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Dateline DA & Weekly Emails

Dateline DA is a monthly e-newsletter for the Denver Academy community including alumni, parents and friends. Dateline serves to highlight and report on important school issues and events, as well as topics that relate to diverse learners, learning differences and the educational community at large. Comments, story ideas, and submissions are welcome. Please contact Communications at Denver Academy. Archived issues of Dateline are below.

Denver Academy also sends out weekly event emails to current parents--or others who would like to receive them--to provide a quick snapshot of happenings on campus. We send out two emails each week: one for the Lower Division (Elementary and Middle) and one for the High School.

Click here to subscribe to the Dateline newsletter.


< 2019


News Archive

  • December

    Program Updates: Dr. Adair at CDE, Mr. Ernewein Presents in Brussels

    At Denver Academy, we believe we have the best of the best, and every year our staff and faculty prove it. In the last month, Director of Mathematics Dr. Mindy Adair and Director of Education Philippe Ernewein have been busy.
    Dr. Adair is currently working with the Colorado Department of Education to create, develop and deliver a series of professional development webinars on mathematical development, difficulties and disabilities. The series began in the Spring of 2019 and will continue throughout this school year. Questions addressed include: Why do students struggle with maths? How do dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia present in students who struggle with maths? How do we support students who struggle with math difficulties & disabilities in the classroom?
    While Dr. Adair has been working with the Colorado Department of Education, Mr. Ernewein was invited to speak at the University of Brussels in Belgium for a conference on inclusivity in education in November. While there, he led a panel discussion and led a workshop on the key components of the Denver Academy program: differentiated instruction, learning profiles, and transformative education. This project brought together four universities in Europe, along with Denver Academy, to collaborate on how to best create inclusive learning environments for diverse learners.
    We love seeing our faculty and staff develop professionally as well as share their insights and knowledge with others in the field of education. Go Mustangs!
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  • November

    All-School Winter Service Project: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

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  • Megan Blood-Maruyama ‘16, Certified Esthetician and Laser Technician

    Megan Blood-Maryama ‘16, recently became a licensed esthetician and certified laser technician in Colorado. She attended the College of International Esthetics and fell in love with laser at school.

    “When I was in esthetics school we learned laser and I was so interested and fascinated by it and I just knew this was what I really wanted to do after I got my license,” said Megan. “Now I have a job that I enjoy and it doesn’t even really feel like work. The clients are awesome and I am learning so much every day. I am grateful for the support my team offers me as well.”

    While attending Denver Academy, Megan learned that she is a hands-on and visual learner and this knowledge has helped her become successful in her job and in her life.

    “DA helped me gain confidence in myself and taught me that I am my biggest advocate. No dream is too big if you want it enough. If you work hard enough you can achieve anything!” Said Megan.

    Megan especially liked the small class sizes at DA and that the teachers taught her the way she learned best.

    Mr. Mark Wood, one of Megan’s favorite DA teachers said, “ Like some of our students, Megan's path was filled with obstacles. I'm so proud of how far she's come and the incredible amount of determination, grit and drive it has taken to get to where she's at. I couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments and the woman and mother she's become.”

    We are so excited for Megan and all she has accomplished since graduating from DA three years ago. Go Mustang!

    Alumni, update us on your recent accomplishments by filling out this form.
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  • Zoe M. is Mustang Proud. Show how you are Mustang Proud by wearing your class or staff t-shirt. To purchase a shirt, contact Sadie Peterson at

    Mustang Proud

    Zoe Manning, 9th Grade Student Reporter
    DA is excited to announce its “Mustang Proud” campaign. The campaign, according to Denver Academy’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Valerie Hamlin, is to celebrate the school’s community of diverse learners and how Denver Academy has supported their personal goals and ambitions. Through Denver Academy’s curriculum, students gain a strong sense of individuality as well as build a community. The student-centered Mustang Proud campaign aims to share with others, both within the DA community and beyond, Denver Academy's unique approach towards learning through personal student and faculty stories.

    The Denver Academy Marketing Department will be publishing a series of student and teacher testimonials describing their personal experiences at DA. These stories will be shared on the DA website, social media outlets, and promotional materials.

    My personal Denver Academy journey is intrinsically tied to my family’s journey which began eight years ago when my brother, who is now a 12th-grader, began in third grade at Denver Academy. The school is a very important place for our family. DA helped my brother significantly, which subsequently benefited my family. Denver Academy has truly changed the trajectory of our lives. It was natural to consider Denver Academy for myself when my previous school was no longer a good fit.

