Although their students don’t start school for another week,
teachers in the Cherry Creek High School feeder area went back to school –
together – on Aug. 6. Nearly 900 teachers from CCHS, Campus and West middle
schools and 11 elementary schools that feed into Creek, met enmasse to kick off
the 2018-19 school year with collaboration and a collective commitment to
“The students benefit every time we come together and say
here’s what we stand for, here’s how we carry that out, here’s how we do what
we believe in,” said Rosann Bryant, a CCHS staff member who helped organize the
huge professional development event.
Teachers met in the CCHS auditorium, where they filled every
seat and stood along the walls. They were welcomed by Principal Ryan Silva,
then they heard from a panel of current CCHS students who shared some of their
educational experiences – both positive and negative – from elementary to high
school. One young man recalled the challenge of being a student of color in a predominately
white elementary school. Another talked about how his middle school science
teacher helped prepare him for the rigor of high school. Others talked about
their involvement in activities and athletics and how much those opportunities
are enriching their education.
Break-out sessions led by feeder area principals and subject
matter experts followed. Educators could choose from a wide variety of
compelling topics ranging from helping students manage stress to meeting the
needs of struggling students, gifted students and every student in between.
“We have classes on innovation and integrating the arts,”
Bryant explained. “We have classes on making it in middle school and how to
choose classes at CCHS.”
Response to the event was very positive.
“I love it,” said Jason Herrera, the physical education
teacher at High Plains Elementary. “My first year teaching in Arizona they did
something similar and I just remember the camaraderie that was built and the
streamlining of goals and the vision that really resonated with the whole
Herrera noted that because Cherry Creek Schools has
implemented Professional Learning Communities district-wide, valuable collaboration
occurs regularly within every school, and he appreciates having the opportunity
to connect with colleagues at other schools within his feeder area.
“It’s all about those relationships,” Herrera said. “Today I
can go and see other PE teachers who I might not see during the year and bounce
ideas off of them. I have someone else
in my content area I can get support from.”
The event marked the first time in many years that teachers
from across the Cherry Creek High School feeder area had come together as a
group and it proved to be inspiring.
“The teachers are so excited about the community we have
here,” Bryant said. “They’re so excited to celebrate not only their own
schools, but each other’s schools and this amazing place that we’re feeding