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  • Niwot High School seniors' last hurrah for 2024

    Scott Barto|May 22, 2024

    Niwot High School seniors' last day of school, May 15, was marked with camaraderie, in sharp contrast to the COVID-induced isolation of their freshman year. The Senior Car Parade, organized with assistance from the NHS Booster Club, began in 2020 when seniors were unable to enjoy the traditional end-of-year experiences and celebrations such as prom, awards nights, concerts, and group graduations due to the pandemic. The car parade allowed the community to recognize and celebrate Niwot's seniors...

  • Oliver Fowler joins the ranks of Eagle Scout

    Scott Barto|May 22, 2024

    Oliver Fowler of Scout Troop 161 in Niwot, acquired the final rank of Eagle Scout at a ceremony on Sunday, May 19. He is the 107th Eagle Scout from Troop 161 since 1973. Fowler has undergone the trials of earning 21 merit badges (14 of which are required for Eagle Scout) plus an additional five earning him a bronze Eagle Palm. "Many people think that once you earn your Eagle Scout, you've reached the end," said Advancement Chair Michelle Law, "but this is not true. You can earn achievements...

  • Spring Pops Choral Concert

    Jessica Checkas|May 22, 2024

    Niwot High School's Spring Pops Choral Concert held on May 14, featured the Tenor and Bass Choir, the Treble Choir, the Chamber Singers, Evenstar, the student a cappella group, the Unaccompanied Minors, and combinations of choirs. The Tenor and Bass Choir performed "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars, "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King, and the English sea shanty song, "Drunken Sailor." The Treble Choir performed "Build Me Up Buttercup" by Mike d'Abo and Tony Macaulay and made popular by The Foundations,...

  • Heatherwood Huskies go "Back to the '90s"

    Abby Kronenwetter and Noe Hathorn, Heatherwood Elementary School fifth graders|May 22, 2024

    Heatherwood Elementary School celebrated its last school-wide assembly of the year on Friday, May 17, that took the school on a trip "Back to the '90s" with time capsules and photos. Sparky, Heatherwood's blue husky mascot, made the trip with them. Sparky was trained by professional mascot trainers and was there to cheer on the school as kids were recognized for participating in school activities that included student council, Maji Safi, intramural sports, handbells and choir, Battle of the...

  • NHS Senior Car Parade drives to the future

    Scott Barto|May 15, 2024

    The fourth annual Senior Car Parade for the graduating seniors of Niwot High School will gear up on Wednesday, May 15. Seniors will have a chance to decorate their vehicles or floats after school, if they didn't get a head start already, and then make their way down Niwot Road, through 2nd Avenue, north on Murray Street, east along Neva Road to 83rd Street, and then east up Niwot Road to end back at the high school. This event was started in 2020 during Covid-19 as a way to socially distance...

  • Niwot High's farewell concerts to graduating seniors

    Scott Barto|May 15, 2024

    Whether you're a senior about to graduate or a close friend of a senior, the spring semester is always a bittersweet time of year. Niwot High School's spring concerts are an example of one of the "lasts" in which seniors participate during their final days of high school, and one such bittersweet experience. The Niwot High School bands, orchestras, and mariachi held their final concerts this past week on May 7 and 8 at the NHS auditorium. Both jazz bands, the percussion ensemble, and both sympho...

  • Niwot Elementary students make much ado about beards, swords and masks

    Special to the Courier|May 15, 2024

    Niwot Elementary School presented Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing on Friday, May 10, at Collyer Park in Longmont. The St. Vrain Valley School District celebrated the return of its Shakespeare in the Park Festival, with fifth-grade students from the gifted and talented programs at eight elementary schools participating. Niwot students first learned about Shakespeare's life and read shortened versions of sixteen plays. Much Ado About Nothing won a class poll, and during their reading class...

