Longtime coach, staff member leaves Heritage

Mr. Scott Hormann is a staff member who has served this school in various ways for the past 10 years. Recently, Hormann decided that he would be leaving his position as a member of the security team at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 school year.

“I have my own business, Colorado Khaos, which is something that I have been doing for 10 years. I also started a broadcasting show that covers high school sports games all over the state. Working on both of these things has been very difficult in addition to my job here at Heritage, and so I have decided to commit to those full time. The decision to leave has been difficult, as I love the administration, teachers and kids here. It has been a huge part of my life, and getting to watch kids come in as freshmen with no identity and then leave as strong young men and women has been one of the best things to be a part of. I have made so many incredible relationships with students here, and leaving that will definitely be difficult to do,” says Hormann.

Trevor Young ’18 is a student who has formed a good relationship with Hormann during his time here, both as a student, and as an athlete under Hormann’s position as a baseball coach.

“Coach Hormann has been someone who I have always loved seeing at school, and with him being my coach, I really had an opportunity to build a relationship with him. I think that he has always really connected with a lot of students, and it is really unfortunate that future students won’t get to know him like so many of my classmates and I did,” says Young.

Hormann’s business has grown tremendously since he started it, and now that he is also adding a broadcasting show to his schedule, he is very busy outside of Heritage walls. His show will be on the Colorado Sports Prep AT&T Network for anyone hoping to hear live coverages of high school games.

Hormann works at the front desk during the school day. This was one of his many duties as a security guard for the school.

Hormann works at the front desk during the school day. This was one of his many duties as a security guard for the school.

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Frau Mitchell retires after 30 years of teaching

 Mrs. Robin Mitchell, more known as Frau by her students, has been teaching for 30 years. She started out at Euclid Middle School as a French teacher, then she taught a night class at Arapahoe Community College when her children were little. She then arrived at Heritage and has been the loved German teacher for 24 years.

  When reminiscing on her years at Heritage, she remembers one day in particular.

  “With a fourth year class a couple of years ago, we did this book activity… Kids in class wrote pairs of reproaches and excuses and then we took them apart and we grabbed one of the ‘why were you not there’ questions and paired it with an excuse, and they were hilarious. I almost fell on the floor laughing. We were laughing so hard that teachers asked me later, ‘What were you laughing about during class?’ It was sweet,” she tells.

  Like many students, Abigail Armstrong ’19 who has been in German for three years, is downcast about Frau leaving.

  “I’ll miss all of Frau’s stories and the way she made time every day to talk with us,” says Armstrong.

  Students are so grateful for all she has done teaching us German and about life.

  Frau has mixed feelings about leaving.

  “I am looking forward to having time to do things that I can’t do now but also, I am really going to miss people here,” she says.

  The bittersweet time of Frau leaving is impactful for her and all of her students. Her plan is to see her grandchildren in California more and take care of her parents.

  One thing Frau always tell her students is how excited she is for us to meet our new teacher.

  “I can’t say enough good things about her… I have no regret about what’s going to happen to the German students here at Heritage. I will miss them but the program is going to be strong and healthy,” Frau says.

  She is very excited and faithful about the future.

  “I am conflicted, I mean I know intellectually I’m walking out and not coming back, but I know I’m also walking into something new,” she says.


Robin Mitchell, known as Frau, is retiring after 30 years of teaching, 24 being at Heritage. She will miss all of her students and peers, but is excited for what is to come.

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Symphonic Band Goes to State

The symphonic band, headed by Mr. Cuthrell has earned enormous success in the 2017/2018 season. On Monday, April 16, they performed at the state competition. After an outstanding performance, they received an “excellence” rating.

   Prior to the state competition Mr. Cuthrell reflected on the band’s successful season and his thoughts heading into the competition.

“ While this is a very exciting step for our program, we work diligently to stay humble and realize that we are still building to bring our program to the level of where I think Heritage could someday reach in regards to numbers and quality….They have already won in my mind and I couldn’t be more proud”.
Only 30 bands in the entire state of Colorado are able to qualify for the state competition, so while it is a huge honor, junior Ellie Fajer says that it is a reflection of the hard work that has been put in.

“I spend a lot of early mornings and late nights practicing trumpet, so I feel like this has really been worth it”, says Fajer “19.

While the bands do not earn specific placements amongst the other bands, they do receive ratings based on their performance. The symphonic band soared above anyone’s expectations by qualifying for state and then receiving an “excellence” rating.

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Hockey finishes strong

A Heritage hockey player takes a shot and scores during a varsity game. Moments like these have made the team a powerful force this season.

A Heritage hockey player takes a shot and scores during a varsity game. Moments like these have made the team a powerful force this season.

The Heritage varsity hockey team is having a successful run this season so far with their recent 3-1 win over Resurrection Christian, their 6-1 win over Pine Creek and their 2-2 tie with Aspen. However, they lost to Vail 8-9 but they will work to get better. The team started off with ice strength and conditioning camps which ran four days a week this past June.

