is felt at Heritage.

Students work on a mini-lesson that Mike Smith portrays through a video. His legacy is felt at Heritage.

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“Revolution Radio” Rocks the Music World

img_2990Nostalgia, hard-hitting lyrics and a classic punk-rock rage fuel Green Day’s newest album Revolution Radio to new, yet oddly familiar heights.

The album, their first since the decidedly over-reaching trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!, has launched Green Day to the top of the charts for the first time in over a decade. Written with the intention to “destroy the phrase ‘pop-punk’ forever,” as lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong described it, Revolution Radio sold 95,000 copies in the United States alone and was streamed 4.7 million times in its first week out, according to the Billboard 200.

Mixing their traditional style with a balanced 12 tracks of often surprising ragers and softer punk ballads, the band reflects upon the state of the world today, finding violence, war, death and injustice around every corner, with the occasional glimmer of hope in love and acceptance. The initial outlook is far from optimistic, ranging everywhere from unsure to downright enraged, though as the album progresses, that outlook begins to soften.

Opening with nothing but a gentle guitar melody and Armstrong’s voice, “Somewhere Now” sets the tone of the album. “I never wanted to compromise or bargain with my soul/How did a life on the wild side ever get so dull?,” Armstrong sings as the song launches into its angry, uncertain yet oddly nostalgic chorus.

Next, the explosive lead single “Bang Bang” takes on the controversial yet prevalent perspective of a teen shooter, exploring the complexities of the post-modern American mindset that fuels the album’s raging uncertainty for the future. The title track “Revolution Radio” continues the theme of social unrest, this time in the form of protest with a guitar backing that sounds almost as frantic as the lyrics themselves.

The powerful celebration of survival against all odds “Still Breathing” hits home with lyrics as catchy as they are emotionally charged. “As I walked out on the ledge/Are you scared to death to live?” Armstrong asks, echoing the overarching uncertainty of the album, paired this time with a sort of cautious optimism underneath the rage and fear.

The seven-minute “Forever Now” ties the album together, comprised of everything from classic Green Day vocals and drummer Tré Cool’s mosh-pit beats to a more hopeful reprise of the opening “Somewhere Now,” as Armstrong now asks “How did a life on the wild side ever get so full?”

Embodying sounds both new and old alike, along with a social commentary that manages to find beauty in an “Ordinary World”, full of violence and uncertainty as it may be, Revolution Radio demonstrates a return and a rebirth all at once for the band, almost thirty years after it first burst onto the music scene.

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