  • NHS band camp gets a jump on the summer

    May 15, 2024

  • Arts Students of the Week Hunter and Chase Maasen

    Gene Hayworth|May 8, 2024

    Fraternal twins Hunter and Chase Maasen have very different ideas about playing music. For Hunter, music is like a car. "It seems basic to most people," he said. "You move the stick shift and it drives. Nothing else to it. But to the engineers, it's a complex machine of moving parts having to do everything exactly right at the exact right time to create a movement forward. Music to me is like a car, complex, filled with melodies and harmonies, bass, emotions, soul, complexity, and people miss...

  • Heatherwood Educational Advisory Team begins community process to envision possible future program options

    Anna Lyttle|May 8, 2024

    Members of the Heatherwood Educational Advisory Team were feeling hopeful, inspired, and empowered at the close of the second meeting of the group on April 29. The team is beginning a community engagement process to develop recommendations for future programming and other educational experiences to help increase Heatherwood Elementary School's enrollment in future years. The Boulder Valley School District is among numerous school districts across the country that are facing the challenges of...

  • Niwot High School's 2024 Music Awards Night

    Scott Barto|May 8, 2024

    Niwot High School is no stranger to excellence. Niwot is "Home of the Champions" in many areas including sports, academia, and of course, music. Students from all grade levels who are involved in band, choir, mariachi, and/or orchestra were recognized for their achievements in the world of performing arts on Wednesday, May 1. The evening began by recognizing students, by grade, who had received varsity letters (just like in sports) and other achievements. Students who have earned enough points,...

  • Niwot High School's first Unified Theater performance

    Fred Zorgdrager|May 8, 2024

    During the final class of the day on Friday, May 3, Niwot High School offered its first-ever Unified Theater production, "Descendants: The Musical." Unified Theater was first introduced to Niwot High School this year through its semester-long class, which brings together students with and without special needs through theater. Friends and families of the performers were invited to attend along with the students of Niwot High School. The performance was a showcase of Niwot High School's...

  • Niwot High School's production of "Shrek The Musical"

    Special to the Courier|May 1, 2024

    Niwot High School's Production of "Shrek The Musical" closed recently after six shows over the course of two weekends. Under the direction of Amanda Foust and technical director Jason Watkins, the show ran seamlessly. The high energy from the cast made this show one of a kind. Along with its appeal to children, this musical is enjoyable for people of all ages. The underlying message of embracing uniqueness, inner beauty, and the importance of community create a beautiful story about various...

  • Niwot High Jazz Bands claim superior at Skyline Jazz Fest

    Scott Barto|May 1, 2024

    Both of the Niwot High School Jazz bands received "superior" scores this past week at the Skyline Jazz Fest. Under the direction of Wade Hendricks, director of bands at NHS, each group performed three pieces in front of three judges. This year the judges were John Gunter, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Ed Breazeale, a local jazz educator and performer, and Dr. Shawn Williams, Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at UNC Greeley. These jazz experts evaluated the...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Helping Hands Club

    Camryn Bell|May 1, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Helping Hands Club. "Helping Hands Club is a group of positive, committed students at our school," said Sofia Burks, President and Founder of the Helping Hands Club (HHC). "At least twice a month, we come together to complete a service activity for one of our local charities dedicated to supporting families battling pediatric diseases and medical conditions." This school year, Helping Hands Club has done service...

  • Arts Student of the Week Sadie Warren

    Gene Hayworth|Apr 24, 2024

    Sadie Warren has two complementary ideas about her future. She has wanted to own a bookstore since she was a little girl. Warren remembers playing a game she called "bookstore" where she would use her mother's bookshelves, had a small cash register, and her mother would buy books from her. She would also like to own a publishing company. Warren admits that books are her favorite things in the world. She loves to organize them in unusual ways. "I have a wall of books in my room that are in a...

  • NHS Mock Trial team fourth at the State Mock Trial Championship

    Jessica Checkas|Apr 24, 2024

    Niwot High School's Mock Trial team took fourth place at the State Mock Trial Championship competition held on March 8 and 9 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Golden. The group has been training for mock trial competitions since early October with a team of twelve students trained by their coaches, attorney Erika Grant, occasionally her husband Cameron Grant, and Sean Stewart. This year's team was Paul Blignaut, Cayla Piper, Charley Broenniman, Stella Munro, Aidan Coble, Justin Ge, Mina...

