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A non-traditional path to high school graduation

​Part eight of a series focusing on how Cherry Creek Schools is meeting the needs of all children.

Two years ago, Madison Dixon was ready to give up on school altogether.

“I wasn’t doing school at all. I was ditching. I never participated in class. I was just falling behind.”

But a friend told her about Endeavor Academy, the Cherry Creek School District’s alternative high school. Endeavor helps students earn their diploma and prepare for success after high school by re-engaging them in learning. The school uses both traditional and non-traditional instruction in an academically rigorous and personalized learning environment.

It turns out Endeavor was just what Dixon needed.

“It’s amazing,” Dixon said of Endeavor. “I love how small the classes are and how individualized the teachers become with the students there.”

Endeavor Academy Principal Mark Morgan and 2016 graduate Madison DixonShe said Endeavor staff members, including Principal Mark Morgan and especially teacher Kris Gearke, were there for her when she really needed someone.

“Ms. Gearke made me feel like I had someone to confide in when it came to stuff outside of school,” Dixon said. “She’s helped me apply at different places and opened me up to new experiences.”

Endeavor gave Dixon the ability to believe in herself and her potential.

“Going to Endeavor gave me the voice I never thought I would have.”

In fact, Dixon was selected as one of two student speakers at Endeavor’s mid-year graduation ceremony, held Dec. 16 at CU Denver South. As her family, friends, fellow graduates and the entire Endeavor staff looked on, Dixon shared a poem she had written and thanked the Endeavor staff and her classmates for their support and guidance on her journey.

Dixon and her fiance are now looking forward to a move to Washington state, where she plans to attend college and pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist.

Posted 4/3/2017 2:40 PM
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