Why the Ezrine family chose a private school

When Tucker Ezrine came to his parents in the middle of his sophomore year at Denver’s George Washington High School and said he wanted to consider transferring to Colorado Academy, they were shocked—and torn. “We have always been huge public school proponents,” says Tucker’s mother Kim. “And yet, as a parent, how can you say no to your child when it comes to education?”

While looking for high schools, Tucker had visited CA but ultimately attended George Washington, where he was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. When he visited CA again in his sophomore year, he came home with new insights. “He said, ‘Everyone in the classroom is focused on the task and really wants to learn,’” Kim remembers. “He was also struck by how happy everyone seemed and how proud they were to be at CA.”

After Tucker was accepted at CA, Kim remembers the decision-making days as a time of great soul searching for her family. She had attended public schools and believes that schools should reflect the diversity of the community where students live. Tucker had a great group of friends at George Washington, and at CA, where he would enter the eleventh grade, he did not know a single person. “We kept saying to him, ‘Are you sure?’” Kim recalls. “But he never had doubts, and we couldn’t deny him, because we felt that academically and athletically it was a great fit. I recognized that I would be proud to be part of CA.”

A parent’s perspective

As it turned out, Kim’s concern for a mid-high school transfer was unwarranted. By the end of the first week of school, Tucker was making plans with new CA friends, and his parents had also found a community of kindred spirits. Today, Kim lists the many ways CA has added value to Tucker’s education—“the small classes; the emphasis on well-balanced students who don’t just seek straight A’s but can pursue passions that are academic, artistic, and athletic; the school’s focus on being courageous and kind; the opportunities for diverse experiences and activities that immerse students in community service.”

“I feel like the culture at CA is very intentional,” she says. “Students are surrounded by adults who encourage them to try new things and support them—whether they succeed or fail.”

When it came time for Emma Ezrine to apply to high schools last year, she shadowed at East, Northfield, George Washington, Regis Jesuit, and CA. Emma chose CA, according to her mother, for a “classroom environment that was so interactive and engaging that students couldn’t help but be focused.” And when Kim’s third child, Harper, shadowed in the fifth grade, she came home with eerily similar observations. “She said, ‘It’s so welcoming and kind and easy to pay attention there,’” says Kim. “And she was thrilled, because for the first time she got to go to a class dedicated to science.”

Kim Ezrine values the diverse experiences her children have had in public schools and believes that CA will build on that foundation with exposure to new ideas, service experiences, and experiential learning. “We think CA offers so many opportunities for students to be involved in activities outside academics,” she says. “We have no doubt that the diversity our family values in public school is present at CA, because there are many ways students connect to a bigger world.”