  • NHS Boosters Club and After Prom 2024

    Scott Barto|Apr 24, 2024

    Saturday April 13 was prom night for juniors and seniors at Niwot High School, held this year at the Boulder Theater. And with prom, comes after prom, which was organized, set-up, and moderated by the parent volunteers of the Niwot High School Boosters, Inc., at Niwot High School. After prom is an event held to ensure students have a fun and safe environment after the festivities of the dance itself. This event is one of the big Boosters' expenditures of the year, other than grants to various...

  • Niwot High School 2024 Teacher of the Year - Megan Schlagel

    Scott Barto|Apr 24, 2024

    On Saturday April 20, several teachers from St. Vrain Valley schools were recognized for their tremendous impact at their respective schools. Megan Schlagel, math teacher and department chair at Niwot High School, was awarded Niwot High's Teacher of the Year for 2023-2024. Nominations are submitted by parents, students, community members, peers, and administrators. The awards are given through the St. Vrain Valley School District Education Foundation. Two finalists and one Teacher of the Year...

  • Sunset Middle School 2024 Teacher of the Year - Acadia Gurney

    Scott Barto|Apr 24, 2024

    St. Vrain Valley schools, especially in the Niwot High School feeder system, were very well represented on Saturday, April 20, during the annual St. Vrain Valley Education Foundation awards and recognition event. It was a special night to honor public school teachers and recognize their dedication to their students and careers. For Acadia Gurney, being one of the math teachers at Sunset Middle School barely scratches the surface of her dedication at Sunset. She was the volleyball coach this...

  • Niwot Elementary School 2024 Teacher of the Year - Becky Gaccetta

    Scott Barto|Apr 24, 2024

    Becky Gaccetta was awarded the Niwot Elementary School 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year by the St. Vrain School District Education Foundation on April 20. Two finalists and one Teacher of the Year are awarded for each school. In addition, there are four finalists for the district and one overall SVVSD Teacher of the Year. Gaccetta sees herself as just one of many deserving colleagues. "Being nominated [for Teacher of the Year] is always an honor...," said Becky Gaccetta, Intermediate Special...

  • Arts Student of the Week Yaretzi Martinez Prieto

    Gene Hayworth|Apr 17, 2024

    When Yaretzi Martinez Prieto was younger, she enjoyed the way music sounded. Her father wanted her to play in the orchestra, but she decided to join the school band instead, playing alto sax when she entered Longs Peak Middle School. But Prieto remained interested in orchestra, and later she began to learn guitar, which led her on the path to mariachi. "Since mariachi is part of my culture," Prieto said, "my parents were very supportive of my interest in it, and they helped me get into the...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Earth Club

    Camryn Bell|Apr 17, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Earth Club. Niwot High School's Earth Club is a club in which students of all grades "explore environmentalism through an ecological lens, combining gardening and environmental initiatives to build an understanding of the earth," according to Elena Krone, member and leader of Earth Club. Niwot High's Garden Club and Environmental Club became defunct during the 2022-23 school year. In response, students took action...

  • Arts Students of the Week Noah Wurth and Noah Hadders

    Gene Hayworth|Apr 10, 2024

    Niwot High School seniors Noah Wurth and Noah Hadders have been performing together since elementary school. They have performed duets at the Multiple Piano Festival for several years, and both attended the same piano studio. "We also played together in middle school band," Hadders said. And they both learned new instruments together: Hadders on trumpet and Wurth on saxophone. Throughout high school the two friends continued to play and perform together. Both musicians are members of NHS...

