Real world teachings- Personal Finance

Personal financing. It is a crucial role of “adulting” and here at Heritage High, we offer a personal financing class.
“This class was super helpful to be able to fully understand budgeting, so in the long term I can be able to set real and attainable goals for budgeting,” says Calista Bannik ’18.

This class is structured to be hands on and all about learning experiences.

“The units that we cover include: goal writing, career development, paychecks, banking, credit and identity theft, insurance needs and housing and renting costs.  Students also track their spending for three weeks, plan a vacation for a week with all costs involved, compare housing costs of various living situations and look at costs of renting an apartment and furnishing that apartment,” says Barbara Bolen, Practical Arts teacher.

“I remember when we did this project on planning a trip. We received a certain amount of money as a budget, and it was actually really hard to find an airline, rental car, and hotel under the budget,” says Bannik ’18.

Students need to know how to set real obtainable budgets before they get out of high school. This class is aimed to open the eyes of high schoolers and help to prepare for life’s journey.
“I want students to become better consumers in their financial life. This is truly a life skill class,” says Bolen, Practical Arts teacher.

“Start saving at a young age and try to have as little debt as possible. Financial planning is not hard. People make it hard,” says Bolen on a few tips for students to keep in mind as they become more financially responsible. 

Personal Finance

Mrs. Bolen teaches her class life lessons that they all will need. The students who take this class feel like they grow more knowledgeable of the real world.

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Junior Student Government Plans Prom

A group of girls line up to take a picture during the dance. The Junior Student Government worked hard to create a photo booth and candy bar for the students to enjoy.

The tennis team lines up to take a picture during the dance. The Junior Student Government worked hard to create a photo booth and candy bar for the students to enjoy.

The Junior Student Government has been planning prom since their sophomore year. Prom is the biggest event of the year and it comes with extensive planning.

Maile Conant ’18 and Caitlin Hearty ’18 are Co-Prom Chairs as well as President and and Vice President of the Junior class.

“The planning is organized into committees, and each committee is in charge of a different aspect of prom. Caitlin and  I have been overseeing all of the committees and making sure everything gets done on time,” explains Conant.

“The best part of the planning process was seeing everything start to come together with the decorations, DJ, and other jobs,” adds Hearty.

As Co-Prom Chairs they also have to communicate with administration to get everything approved.  

“It was really exciting for me to see people in the photo booth and dancing because I knew they were enjoying the hard work we put in,” says Hearty.

Prom took two years of planning and in the end it deemed successful. Up next, the Junior Student Government must work hard planning the senior wall, senior shirts, senior sunrise and do their best to leave a lasting impression at Heritage High School.

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Classroom dynamics following AP exams

   May is often a very stressful month for students who make the choice to take AP classes, as pretty much the whole year is spent preparing the students for one test that can very easily affect the students’ classes after high school and into college. Once the tremendous stress of the exam has passed, and it is finally completed, it is likely that there are a few weeks left in the school year before the students are let out for the summer.

   Many teachers use these few weeks to give their classes time to relax and work on other subjects, or in some cases the teachers even plan out things for their classes to do. Mr. Brinker, a science teacher at Heritage, uses this time to continue teaching his students, but aims to teach them material that is valuable outside of just a test.

    “I spend some of the time to go back and look at curriculum points that used to be taught but have since been taken out that I think are still very important. I also talk a lot about goal setting and I tell some stories that I hope will make you think about science from other perspectives and in different ways. I take a holistic view to being a teacher, and so I think it’s really important to educate the whole person and not strictly the science part,” says Brinker.

    While some teachers decide to just sign off after finals week and let the students get a head start on summer break, Mr. Brinker thinks differently.

    “I really value my time with my students and so I want to make every minute I have with them count. I don’t want to waste two or three weeks showing movies when I could be teaching them lessons that I think are important beyond just the class,” he says.

    Cameron Berry ‘18 is a student who took Mr. Brinker’s AP Bio class last year as a sophomore and is taking his AP Environmental Science class this year. Berry speaks highly of the lessons Mr. Brinker teaches after the exam.

    “He taught a lot of lessons that he thought we should know going out into the world, outside of high school. He gave us a lot of different skills he thought we should know and best of all, he gave us a lot of places he thought we should visit. Giving us places to visit was my favorite thing he did after the AP Exam, and my mom and I visited all of his suggested places over the following summer. Being able to learn stuff about the world outside of high school was really valuable to me and worth remembering,” says Berry from her perspective as a student.