    Despite my brother and I being very different, Denver Academy accommodated both of our strengths and weaknesses. I began at Denver Academy in the fall of 2017 and it immediately felt like the right school. I really appreciated how Denver Academy’s teachers adjusted the curriculum to keep me engaged yet challenged. Though I have had many remarkable teachers such as Mr. Green, Mr. Loose, Ms. Watkins, and Ms. Warneke, one teacher who has stood out is my eighth-grade teacher, Mr. Beckwith. He encouraged me to think and write at a level that I previously thought was unattainable. Without Mr. Beckwith’s counsel, I wouldn’t be a student writer/reporter for Denver Academy. Even though I am no longer in his class, he still continues to advocate as well as mentor me. I am Mustang Proud because Denver Academy has taught me to be proud of who I am as a learner.
    Share how you are Mustang Proud by participating in this special campaign! DA is looking for current students, alumni, faculty, and staff to share their stories. Click here to find out more and get involved.
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  • High School Students Attend "Ghosted" and Corresponding Talkbacks

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  • October

    Fifth Graders are Fighting Hunger

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  • Teaching the Way they Learn Best

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  • Robert Theis '14, DA Teacher Assistant

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  • September

    A Visit from Author Jan Reynolds

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  • Author Visit from Maika and Maritza Moulite

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  • August

    Q & A With New Board Chair, Kristy Taddonio Mullins

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  • Olivia Lockton '17, DA Summer Program Volunteer

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  • Geoffrey Hoellen '04, Sales Engineer

    Geoffrey “Geoff” Hoellen ‘04, is currently working as a Sales Engineer at Resonate in New York, New York where he creates platform demonstrations, technical solutions for clients, and works with various platforms and products to improve them. Recently, he created a Solution Development deck for one of the agency’s top holding companies, making this one of Resonate’s biggest contracts in history. 

    After graduating from DA 15 years ago, Hoellen thanks Denver Academy and its teachers for helping him create study habits and skills that have helped him reach his lifelong dream of living and working in NYC. 

    “I felt that the teachers at DA gave me the confidence to succeed with the work and focus on the tasks at hand. Which became extremely useful once I went to college,” said Hoellen. “This may seem simple and obvious, but using word association would help me focus when studying and taking exams.” 

    Before moving to New York City, Hoellen worked for a company in San Francisco, CA as a sales engineer. When a career opportunity arose in New York City, he was given the opportunity to transfer to the Big Apple. A perk for him was that DA Alum and friend, Hunter Emery, was currently living there as well. 

    While Hoellen loves living in the big city, he also loves his job. 

    “I love working in the Martech industry that is constantly evolving every single day. Getting to work with big data and analytics was something that is challenging and rewarding,” said Hoellen. “I also get to work in tandem with the Account Executive to help create solutions for our client-partners, but being more focused on the technical sale side of things. It is great to have an influence on what new enhancements to the platform need to be built and offering  my feedback to help guide what new product features should we put on the road-map.” 

    While at Denver Academy, Hoellen most enjoyed the teachers, playing soccer and baseball, and participating in theater. 

    One of his favorite teachers, Amy Thomson commented, “Geoff gave us so many gifts!  He is a kind, funny, smart, passionate person who always lit up our classroom with his energy and free spirit.  Geoff always had a witty retort and a sweet gesture for his entire community.”

    We want to congratulate Geoff for setting and achieving goals. We can’t wait to see where else life takes him. 

    Go Mustangs!
    Read More
  • July

    A Shining Star, Rachel Berke

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  • Nevin Zavell '14, Account Executive

    “Denver Academy helped me realize that I had worth and talent I could contribute.”

    Nevin Zavell ‘14, currently works as an account executive for Hydro Studios, a marketing firm in Salt Lake City, UT. He credits much of his success to Denver Academy and the incredible faculty and staff who helped him build the confidence to get to where he is today. 

    “Denver Academy gave me the confidence to believe I could go on to college and actually be successful. I had spent my early youth bouncing around schools and never fitting in, my aspirations for myself were never high and my self confidence was at a rock bottom along with my grades,” said Zavell. “Denver Academy provided an environment where I felt like I could actually succeed with what I wanted to do. Through the Drama club and Scuba Diving trips, I actually felt like I could fit in and be successful.”

    As a current account executive, Zavell’s job is to manage strategy and point to point client interactions. His accounts include one of the largest aftermarket auto part manufacturers in the world and one of the largest legal cannabis distributors in the United states. It is his job to coordinate with developers, designers, strategists and clients to work as a team to build effective marketing and advertising plans. 

    Zavell commented, “My job is stressful, however the work is fulfilling. I get to take deep dives into fascinating industries and learn them front to back. I also get to work creatively and help build large marketing strategies that hundreds of people will see, from product packaging and unboxing, to websites. It's hard work, but I come back at the end of the day with a product that I'm proud of.”’ 