  • Peter Kamuhanda and Mwebaza Days

    Peggy B. Graham|Apr 10, 2024

    In the February 5, 2020 edition of the Left Hand Valley Courier, an article was published about a young Ugandan boy named Peter Kamuhanda, who was a recipient of the Mwebaza Foundation's scholarship program. This program provided for his schooling, whereas in Uganda, insufficient funding for schools forces citizens to fill the financial gaps. Tragically, Kamuhanda was orphaned as a child and vulnerable to losing his scholarship. His current guardian had planned to send him to live with his grand...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Coding Club

    Camryn Bell|Apr 10, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Coding Club. In the words of Justin Ge, one of the Niwot High School Coding Club's leaders, "Niwot's Coding Club offers everything about coding. We are a collection of driven individuals who love creating and enjoy problem solving. During meetings, we code a wide range of things, including 2D and 3D games, technical coding problem sets, personal websites, PCB boards, and more. Alongside projects, we also offer an...

  • Arts Student of the Week Olivia Cesar Cipriani

    Gene Hayworth|Apr 3, 2024

    Currently enrolled in Drama 2 at Niwot High School, performing arts student Olivia Cesar Cipriani has an interest in both acting and technical theater, and she speaks thoughtfully about the difference between the two worlds. "As an actor," Cipriani said, "you get to become someone else for a performance, and forget about the real world. Theater techs create a whole new world onstage, and the actors become the people in it." According to NHS drama teacher Amanda Foust, who selected Cipriani as...

  • Niwot High School's upcoming production of "Shrek The Musical"

    Camryn Bell|Apr 3, 2024

    Niwot High School produces a much anticipated musical production each year. Under the direction of drama teacher Amanda Foust, students have spent the last three months preparing for the upcoming performances of "Shrek The Musical." Not only are the actors preparing for the performances, but technical theater teacher, Jason Watkins, and his crew of technical theater students have been working tirelessly to create a beautiful set. Impressive set pieces will be featured including a bridge built ov...

  • Niwot High School junior Katherine Cui winner of Zonta Foothills Club's 2024 Young Women in Public Affairs Award

    Special to the Courier|Apr 3, 2024

  • Niwot High Mariachi Esmeralda Ensemble making big strides

    Scott Barto|Apr 3, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to many music courses, ensembles, and after-school groups - it always has been. But recently there has been an increase in musical presence and student dedication. That's not to say that music at NHS hasn't always been filled with exceptionally dedicated students and staff, but it feels that in recent years there has been a significant increase and fulfillment, making it desired by the larger student body. The latest of these groups is the Niwot High School Mariachi...

  • Niwot Elementary School student Cooper Edwards wins regional spelling bee

    Jessica Checkas|Apr 3, 2024

    The Boulder Valley Regional Spelling Bee was held at Platt Middle School on March 16 with 51 contestants from Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Niwot Elementary School fifth-grader Cooper Edwards took top honors as the Spelling Bee's first place winner. Edwards is one of two students from Colorado who will be competing at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, in May. Tejas Raman, a seventh-grader at Boulder Country Day School in Gunbarrel, took second place. A former student at...

  • Arts Student of the Week Lexi Adams

    Gene Hayworth|Mar 27, 2024

    Although Niwot High School sophomore Lexi Adams does not yet have any firm plans regarding her future school and work, the one thing she knows for sure about what lies ahead is that she would like to dedicate herself to something artistic. Adams readily admits that art has always been present in her life. "I didn't practice it consistently until about six years ago," she said. "I enjoyed having a hobby that was unique in my family and friend group, and it quickly [changed] from a hobby to an asp...

  • BVSD engages community to address Heatherwood Elementary School's declining enrollment

    Elise S. Marylander|Mar 27, 2024

    Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) has been experiencing declining enrollment since 2018, a decline exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. One of the schools most notably affected is Heatherwood Elementary School, which has approximately 226 enrolled students as of Oct. 1, 2023. Heatherwood is running at just above 40% of its 500-student capacity. To address declining enrollment throughout the district, BVSD has implemented a long range planning process, an "Enrollment Advisory Phase" and a...