AP Exam Picture

Maureen Stewart checks in students for one of Heritage’s many AP Exams this May. The AP Exam testing period commenced May 1 and continues throughout the majority of the month.

   With free time after the AP exams, it is a very clear opportunity to be able teach something that supplements the AP curriculum, and taking advantage of this opportunity can have profound impacts for students’ lives outside of high school.

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Heritage Thanks Mothers

By Paige DelMargo

  • What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

“Motherhood has definitely taught me to be patient. I do have limited patience.  I sometimes use it up by 10:00 in the morning and other days, if I really take good care of myself, and I’m well rested and eating eating healthy then I’m a better mom.”

~ Emily  Libbey

“Motherhood has taught me patience, and that I have never loved anything more in my life than my children. I don’t know what I would do without those little hugs, smiles and funny little moments each and every day.”

~Jessica Ferris


  • What do you want your children to know?


“I want my children to know that I will always love them no matter what they do or who they become. I also want them to know that they are capable of a lot. I don’t ever want them to feel like they are limited.”

~ Emily Libbey  

“I love them, and that no matter what life brings them I will always and forever be here to help them and  guide them.  I will never be too old for a hug, to wipe away their tears or have a good laugh.”

~ Jessica Ferris


  • What does it take to be a good mother?


“You need to be excited about life, enthusiastic, balanced and open to new experiences.”

~Emily Libbey

“Patience, laughter, the ability to be a kid at heart and enjoy those silly little moments.  Also being able to teach your children the difference between right and wrong and  someday they will thank you for all of those little life lesson lectures.”

~Jessica Ferris


  • What is a mother’s favorite thing to hear?


“Of course, ‘I love you’ is always nice to hear. It’s nice to hear that you are doing a good job. Dads get praise anytime they do anything, but with mothers, good parenting is just expected. They don’t really get verbal credit for what they do because it’s just assumed that they are a good mom. I would love to see the change.”

~ Emily Libbey  

“I love you Mommy,” followed by a sweet little hug and smile.

~Jessica Ferris


  • What is the best motherly advice you have ever given/ received?


“One thing that my mom taught me was to always set boundaries for how you let other people treat you. She taught me to expect kindness and respect. She also taught me the importance of unconditional love.”

  ~Emily Libbey  

“The best advice that I have ever received is that every day will not be perfect.  The house will be a mess, work can wait, I will make mistakes and when it comes to your kids the most important thing you can do for them is to be there when they need you.”  

~Jessica Ferris

  • What is your favorite memory you share with your mother?  


“My mom was a single mom and I grew up an only child so it was always just her and I. We had allot of time where everything we did, we did together. So, we made trips to the zoo and every year we went and saw a musical. But my favorite memory with my mom was right after I graduated from high school. We took a trip together to Boston and Cape Cod. It was our first big vacation together.”

~Emily Libbey


  • Is there anything you would like to say to her?


“I always apologize to her for my bad behavior towards her in Highschool. In Highschool, I didn’t always appreciate my mom. I wanted more freedom. So I would tell her that she made the right choice giving me limits and rules, even though I fought against them, it was the best thing for me and I needed that.”

~Emily Libbey


  • What has your mother taught you about being a mother?


“Unconditional love. For me, being a mother is being  soft place for your children. She taught me that being approachable and affectionate and loving are synonymous with motherhood.”

~Emily Libbey

By Paige DelMargo

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Dudley retires after 37 years

DudleyThe end of the school year is drawing to a close, meaning it is time to say goodbye to a teacher who has spent 37 years at Heritage, Mrs. Heidi Dudley.
Dudley has been working as an English teacher and Technology Coordinator this year, and has held several positions in past years, including a long-term substitute for Heritage, a journalism teacher, a publications advisor for both Newspaper and Yearbook, co-sponsor of the Community Relations Club and has helped in some of the Academic Support classes during her time at this school.
“I’ve always taken great pride in giving 100 percent effort in whatever I did. I would like to be remembered as a Heritage teacher through and through and someone who loved being a Heritage parent, one who proudly handed each of her own three children their diplomas at LPS Stadium,” says Dudley.
After retiring, Dudley plans to work on projects around the house as well as volunteering at her church, at Bemis Public Library, and possibly at places like Food Bank of the Rockies and the South Platte Valley Humane Society. She also hopes to make plans to help out at elementary schools in LPS.
“Everyone I’ve ever known who has retired has told me to give it a year before I commit to anything. I’m looking forward to spending time walking, biking, hiking, gardening and travelling. I’m sure I’ll find something to do eventually because I’m not a ‘sit around and do nothing’ type of person,” says Dudley.
Dudley has dedicated so much of her time and effort at this school that she admits it will be weird not to run out and get school supplies for next year and not go to the same place every day. With all the commitment Dudley has had with Heritage, she has also left a lasting impact on the students.
“Ms. Dudley was a really supportive Community Relations Sponsor and I love how this year, even when I’m not in the club, she still waves at me in the hallways. It’s really nice having that support system and I will definitely remember it for years to come,” says Alycia Dallakoti ’19.
As much as Dudley will be remembered here at Heritage, she will also not forget Heritage.
“I have been blessed to work with so many amazing people and many incredible students, and it’s those people who have kept me loving my job for 37 years. And while I don’t have anything to compare Heritage to because I’ve been here my whole career, I am confident that I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work. I am a Heritage Eagle for life,” says Dudley.

