Principal's Update 11.14.15

Dear Raptor Families,


     Many things make Silver Creek High School a world-class school.  Above all, the most important facet of Silver Creek is our students!  In fact, there are so many individual and group successes accomplished by our students that I often feel sheepish trying to share with you everything that is a success, lest I forget something or someone.  Every single student attending Silver Creek makes us a richer, more diverse, and exceptional educational community.  

If I may indulge in our successes from this Fall:  
-77 Advanced Placement Scholars
-3 National Merit Commended students
-1 National Merit Semi-Finalist
-Three terrific concerts, two parades and the marching production of “UP” from our performing arts department
-Production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
-All athletic teams ranked in the top 10 in state, with state appearances in all sports
-Conference Champions in Football, Boy’s Cross Country, Golf, Dance, Soccer
-Participation at the Colorado STEM Event at Mile High
-32 Leadership Academy Capstone Projects underway 
-Host to the Sunrise Stampede
-Several new clubs including: Aeronautics, Chess, Games, and PEAR Club
-Successful College Week with over 300 participants
-$5000 in grants from the Silver Creek Education Foundation to classrooms
-Support from SCOPA for new musical equipment and instructors
-RABC funding upgrades in athletic equipment

     Occasionally, though, there are challenges when working with teenagers, as we have dealt with some instances of social-emotional duress, a suicide, as well as false threats to our school in the last month.  There are no doubt many of life’s challenges our teens endure and are exposed to.  As we all face these challenges in our students’ lives, please be our partner in reassuring your child that school is a safe place and that every child plays a part in making our school safe and welcoming.  

     We work tirelessly to promote our school as being one of inclusiveness, where everyone is valued and where the exchange of ideas is done so with civility and empathy for fellow colleagues.  We work tirelessly to promote ideals of leadership, not at the expense of others, but in an effort to build a better school, community, country, and world.  And, our kids work tirelessly to uphold our mission of being an inclusive community committed to leadership and excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.  As parents, I know we all work tirelessly to impress upon our kids the values of hard work, perseverance, and character. Indeed, a world-class school takes a lot of tireless work by everyone involved, and a meaningful education, as part of a meaningful life, necessarily includes difficult and meaningful challenges.

     During the course of this past week we have seen students wanting to protest results of an election; we’ve heard defamatory and derogatory speech used amongst kids, and we’ve felt a heightened level of anxiety.  I personally worked with the students wanting to protest, as I did with the other issues, and have heard clearly from many kids that their mission is to focus upon an environment in Silver Creek that is free from hate and bullying behavior.  Ultimately, our committee will arrive at solutions that are school-appropriate, apolitical in nature, and representative of what we want our school to be: a learning environment that is respectful, civil and supportive of all kids.  As I mentioned to our students involved, protesting and walking out is also like walking out on the people who care most about you (including your parents), walking out on the people who are trying to provide you an opportunity to better yourself educationally, and walking out on a community that has just said, “We support all of our kids and all of our schools.”  While student voice is respected upon all issues, I implore our kids to become involved on a deep level within our community, to create lasting positive changes, and to help build our inclusive and excellent school.  Silver Creek will continue to uphold our commitment to a safe learning environment, where all students are valued, and where opportunities exist for every child to succeed.


     In closing, sometimes we don’t get to celebrate the everyday individual successes of our students.  Let’s celebrate a student learning a new language; be it Mandarin, French, Spanish, or English.  Let’s take time to celebrate the individual accolades of turning in a paper or the novels being created in Creative Writing class.  Let’s celebrate our students working on websites, building entrepreneurial businesses, creating paintings, producing photography, running the “Pacer”, constructing proofs, conducting labs, and composing music.  All of these individual triumphs make Silver Creek collectively better!  Parents, please be our partner in taking the time to celebrate your child’s academic, artistic, and athletic accomplishments, because after all, it is the kids who are the most important facet of any school.


     Thank you for your continued support and being a valued partner in your child’s education at Silver Creek.


Erick Finnestead