  • Heatherwood Elementary Huskies run as one – mathematically

    Leo Hofer-Shall and Declan McGuire, Fifth grade students at Heatherwood Elementary School|Mar 27, 2024

    On the evening of March 21, Heatherwood Elementary School, located in Gunbarrel, hosted its second annual Math Night to celebrate the young Husky learners from Pre-K through fifth grade. Each class prepared an interactive activity, or game, for the numerous families and community members who attended the dynamic event. The fifth-graders made an incredible game where estimation meets math, called "esti-mysteries." It was a guessing game to test your estimation skills with helpful clues. Each...

  • NHS' International Baccalaureate Programme South Asian culture CAS project

    Aditi Patel|Mar 27, 2024

    The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a rigorous academic program offered to students at Niwot High School. The International Baccalaureate website states that the Diploma Programme "aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge-students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically." Students in the program take college level coursework, while completing an extended research paper as well as participating in "CAS" (creativi...

  • Niwot Band has a "Fantasmic" Disney World trip

    Special to the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    Departing on Saturday, March 16, and returning home on Wednesday, March 20, the Niwot High School Symphonic Band ventured down to Orlando, Florida, to experience the "Most Magical Place on Earth." Forty-two students, two directors, and eight chaperones got to experience Disney magic in ways not many people do as a part of their Disney vacations. Saturday morning, students and chaperones met behind Niwot High School at 3:30 a.m. to catch a bus to Denver International Airport for a flight...

  • Arts Student of the Week Fred Zorgdrager

    Gene Hayworth|Mar 20, 2024

    When the curtain comes up on the Niwot High School spring show "Shrek the Musical" in April, senior Fred Zorgdrager will be front and center in the leading role. "It is a really big honor," Zorgdrager said. "I don't plan to do musical theater professionally but if I were to perform on Broadway 'Shrek' would be my dream role. It is super exciting to get the opportunity to do it now." Based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation film "Shrek," "Shrek the Musical" is a show with music by Jeanine Tesori...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Gender Studies Club

    Camryn Bell|Mar 20, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Gender Studies Club. "Niwot Gender Studies is devoted to being a discussion-based safe space for anyone and everyone to talk about topics related to gender issues in the world," said Club Leader Claire Jensen. "We hold meetings every other week devoted to different topics and talk about them in-depth, in addition to service projects around our Niwot community. We have worked with non-profits to advocate for period...

  • Arts Student of the Week Owen Powers

    Gene Hayworth|Mar 13, 2024

    During his junior year, percussionist Owen Powers played his first homecoming game with the Niwot High School Marching Band, performing alongside the Niwot drumline. "There were hundreds of people lining the football field and all up the hill adjacent to it," Powers recalled. "It was surreal. And on top of that, it was pouring rain, so everyone was getting drenched. Nevertheless, that performance might have been my personal best, and will without a doubt be one that I remember and cherish for...

  • Niwot Band attends CBA festival

    Special to the Courier|Mar 13, 2024

    On Wednesday March 6, 2024, the Niwot High School Advanced Symphonic Band attended the Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA) festival at Fort Collins High School. The CBA is made up of active and retired band directors in Colorado. One of the primary purposes of the CBA is to host events for band students of all levels and ages throughout the year, including marching band competitions in the fall, All-State Band and All-State Jazz Band events throughout winter and spring, and middle-high...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Political Action Club

    Camryn Bell|Mar 13, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Political Action Club (PAC). In the words of co-founder Oliver Fowler, "Niwot Political Action Club is a Niwot-focused club that provides a safe space for NHS students to debate important political news, talk about issues, and get involved in politics. It exists to provide a bias-free and moderated outlet for people that isn't just a single issue." Fowler and Evan Debusk created PAC in September of 2023 with the...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on Students for Rare Diseases

    Camryn Bell|Mar 6, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Students for Rare Diseases Club. Students for Rare Diseases is a club of students with the shared goal of educating and spreading awareness of rare diseases to improve and better the lives of individuals living with rare disorders, and the lives of their families and caregivers. According to the SFRD website, if 1 in 10 Americans has a rare disease, it is likely that roughly 118 Niwot students struggle with a rare...

