Twenty-six years is time enough to establish a strong tradition of excellence.
Since Eaglecrest High School opened in 1991, it's grown from an untested facility on the outskirts of undeveloped Arapahoe County to an accomplished institution in the middle of a thriving community. The school has produced graduates who have gone on to make strong marks in the worlds of athletics, arts and other activities.
The Eaglecrest staff wanted to honor that history last year when they launched the Athletics and Activities Hall of Fame, an institution created to correspond with the school's 25th anniversary that recognized some of the school's most accomplished alums. The effort wasn't a one-shot deal – last week, members of the Eaglecrest community came together to crown the Hall of Fame's second official class, a group that includes athletes, actors and a dedicated volunteer. The ceremony included a formal recognition ceremony held at Blackstone Country Club on Nov. 19, followed by an "excellence assembly" and brunch held at Eaglecrest on Nov. 20.
The Hall of Fame event may only be in its second year, but Eaglecrest staff insist that the effort already has the feel of a storied tradition.
"The first Hall of Fame ceremony was fantastic. It gave our students a sense of what they can achieve and what they accomplish. Honoring these alums in front of the student body was a big thing," said Vince Orlando, athletic director for the school. Orlando worked with colleagues and community members to carry that mission over to the Hall of Fame's second year, selecting a class of honorees that represented a wide range of accomplishments. "It's exciting to bring a new group, new identities and new perspectives from a variety of different endeavors."
While the six inductees in this year's Hall of Fame class offer very different accomplishments, they all sum up a spirit of engagement and dedication.
Ralph Gorton didn't attend the school, but he served at Eaglecrest as a volunteer in its early days from 1992 to 2002. As president of the booster clubs for the Eaglecrest football and boys lacrosse teams, Gorton helped stoke an early sense of school spirit for the students and families who were among the first to call Eaglecrest home.
Lisa Roberts (Sprague), class of 1996, was one of the school's most accomplished multi-sport athletes in its first decade of existence. She excelled in basketball and lacrosse, but made some of her most impressive marks in softball. During her time at Eaglecrest, Sprague won four varsity letters in the sport, earned all-conference first team honors three times and made the 1995 All-State second team. She also went on to contribute to the wider Cherry Creek School District community in other ways, serving as softball coach at Grandview High School, where she now works as assistant principal.
"The Hall of Fame speaks to where the school and the community has started and where it's come in 26 years ... I think there's definitely a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment to turn out such accomplished students. It's served as a great foundation moving forward."
-- Vince Orlando, Eaglecrest High School athletic director
Kristen Schevikhoven, class of 2006, helped set a tradition of excellence for the Eaglecrest volleyball team in the 2000s, serving as team captain for three years and earning the title of varsity athlete for four years. Following her example of hard work and dedication, the Raptors would go on to win the state volleyball championship after Schevikhoven's graduation. Schevikhoven's accomplishments during her time at the school included winning All-American, All-Colorado and All-state titles. She also earned a Division I scholarship to Texas A&M and made the all-tournament team as a member of the Olympic Junior National Team in 2006.
Kimberly Tedder-Avalos, class of 1996, found a home and a sense of purpose on the Eaglecrest stage. Tedder-Avalos played several roles during her time in the school's theater program, including Annie in "Annie" and Mary Lennox in "The Secret Garden." Her work in the program earned her honors during the National Thespian Festival competition held in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tedder-Avalos went on to graduate from the Musical Theater Program at the University of Northern Colorado, where she played roles in a long roster of shows including "Madame Butterfly," "The Tender Land," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Grease," "A Chorus Line" and "Romeo and Juliet."
Stacey Timberman, Class of 2001, was a part of the school's cheer team in the late '90s, where she worked with coach Gwen Hansen-Vigil, who now serves as the school's principal. Timberman made varsity all four years of her high school career, and she was also on the teams that brought home state championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Timberman's success on the cheer teams came along with a dedication to academic excellence – she was a member of the National Honor Society in 2000 and 2001, and she went on to graduate from Colorado State University.
Gregory Treco, class of 1998, translated his accomplishments in the Eaglecrest drama program into work on stages across the country. Treco was active in the school's theater, dance and vocal music programs, earning a standout role in the school's production of "Chess," a show featured at the National Thespian Festival that went on to visit Paris. After graduation, Treco took his accomplishments to much larger venues. He earned a prestigious scholarship to Carnegie Mellon, and went on to play roles in "Zanna Don't" and "Taboo" on Broadway. Treco hasn't forgot his Colorado roots – he recently appeared in the debut of the new musical "The Twelve" as part of a Broadway workshop at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
All six of these honorees have helped turned a new school on the outskirts of the Cherry Creek School District in to a thriving community, one that claims its own unique traditions of excellence, dedication and accomplishments. According to Orlando, their stories serve as a powerful example to current students.
"The Hall of Fame speaks to where the school and the community has started and where it's come in 26 years," Orlando said. "I think there's definitely a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment to turn out such accomplished students. It's served as a great foundation moving forward."