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Mrs. Bolen prepares to travel

Mrs. Bolen helps a student in the DECCA Store.

Mrs. Bolen helps a student in the DECA Store.

She has been teaching for ten years and working at Heritage for all ten.

“What I am going to miss most about teaching is talking with students about everyday things, mostly I am going to miss the relationships,” says Mrs. Barbara Bolen.

 While working at Heritage Bolen has built many relationships with students and inspired them to be the best that they can be.

“She was a great mentor and taught me a lot over the years. She has kept my passion strong and drives me to reach my full potential,” says Dalton King ’17.

  Despite the love her students have for her she is still ready for retirement, “The most exciting thing about retirement is to not be living by a clock and being able to spend time with my dog.”

Bolen’s plans for retirement are volunteering, traveling, gardening, exercise, book reading, and some type of part time work.

  Mrs. Bolen has been loved by her students since she started teaching.

“The three words that I would use to describe Mrs. Bolen are helpful, supportive, and passionate,” says King.

She will be remembered for a long time to come. Best wishes to Mrs. Bolen in retirement!


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Pamela Gigiento Explores her style through High School

  Walking down the halls of Heritage High School, four of Pamela Gigiento’s paintings can be seen in the art showcase, one painting among them won the first place senior art award. This particular painting features an angel, characterized with harmonious shades of icy blue, and the treatment of her skin makes it look like porcelain that would fall into pieces with one touch. But a picture is worth a thousand words:

Pami Art

Pami is an artist that resists guidelines for herself, and explores her creativity without limitations.  

  “If it looks ‘pretty’ or ‘cool’ then I go with it,” states Pami.

  Mr. Bernal also aids in creating an environment where students are free to explore their unique styles.  

  “Mr. Bernal is an amazing teacher and in response to that he served more as artistic support because he really loosened the reins and let me do whatever I wanted in the class (for better or worse,” says Pami.

  Mr. Bernal describes the structure of the class.

  “Class time wise we had 6 weeks. Each day there was 10 minutes of prepping, and 30 minutes of painting. For Pami this was plenty of time to create her art work inside of class,” states Mr. Bernal.

  These works of art represent how Pami has developed her own style and embraced her quirks  throughout these four years of high school.

  “To develop your own style I believe you should take note of other’s artwork to better yourself and see what you like and dislike about it. I love anime and that is incorporated in my style.”

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Go on a gap year, you won’t regret it

As my senior year comes to an end, the number of adults who inquire about what I’m going to do the coming fall sky rockets. Most are surprised when I tell them that I will not be going to college in the coming fall, despite being accepted into every university I applied to. My reasoning is simple; many people regret growing up too soon, and no one regrets travelling the world.

I’m not going on this trip to ‘find myself’ nor am I going on a booze-cruise around Europe using my father’s credit card. I am going to master a foreign language, and be alone for a while, something that I’ve never experienced before.
As many of my friends frantically discuss finding roommates for college next year, whether or not to join Greek life, and desperately Googling cures for their future hangovers, I’m working a minimum wage job that I loathe and babysitting to make sure that I have enough money for food and hostels. I’m not looking down on my friends who have chosen to go to college right away, though I do find it unnerving that they sometimes accuse me of being the immature one by choosing to take a gap year.

A photo of myself and a close friend that I will be spending part of gap year with. We will be hiking lots, just as we are doing in this photo.

A photo of myself and a close friend that I will be spending part of gap year with. We will be hiking lots, just as we are doing in this photo.

Many people have discouraged me from taking a gap year and travelling, then returning to live at home while going to college because I won’t get the “true college experience”. For whatever reason, uncomfortable dorm beds and listening to lectures by an apathetic TA at an expensive state school has become the epitome of the American college experience.