  • Niwot High School Teacher of the Month Jason Watkins

    Fred Zorgdrager|Mar 6, 2024

    The Left Hand Valley Courier is introducing a new Teacher of the Month feature chosen by students. Teachers are chosen based on their positive impact on their students, staff, and surrounding community. Jason Watkins is Niwot High School's March Teacher of the Month because of his consistently positive impact on his students, the staff, and the community. Watkins teaches technical theater, CTE, jewelry, photography, and video making at NHS and is a founding member of the Colorado Association of...

  • Arts Student of the Week Marik Magginetti

    Gene Hayworth|Mar 6, 2024

    While Niwot High School students were sweeping the house before the preshow for "Beauty and the Beast," they learned that the show had sold out. For Marik Magginetti, a sophomore technical theater student involved in the production, it was one of his most memorable moments. "I remember actors running up the aisles and backstage to spread the news," Magginetti said. Another unforgettable moment occurred at the Bobby G awards, a state-wide high school musical theater program that recognizes...

  • Art Student of the Week James Miller

    Gene Hayworth|Feb 28, 2024

    Niwot High School Performing Arts student James Miller has a clear vision of his role in the world. "My interest in theater defines who I am as a person," Miller explained. "Most things about my personality come from my experiences and peers in the theater." His commitment to his craft was one reason his teacher, Amanda Foust, selected Miller as Arts Student of the Week. "James is a terrific actor!" Foust said. "He was in the high school's fall production of 'Puffs' and as his first production...

  • Niwot High Music Department 2024 World Tour

    Scott Barto|Feb 28, 2024

    Last year, several students from the choir and orchestra departments at Niwot High School were given separate opportunities to travel during the spring and summer of the 2022-2023 school year. Orchestra members took a trip to Europe and the Baltics, while choir members took their traditional trip traveling to New York City to perform on Broadway and see some Broadway musicals. This year, the music department world tour continues for students at NHS. Keynes Chen, the orchestra director at Niwot,...

  • NHS Education Foundation celebrates 30 years with online auction

    Angela Hudgins|Feb 21, 2024

    The Niwot High School Education Foundation is gearing up for its annual online auction, March 6-10 to raise funds for educational grants, scholarships, and other programs to meet the needs of teachers and students to enrich their educational experience. Thanks to generous support from sponsors, it should be an exciting one for potential bidders, according to auction committee chair Hadley Solomon. "We have several companies who continue to donate every year," she said, noting that there are donations from businesses in Niwot, Longmont,...

  • Arts Student of the Week - Olivia Raichart

    Gene Hayworth|Feb 21, 2024

    At the beginning of the 2023 school year, Niwot High School freshman Olivia "Liv" Raichart was working on a large landscape painting for a school project. She was in the hallway because the canvas was so big it would not fit in the classroom. Suddenly another young woman came out of the classroom crying, and Raichart wanted to help. So she invited the other student to paint with her, and immediately the tears stopped. "We just painted together," Raichart said. "And it made her feel better. It wa...

  • Niwot High School Clubs - Spotlight on the Dance Club

    Camryn Bell|Feb 21, 2024

    Niwot High School is host to over 60 student-run clubs, and one stand-out is the Dance Club. As described by Dance Club leader Ellie Rauschkolb, "Dance Club is a club that is open to anyone who wants to perform and learn to dance and have fun. We perform at assemblies and the Niwot Open House which are our biggest performances. Niwot Dance Club is not an auditioning club which is great since it's open to anyone who wants to join, whether they're experienced or not." Every year Dance Club...

  • Boulder Country Day offering summer camps

    Diana Emerson|Feb 21, 2024

    If you are a parent, you probably have begun thinking about summer plans. One option is summer camp for the children. Boulder Country Day in Gunbarrel offers several options for children ages three to 13 with a wide variety of mix and match options to keep your child active and excited this summer. For children ages three to five, “Camp Sandbox” offers half- and full-day options for four weeks from June 3-June 28. Camp Sandbox features weekly themes such as “Brilliant Bug Ball” and “Animal Rescuers” to capture children’s sense of wonder with p...

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