Together again: All-School Assembly brings year to close

 

“Is this amazing, or what?”

That’s how Colorado Academy Head of School Dr. Mike Davis opened the final All-School Assembly of the 2020-2021 school year. Of course, what was amazing was that after 14 long months, the entire CA student body was again together in one place at one time.

Dr. Davis recalled some of the highlights and lowlights since the pandemic hit in March 2020. The low moments: COVID-19, wearing masks, drooling into a tube for COVID-19 testing, living with uncertainty, missing faraway family, and losing loved ones.

But even in this difficult year, there were highlights. “Already many of you have been vaccinated, and we have seen cases drop in our school community,” Davis said. “I want to thank you for being so strong throughout the year. And I am extremely optimistic about next year.”

Faculty applaud Dr. Jon Vogels as he steps down from his duties as Upper School Principal.

Kudos to the faculty

Dr. Davis praised the faculty for their hard work since spring of 2020, when CA went fully remote, and throughout this past year, as students gradually transitioned from remote learning back to school for in-person learning. “We asked faculty to come to campus during the height of the pandemic,” Davis said. “It took courage for them to do that, and they did it for you. The faculty and staff have a sense of service and purpose. For so many of them, working at CA is more than a job.”

Davis also paid tribute to Dr. Jon Vogels for his 18 years of service as Principal of the Upper School. Next year, Dr. Vogels will return to CA as a fulltime teacher and Advisor to the Speech and Debate program. “No matter how tough the issue or situation, Dr. Vogels would always listen and ask questions in ways that would be supportive, Davis said. “He has pioneered numerous CA programs, hired dozens of talented and dedicated teachers, advanced our efforts to be more inclusive, pushed us to adopt more innovative curriculum, and supported teachers so they can do their best job every day.”

 Honoring the CA Yearbook staff

Telesis, the CA yearbook, will arrive this summer because of pandemic production delays. Despite the hurdles of fully remote learning, followed by a phase with CA divided into Rockies and Mustangs, and a few surprise quarantines, Yearbook Advisor Rebecca Silva, with the assistance of Upper School French teacher Stephanie Turner, led their team to the finish line. Silva gives special credit to Hadley Hodgson (Grade 11), Amanda Wilson (Grade 11), Yahaira Nuñez Hernandez (Grade 9), and Joe MacDougall (Grade 10). “These students really made the yearbook what it is,” Silva said.

Every year, the Yearbook Staff selects CA’s “Most Impactful People.” The recipient of the 2021 honor is CA’s Health Team, including Mandy Batliner, Jean Lyons, and Holly Clapp.

“This year, we are especially grateful for the staff who helped us stay healthy,” the Yearbook Staff wrote. “They put themselves at risk every day so we could come to school safely, in person. We recognize your enormous impact this year, keeping the student “body,” and the whole CA community, healthy.”

Renna Allan had the distinction of being the first Senior called up.

And then it was time for Dr. Davis to return to the beloved CA tradition of paying tribute to the Seniors by calling out their names. “You found ways to be creative during the pandemic,” he said. “I want to recognize and thank you for your leadership during a very uncertain time. You have not only survived, but you have thrived here, raising the level of excellence at this institution.”

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