In Memoriam: Kathy Metsch

by Jessie Cartwright, 4th Grade Teacher and DWS Alumna

Kathy Metsch, who served as Administrative Director of The Denver Waldorf School from 2001-2005, passed away on July 20, 2015. Kathy’s time with us on this earth was cut short when difficulties arose in her recovery from meningioma brain tumor surgery. She will be remembered by the DWS community for her time as a committed parent, for her guidance and leadership, and for her love and support of her many colleagues.  As we look towards the beginning of a new school year, it is paramount that we look back first and reflect upon one who made the journey of The Denver Waldorf School bright and full of meaning.

In 1980, Kathy and her husband David were new parents seeking a supportive community and a loving environment for their five-month old daughter Sarah. Kathy met Nancy Blanning in a mother’s support group provided through the Free University. Three years later, the stars aligned, and with an angelically-inspired solution to the dilemma of where Sarah would attend school, Kathy turned to The Denver Waldorf School. Nancy Blanning accepted her into the kindergarten class she was teaching at DWS. Kathy’s dedication and commitment to DWS was inspiring from the moment she enrolled her daughter into the student body. Sarah continued to attend DWS for grades K-12.

As Kathy’s work concluded with the Cherry Creek School System, DWS was in need of an Administrative Director to help navigate the school in a new direction and secure our foundation for a new campus at 940 Fillmore Street. As the Administrative Director, Kathy offered her expertise and guidance in countless ways. One of her enormous gift was her people skills. Kathy offered sincere warmth and interest to everyone. She was a peace-maker and always strove to find harmony in all she encountered during her days working with parents, colleagues, and the greater Waldorf community. Knowing when the time was right to let the school grow and evolve beyond what she could shepherd, Kathy stepped aside, humbly, with generous mindfulness, and full of integrity.

We mourn Kathy’s absence in our Waldorf family, and send her family our deepest condolences. As this year begins may we remember her ability to listen with integrity, observe the best in every single person we meet, and hold each other in warmth and respect for the unique gifts each of us brings to this continuing journey of education. We stand on the shoulders of giants in more than one way here at The Denver Waldorf School. Kathy Metsch will remain a beacon, guiding light, the fixed North Star, the giant whose shoulders continue to support us, as we do our very best work with children each day. We will carry Kathy’s legacy forward in our hearts and memory as DWS moves on to begin a new school year.

Carolyn’s College Corner – December

This past fall I attended two conferences, one in Indiana and the other in Florida, where I was able to sit in on seminars full of hot topics. From financial aid, generational differences, social media, LD issues and higher ed, my head was spinning!

While on these trips I was able to visit schools in the vicinity; in Indiana I saw Butler, Rose-Hulman, Purdue, DePauw and Earlham, and in Florida I saw Eckerd, University of Tampa, and Florida Southern College. I saw firsthand how schools are working to keep their curriculum fresh and pertinent and how they are working towards building and measuring programs that manifest into outcomes for their graduates. Here are some of the takeaways confirming what I have been observing while on the road visiting colleges and universities and professional development seminars.

1. Education = look at Career Framework =>who are you=> what are your academic options => career options

My observation is as higher education changes and becomes increasingly expensive, it is critical for colleges and universities to provide value and outcomes for their students and their families. Today’s parents want to know what the outcomes are. Will they get a job? How do you measure success in this area? Schools paying attention to trends of thought are ahead of the game as they build college/career planning side by side for each student.

2. Silos of thought or disciplines are going away. Cross pollination is evolving into an integrative approach to higher education. While STEM has been on everyone’s mind, it really is now STEAM, STEM +ART, creating innovation and creative, thoughtful problem solving.

3. We will be seeing more Interdisciplinary Incubators – innovation and growth stimulated by multiple areas of thought coming together and working toward a common goal.
Hot College Majors:

Biomedical engineering
Big data
Public policy
Forensic science

Other markets with nonlinear pathways:

Green design – city planning, landscape
Energy and water systems management
Sustainability management
Policy opportunities
Engineering – need to ask questions not just solve problem
GIS – Geographic Information Systems

6. It is not about problem solving anymore, it is about asking the right questions!
In order for colleges to be competitive for students they must adapt to the new climate
Schools are increasingly adding 4 year career counseling into their curriculum
Experiential learning
8. While a college education is our hope for our students, it would be remiss for me not to mention that not every student is meant for a 4-year college curriculum. Currently the trades and other middle skill jobs (those that require a 2-year college degree, occupational license or certification) are suffering from attrition due to workers hitting retirement and empty pipelines to replenish these skilled laborers. These middle skill jobs include, but are not limited to:
a. Coders
b. Financial service sales agents
c. Insurance and Real estate brokers
d. Technical sales
e. Machinists, tool-and-die makers
f. The trades – electricians, welders, plumbers, mechanics

Carolyn’s College Corner November >>

Carolyn’s College Corner: November 2014

As an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC), part of my job is staying current on all topics related to college admissions. Professional and educational development is offered to me all year round and as a “student of colleges” I always incorporate visits to schools wherever I happen to be visiting.