“We do a number of skills camps in June and July. We offer skills based camps like checking, scoring and puck protection. We have a lot going on in the summer. We also compete in the Colorado Prep Hockey League in Sept and Oct. We look at Heritage Hockey as a three season program,” states Jeremy Sims, head Varsity Hockey Coach for Heritage High School.

The varsity hockey team also does a number of team bonding activities because a connection between the teammates is important for communication and unity in the team.

“In August, we offer the two-week Heritage Hockey Academy and then a one-week Leadership Camp. In the early fall, we will also do a weekend trip to the mountains,” states Sims.

The passion within the team and teammates has to be strong in order to have enough motivation and grit to play in varsity hockey.

“I feel it is two parts: a love of hockey and a love of the school and community. Hockey is a very passionate sport and to play it at a high level you have play on the edge. The change is now they get to play for their school, wear the school colors and play in front of other kids they go to school with. There is a great deal of pride that goes with playing for Heritage High School and the Littleton Public School District,” states Sims.

Students new to the Heritage hockey team have formed bonds since they started. The Heritage team also includes students from Littleton, Arapahoe, and Options.

“I have made many friends from every school. I have played hockey for about 8 years and wanted to continue to play representing the high school. Also, I wanted to meet more people at Heritage,” states right wing Joe Carpinello ’20.

Overall, the Heritage hockey team works hard to play at their highest ability and is currently working on getting better to win more games for the school.

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Promoting mental health

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs displays the importance of needs to one's own well being. The psychologists at Heritage strive to meet help students meet these needs in order to succeed.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs displays the importance of needs to one’s own well being. The psychologists at Heritage strive to meet help students meet these needs in order to succeed.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that before someone can achieve their full potential they must have not only their basic needs met, but also they need to be socially and mentally well. The Heritage community has a large network of people available to not only meet the needs of students but help them succeed academically as well as mentally and socially.

Heritage High School currently has two psychologists, Ms. Karis Fruge and Ms. Carla Cde Baca, as well as past psychologist and current Assistant Principal Nicole Amidon. Fruge is in the building part time with her main focus in special education. Cde Baca works in general education as well as special education.

Just like counselors, the school psychologists are here to help, but they have different roles in the school.

“Psychologists are tasked with working in special education to do cognitive assessments, social emotional assessment and Individual Education Programs (IEP). They provide services to students with social/emotional needs. Counselors provide general counseling services, not typically to students with IEPs. Psychologists also have different training to handle things like danger and threat assessments. Counselors are typically more involved in the college planning as well as academic planning and preparation,” says Amidon.

Counselors and psychologists are similar in that they both promote mental health school wide, not just in their offices. For example, Ms. Cde Baca helps with No Place for Hate.

“What I really like about No Place for Hate is they’re coming together to be able to figure out what the student body can do to enhance the culture of kids and being accepted, which I think is important to the well-being of the school,” says Cde Baca.


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Ms. Baca Retires

Baca helps her students during one of her math classes.

Baca helps her students during one of her math classes.

Among Heritage’s large and talented teaching staff is Ms. Baca, a math teacher and former coach. After 23 years at Heritage, and 33 years teaching, she is retiring.

“I want to retire while I still like teaching. I want to see what else is out there. I’ve essentially been in school since I was 5,” jokes Baca.

Her many years of teaching have certainly paid off, giving her lots of experience.
“I liked having her as a teacher. I feel like I learned a lot in her class,” comments Benny Spiegel-Chen ’18.

While she does still enjoy teaching, she does not want to teach long enough to potentially wear down that enjoyment. Baca also has plans for after retirement.

“I’m going to spend time with family. I want to do lots of travelling and play lots of golf,” says Baca.

That being said, Baca still thinks she’ll miss Heritage.

“I’ll miss the people, students and staff. I want to keep in touch with people here. Working with students is my favorite part.    You get so many personalities, and it’s fun to interact with them. It keeps me young,” says Baca.

She won’t miss everything about teaching at Heritage, however.

“I certainly won’t miss getting up early,” she jokes.

Ms. Baca had a significant impact while at Heritage, and now it’s time to wave her goodbye, and wish her good luck in her future endeavors.

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Boys’ Volleyball grows in size

In recent years, many sports have become more prominent in the world of high school athletics. One of the best examples of this is the rise in population of boys’ volleyball athletes. In the state of Colorado, the number of boys playing volleyball has grown to a more impactful number involved in the last five years says John Speraw, Men’s National Coach and UCLA Coach. With the exponential growth and popularity of the sport, it is expected that in the coming years, CHSAA will authenticate it as a state sanctioned sport.

The Heritage team is coached by Hannah Eberle and currently holds a record of 9-12. At the end of the season the boys are about 34th out of 61 teams in the state, making them one of the more balanced boys’ volleyball programs in the state.