I think that’s stupid.

To my friends paying $20,000+ a year to live less than an hour away from home, with a stranger, I have a few questions: do you really think that because you’ll be paying more than double than what I’ll be paying, you’ll get a better education? Do you think that I’m less independent than you, because I’ll be living at home carefully watching my savings while you ask your parents for money?

I once was serving a group of college admins at CSU in the restaurant I work at, when one asked me where I was going to school. I responded with uncertainty; I had just been accepted to four schools, three of which I would have to stay at the school during my freshman year, and I was flabbergasted by the sheer number of 0’s on the price of tuition. I responded with the politest response my addled brain could come up with at the time:

“I’m not sure what I want to major in, and although I love CSU I’m just not sure that I want to go there yet.”

His response?

“Don’t worry about that. Just go wherever your first year, CSU is a great choice for that. No one learns anything their first two years, so it doesn’t matter where you go. And CSU is a lot of fun.”

While I suppose he said that in an attempt to sway me, it failed quite badly. CSU was the second most expensive school I had gotten into, and there was no way that I wanted to pay their tuition, nor could I ask my parents to pay that exorbitant amount. Although he didn’t mean to, his statement reaffirmed my belief that it doesn’t matter where you go; it’s the work you put in that results in your experience and the education you walk away with.

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Schnepfe takes next steps

Sharon Schnepfe (2)Sharon Schnepfe, the Kitchen Manager at Heritage, is leaving this year for other opportunities. Despite seeking a shift in careers, she will greatly miss the Heritage community.

“I have worked in LPS Nutrition services for 10 years, the last four here at Heritage. The students and the kitchen staff are what I will miss most.  I  have found that we have the best family here at Heritage.  I feel it has been a privilege to get to know the young men and women here,” says Schnepfe.
The other kitchen employees enjoy working for Schnepfe, too. She develops a cohesive kitchen environment, focused around working with others.
“I like my job and she works well with us,” explains Flor Higa, kitchen employee.
As Kitchen Manager, she has many fond memories of the students at Heritage. Their vivacious characters are those that Schnepfe will cherish into the next step of her life.
“My favorite memories are class cheer practice before the pep assemblies and the occasional impromptu line dance or table top musical performance. I like it when teenagers are loud and spirited and do not take life too seriously,” Schnepfe elaborates.
While she will miss the wonderful memories Heritage presented her with, Schnepfe awaits her next adventure.
“I will not be retiring but rather only moving. My husband has retired and we have purchased a small hobby farm in Fruita, Colorado. We will be closer to our grandchildren and with the five acres we will have we hope to raise goats and chickens and maybe a llama.  I am sad to be leaving Heritage, but excited to see what the future holds,” Schnepfe concludes.

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Driver’s Ed needs more driving

Drivers Ed Art Done TS

When turning 15, students all over the state of Colorado are presented with the opportunity to receive their Learner’s Permit as they take their lessons to the road. Before they can drive, they are forced to complete rigorous Driver’s Ed courses that are only partially beneficial.

Students spend full weeks, eight hours day in a classroom just to learn the rules of the road. Otherwise, they have to take it online which for some people, is very hard to complete. There needs to be a better way.

It’s understandable that Driver’s Ed is required because driving a car is like driving a lethal weapon. However, new drivers need to spend more time on the road and less time in the classroom.

A study presented by the University of Nebraska Lincoln states that out of the 150,000 drivers tested, 11.2 percent of drivers who took Driver’s Ed crashed and 12.9 percent who crashed did not take drivers ed. That is a very slim margin. To be effective, Driver’s Ed should focus on more time on the road and less time in the classroom.

Requirements for the LPS program include 30 hours in a classroom (or online) and 6 hours with a driving instructor on the road. Usually, those 6 hours are completed in only driving with an instructor three times. In those three times, an instructor can only teach you so much. Doing is learning.

Spending 30 hours in a classroom learning about driving is hard to picture and hard to take what you learn and put it into action. For example, my friend and I spent our entire Spring Break in Driver’s Ed class our freshman year. The much needed break from school was completely ruined as we spent even more time in a classroom. It was hard to learn and focus for long periods at a time. The hours spent with the driving instructor on the road were much more beneficial.

The Driver’s Ed curriculum needs to be changed. In turn, less accidents involving teenagers would occur.Right now, the courses required to receive a Learner’s Permit are long and the material goes right over the head of the students. There should be more time on the road, and less spent in the classroom.

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