    While at DA, Zavell noticed the faculty genuinely took interest in their students and did everything they could to help the students succeed. Nobody slipped through the cracks. 

    Mr. Bobby Duhamel, one of Zavel’s favorite high school teachers said, “Nevin is an extremely gifted writer and a progressive thinker who is consistently examining the world around him. He is quick witted and wickedly inventive. I hope to possibly work for him one day.”

    We are so proud of Nevin and wish him luck in all his future endeavours. Go Mustangs!
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  • Fall 2019 Sports

    It is that time of year again, and fall sports are right around the corner. Get invovled in Mustang Athletics for the opporuntiy to compete and have fun with your friends. Our fall sports range from boys soccer, to girls volleyball, and on to co-ed cross country. There is something fun for all to participate in. 

    All athletes are required to have an updated physical prior to the start of practice in order to participate. For information about sport start dates and correspsonding coaching contacts, click here

    Please contact Mark Bender,, with general athletic questions and contact individual coaches for specific sport/team details.
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  • Cameron Neumann ‘15, Behavioral Disability Paraprofessional

     “At Denver Academy, I learned how to succeed in life and believe in myself. I came from a huge high school and after freshman year I thought I would never graduate from high school.” 

    Cameron Neumann ‘15, spent the last year working as a paraprofessional in a behavioral disability classroom in the Cherry Creek School District. After graduating from the Community College of Denver in 2018, he wanted to take a break before continuing his education at the University of Northern Colorado in the fall of 2019.  

    Neumann said the Denver Academy staff and the way they help the student succeed and grow as a person is what inspired him to become an elementary teacher, and he has tried to bring the values and lessons he learned at DA into his students' lives. 

    “During my year off I wanted a job working with students in a classroom who have special education supports,” said Neumann. “I had special education supports and an IEP throughout my educational career. This job was a way to give back and help students like me with special education supports to succeed.”  

    Neumann worked with six students in the 3-5 grade and assisted the special education teacher with helping students complete assignments, integrate them into the general education classroom, and accompanied them to art, gym, and music classes. He said his favorite part about his job was seeing the smiles on his students' faces as they greeted him everyday, and watching them make progress. 

    “I still remember my boss pulling me aside my second week on the job to remind me that I will spend more time with these students than their parents will. Denver Academy taught me that education is more than just curriculum. It is helping students learn how to become model citizens and successful people out in the real world.  I try to bring those values to the students and teach them how to be successful in life, as people.” 

    We wish Cameron the best as he returns to school this year at UNC. 
    Read More
  • Drew Pluss ‘09, Nuclear Electrician in the Navy

    Drew Pluss ‘09, is currently stationed in Guam on the submarine tender USS Frank Cable, and works as a Nuclear Electrician in the Navy. Without Denver Academy, he would not have found his love for math and science which are large parts of his job. 

    “All my teachers made learning fun,” said Pluss. “Science was interactive and math was taught extremely well so I could understand both. It’s what helped get me a 32 on the ACT senior year!”

    Pluss joined the Navy in 2011, and has gone through extensive training to be able to get to where he is today.  He joined the Navy because both of his grandfathers served, and he saw the Navy as a perfect opportunity to get hands on experience for his post military career.

    His training and studies included becoming qualified to operate, maintain, and fix a ship’s electric plan and nuclear reactors, as well as radiological controls. Other training also includes CPR training every two to three years, and this has since been put to use. 

    Last year, Pluss was driving along the South Pacific Island’s Route when he saw a car accident and a victim lying unresponsive in the street.

    “ [My training]naturally kicked in,” he said. “There was no point where I was like, ‘do I need to do this? Should I do this?’ It was more of, ‘he’s in trouble. Go help him.’”

    For his act of heroism and bravery Pluss received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. 

    Frank Cable’s skipper, Capt. Jeffrey Farah, praised Pluss’ efforts. “Pluss is a hard-working sailor in our repair department,” he said. “The award was given because of his heroism, but he’s also doing hard work every single day while he’s here.”

    Since joining the Navy, Pluss has skydived twice (in Hawaii and Virginia), qualified to scuba dive, and bought a new Harley. 

    We want to thank Drew and all those who serve our country!
    Read More
  • June

    Andrew Pochepan '12, International Business

    “Denver Academy gave me the confidence I needed to reach my maximum potential.”

    Each year, Denver Academy sends graduates into the world and eagerly watches to see what they will accomplish in their lives.

    One of our alumni, Andrew Pochepan ‘12, was recently selected out of 5,000 applicants for a coveted marketing internship at WEX working on the Shell team. This internship will propel him forward as he works to complete his MBA in international business at Nova Southeastern University. His decision to study international business was inspired by experiences he had while attending Denver Academy.