“So far, the team has improved a ton since last year, even with a lot of new players,” says Jordan Phung ’18.

The team is constantly running plays which take a lot of chemistry, on and off the court. The boys seem to be working well together, growing in skill and understanding. Their chemistry is further proven by a bravado of risky, athletic moves made in order to win.

“This season has been a blast and all the coaches have been super helpful since I’m new to the sport,” says Isaac Troxler ’20.
This team is racking up experience and points as they finish the season with a great league standing at 5-5. Their growth was notable on the year.

Outside hitter Jordan Phung ’18 attacks the ball in a home game against Falcon High School. Phung is part of the strong senior base that has been this team’s foundation in their early stages.

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Counselors impact the future

As the last days of school approach most students have made sure to visit the counseling office at least once. But what most students don’t know is that counselors do a lot more than just fix schedules. Counselors are also available for college/career preparation, recommendation letters and even just a conversation for any struggles that students might be facing.

“There are three domains in which we focus on student growth and development : personal/social, academic and career. So please, please, know that your counselor is here to help. Students just have to make an appointment to meet with us, if nothing else just for us to get to know students in person,” say Counselor Ms. Maureen Stewart.

Throughout the year counselors deal with a variety of different challenges. From making sure schedules work at the beginning of the year to writing recommendation letters for soon-to-be college students, there is never a time when counselors are not busy.

“No day is like the other; every day is unique and new. Often there are things that I have to get done but I don’t know what is going to come across my plate ever single day,” says Counselor Ms. Laronda Lawson.

When it comes to building relationships at Heritage High School, one that many students have is with their counselors. Each counselor has about 400 students, so it’s important to keep a good connection. When students open up to their counselors it allows them to get to know a supportive adult who can help them with whatever the students need.

“I love my job. Every day my goal is to work with students in whatever capacity they need me to be there for them. One of the greatest things that happens over the course of the four years that I get to know the students is when they learn how to work through their struggles. Those pieces are the things that help me connect with the students and write the best letters of recommendations,” says Ms. Lawson.

Counselors are a resource to help with the needs of students, and they are always available throughout the day.

Couseling Picture Done JPEG

Counselor Ms. Stewart and Jake Schope ’19 converse as Schope fills out the AP test registration.





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Student art brings color to the hallways

Especially attentive students may have noticed a bit more color when walking throughout the hallways on the first floor of Heritage as of late. This is a result of the geometric mural installation painted by students with the aid of Mr. Wade Billeisen, an art teacher at Heritage. The concept for the art came from the mind of former student Michael Brooks, who thought of the installation as a community project to help students make connections with one another and to their school.

“It started a few years ago. Myself and Michael Brooks had the idea to [do it], because the hallways are drab and don’t have a lot of color, so we wanted to figure out something that we could engage our student population with,” says Billeisen.

Hallway art pic

The first floor hallway by the art department is bursting with color. The newly added mural creates a vibrant atmosphere in an otherwise bleak setting.

“Anybody that wanted to could paint on the wall, and we had about 110 to 120 artists that worked on it. Students were able to work on off periods, if they wanted to. It was a kind of school collaboration to get people connected to the school,” he adds.

The mural on the first floor is nearly complete, but there may be more to come, according to Billeisen. Other departments may want to brighten up a bit, and Billeisen is happy to help.

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Post Grad Supports Students

With the end of each year, the prospect of college or life after high school looms over the heads of each Heritage student. Post Grad is a tool to utilize when faced with these issues. With Ms. Joni Lieb as the coordinator of Post Grad, the process provides many resources to students.

“For resources we use the program Naviance, which can send letters of recommendation to colleges or offer career surveys which can help you decide a career path so it’s not just limited to college. If you’re taking the college path, we have college representatives that come in, and we have SAT books and ACT books to help out,” says Lieb.

Post Grad also plays a huge role in helping with the admissions process.

“You can sit down and fill out your application and fill out your common app. We send transcripts and help with letters of recommendation,” states Lieb.

Post Grad also encourages students to think about college throughout their high school career.

Sometime during the spring of sophomore year, students are acquainted with Post Grad. Then, during junior year, things take off with planning for college and making lists of college visits as well as prospective colleges. By senior year, Post Grad would have provided the tools to prepare students for applying to college.

“Post Grad helped me find out what I needed to finish my college application. Mrs. Lieb sends out messages about upcoming events for college visits and scholarships,” says Benny Spiegel-Chen ’18.

Alternative schools have also been playing a larger and larger role in the Post Grad process. This would include trade schools and what they have to offer. Due to the rising cost of tuition for college, trade schools have become more and more relevant.

Post Grad also has around 37 volunteers who come in to help students and make the college application process more streamlined. The volunteers help guide students through Naviance and the college application process.


Mrs. Joni Lieb and Benny Spiegel-Chen ’18 discuss future college plans in Post Grad. Lieb and the many volunteers help students for the future.

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