Why we chose CA: The Seitz-Yañez family

Joe Seitz describes his daughters as “two diamonds.” So it’s fitting that when he started looking for the best school for them, he settled on a place he calls “the gold standard.”

“I grew up in Denver, and I have colleagues who attended Colorado Academy in the 1980s, so I know the legend of CA,” Seitz says. “But I never imagined I would be able to send my daughters there.”

Seitz is an educator with 20 years in public education, so what does he mean when he calls CA “the gold standard?”

“It is a place where my daughters are surrounded by other students who all want to learn,” he says. “The families are like-minded and value education both at school and at home. They like discipline and structure. At CA, that is guaranteed.”

Joe and Maria Seitz’s older daughter, Ana Yañez, came to CA Upper School in the Ninth Grade from a public magnet school that focused on creative arts. It was a neighborhood school for her family, and she “loved it,” her dad says. When they started making plans for high school, they considered all options—public schools, charter schools with a focus on art or science, and several private schools.

“When she got into CA, I almost didn’t believe it for the first year!” Seitz says. “It was just such a blessing to us.”

Seitz says his older daughter made the transition to CA easily, making new friends “across socioeconomic lines.” She had come from a school with a focus on the arts, but at CA the opportunities in computer science, engineering, design, visual, and performing arts were at a new level.

“At CA, you can work on robotics, you can build cabinets, you can do pottery,” Seitz says. “And both my daughters love to act, so we can’t wait for CA to finish the new multi-million dollar performing arts center.”

Even though Ana had spoken Spanish around the house, Seitz insisted that, in addition to taking Mandarin, she enroll in CA’s Heritage Spanish course.

“She doesn’t speak Spanish at a native level,” he says. “At CA, she has the opportunity to get better and broaden her skills.”

Next stop, Middle School

As Ana immersed herself in CA classes and activities, her younger sister, MJ Seitz-Yañez, was watching from the sidelines and attending events at CA. “She was ecstatic about those experiences,” Seitz says. “She said to us, ‘I’m going here next year.’ It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.”

Once again, Joe Seitz did his homework, researching CA’s Middle School. He was particularly impressed when he heard Middle School Principal Bill Wolf-Tinsman speak about CA’s commitment to developing the social and emotional health of students.

“To me, Middle School is a time when social and emotional development is even more important than academics, because if you are emotionally mature, your academics will fall in line,” Seitz says. “When I heard how passionate CA’s Middle School principal was about that, it felt like a very authentic, real message to me.”

This year, MJ started CA in the Sixth Grade with this advice from her father: “The decision to go to CA is a big one. You will be challenged there on many levels. You need to prove you are worthy of being there, so every day you need to pick up your basket and carry it so you uphold the standards CA sets. You should be proud to be at CA, and CA should be proud of you.”

Seitz describes CA as a place that is “forward-thinking,” with a philosophy that “it’s good now, but let’s make it even better for everyone and not just a select few.” He believes his daughters benefitted from public education for many years, but to him, private education is one of the best investments he could make. He views his daughters’ education at CA as “symbiotic”—they will give to CA, and they will receive from CA.

“I expect them to work hard, get good grades, and take all the opportunities at CA seriously,” he says. “In return, CA will open up a whole new realm of contacts for them, and the ability to say they graduated from CA—well, that is priceless.”