    “Denver Academy made me love school so much that I'm still a student!” Said Pochepan,  “The international experiences I had at DA made choosing international business as my BA and MBA an easy choice.”

    While DA provided Pochepan with a great education, he also learned important leadership skills too. He recalls teachers, especially Mr. Brookhart, giving  him many opportunities to become a leader. The opportunities were provided in the classroom, on the soccer field, and during an overseas experiential trip to India.  

    DA Ninth Grade Teacher and soccer coach, Mr. Ramsey Brookhart, commented, "Andrew came to DA with an open mind and a desire to succeed.  His internal drive coupled with DA's program became a perfect match for him to shine.  From soccer captain to academics and more, he truly took control of his education and his future."

    We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Andrew , and wish him the best as he completes his MBA.

    Follow our hashtag #DAWhereWed on DA’s social media outlets to find out what our alums are up to!
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  • Shane Wagner '14, Film Producer

    Shane Wagner ’14 recently created a mini-documentary on former DA faculty member Geoff Burghardt and his mandolin company.
    “I had a real desire to make something creative because I hadn't done it in a while,” explained Wagner. “I wanted a competent film that could act as an example of what I'm capable of to potential clients or employers.”
    The end product is very impressive! Check out his the film below, and learn more about his film making process here:
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  • May

    Winners Chosen in 2nd Annual DA Juried Art Show

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  • DA Participates in International Jr. Solar Sprint Race

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  • Nine Students Inducted into Thespian Honor Society

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  • Guest Blog: 10 Parenting Tips To Reduce End-of-School-Year Stress

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  • Mission Matters: Lester & Martin Family

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  • April

    Ribbon-Cutting & Grand Opening Celebration for James E. Loan Athletic Center May 6

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  • Michael Blickley '08, Cartoon Artist

    Michael Blickley ’08, a comic book writer who recently released the third issue of his comic The Erinyes Project. Michael began working on The Erinyes Projectwhile he was in college at the University of Northern Colorado, but what started as a science fiction story soon transformed.
    “The decision to make it a comic book came, in part, from feedback describing an earlier novelization as a ‘comic book with words,’” he explains. And from that,The Erinyes Projectcomic book series was born. 
    Following the release of the third issue of the series, Michael was invited to speak on the Comic Creators panel at KaPow Comics & Coffee in Colorado Springs. The panel, which features Michael and three additional comic book writers discussing the process of bringing their unique ideas to the page, was recorded for an episode of the popular Bitfaced podcast. You can listen to the episode here.
    A free issue of The Erinyes Projectwill also be available at this year’s Free Comic Book Day event on Saturday, May 4 at the Mile High Comics Warehouse just off of I70 and I25. Be sure to stop by and snag a copy to support a fellow Mustang!
    The Erinyes Project is set on a planet wherein for most of its surface, the only extractible metals are non-ferrous ones. Human civilization advanced and prospered, but came under attack from another human civilization, and, being unable to adequately defend itself, created beings called Erinyes through combining the genetics of the finest humans, and fiercest predatory animals, that the civilization could find. Three issues of The Erinyes Project are now available in many stores.
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  • Students Explore Cultures Through Music Program

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  • Newbery Award-Winning Author Visits Elementary Classes

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  • Mission Matters: The Geller Family

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  • March

    Knowledge Bowl Team Takes 6th Place at State Tournament

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  • DA Drumline Performs in St. Patrick's Day Parade

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  • February

    Jess Woodward '13, Yoga Instructor

    Jess Woodward ’13 is a certified yoga instructor with hundreds of hours dedicated to the practice. She developed a strong passion for yoga after she moved back to Denver following her first year of college in Greeley, Colorado but soon became much more.
    “Yoga started off as a replacement for my regular gym workouts, then it became more- it became meditative and healing for me,” she explains. “Every time I would leave a yoga class I would feel released and at peace with everything.”
    After practicing yoga for three years, Jess decided to complete her yoga certification to become an instructor herself. She dedicated 200 hours to the process and now teaches at a variety of places around Denver, including Trufit Athletic Club and a private preschool for their faculty and staff members. Not only does Jess teach and practice yoga herself, she also works at CorePower Yoga’s headquarters full time: “Yoga is my full-time job and I could not be happier with this career path in my life.”
    We love hearing when Denver Academy alumni find their life’s passion!  
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  • Renovated Elementary & 6th Grade Building Opens Its Doors

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  • Guest Blog: Stop Policing Your Child's Screen Time in 2019

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  • January

    Students Tackle Bookpass Activity in the New Year

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