I have had a busy fall traveling; Indianapolis for NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors) and I just returned from Orlando where I attended the IECA conference. While these conferences offer us the opportunity to connect with others from all over the world, the best parts of school visits and the seminars we can participate in. There is no topic left unturned as part of my ongoing education; from generational trends, to social media and teens, to financial aid, to Learning Differences and the college process I receive a wealth of information to help me better serve students and their families.

My trip to Orlando gave me the opportunity to visit three schools, all very different, but each with its own distinctive “vibe”!

Eckerd College

I hate to say I have biases, but as with anything we have our favorites. I have always loved Eckerd and as this was my second visit there, I fell in love with it all over again. Located in St. Petersburg, FL, on a spit of land and surrounded on three sides by water, you can’t go wrong on this gorgeous campus. Relatively young, it was founded 58 years ago and has grown significantly in the last decade. With 1800 students, class sizes are small and student engagement is very high. They are known particularly for marine science, biological science (brand new building), environmental studies, communications and creative writing. A new arts facility is in the works housing such things as photography, film, and ceramics.

Abroad opportunities abound at Eckerd. Many students do a winter term (January) abroad with study options all over the globe, from London to China, to South America to Africa. All applicants are automatically considered for merit aid and also need based aid. About 80% of need will be met. There are scholarship opportunities in art, marine science, and business. 3-2 engineering is available as well.

Career services consist of a step by step 4 year plan encompassing internships, experiential learning and study abroad.
The students at Eckerd characterize themselves as adventuresome, global and liberal thinking.

University of Tampa

Located in the heart of Tampa, UT reminds me of the University of Denver in many ways. A private, midsized urban school, UT has more than 160 areas of study in four colleges. There is the College of Arts and Letters, College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education, College of Natural and Health Sciences and the Sykes College of Business. Tampa has 351 days of sunshine a year (beating Colorado out by a few days) and an average temperature of 72 degrees. Class sizes averages out to 21 and the student/faculty ratio is 16:1.

The Business School has an international emphasis which includes a language requirement and study abroad. The school itself has a high percentage of international students – about 20%.

The most popular majors are International Business, biology, management, and marine science. To this end there is an Entrepreneurship Center, marine science field station and nursing program.

UT has an Honor’s Program which requires a 3.5 GPA, 1200 SAT or 26 ACT. This includes an Oxford Semester, honor’s courses and research opportunities. Internships are both locally and elsewhere are available and study abroad is offered in semester and yearlong segments.

Students characterize themselves as metropolitan, active and independent.

Florida Southern College

Located in Lakeland, FL, FSC is the oldest private college in Florida.
With 2200 undergrads, FSC likes to boast of their distinctive guarantees. They are as follows:

  1. Guarantees graduation in 4 years and if your student is unable to graduate, they will cover the cost of remaining tuition.
  2. Guarantees every student an internship
  3. Guarantees every student a travel-study experience at no additional cost.

Top majors are marine biology, sports communication, marketing and management, musical theater, dance, Doctor of Education and Master of Accountancy. There is also a nursing program with a state of the art “dummy lab.” They even have a Citrus major if you are an orange grower. Pre-professional programs are available as well.

Selectivity is moderate and financial aid is very good with 96% of students receiving some kind of aid. There are merit awards up to $17,500, talent awards, awards by department and need-based aid.

FSC is beautiful campus with an active, outdoors student body. A Division II school with 27 athletic championships, including water skiing, there is no end to the activities students can participate in. Fraternities and sororities along with clubs and other organizations give students plenty to choose from. While there are many things to do, I did not sense any polarizing tension on campus. Everyone seems to get along well – a very harmonious school.

While not critical to the college list, I have to point out this was the only school I have ever been to where laundry is free.

I have posted pictures of all these schools on my Carolyn Francis Consulting Facebook page – please feel free to check them out along with articles and commentary about the college application process.

First Theater Performance in New School >>

The Sophomore Class Presents: Our Town

Please join us for the Sophomore Class Performance of Thornton Wilder’s classic play, Our Town. This three-act play is set in the early 1900s, and is a poignant reflection on everyday life in a small town. In addition to being a wonderful theatrical experience that students and families in grades 3 and up will enjoy, this production is the first ever to grace our new Festival Hall stage! You don’t want to miss this. Admission is free, and concessions will be available for sale. Tell your friends and neighbors – let’s fill the house for our sophomores.



Listen in to Rehearsal for Michaelmas Pageant >>

Grades 1-4 Rehearse Song for Michaelmas Pageant

Listen in as Mr. Jeff McClendon, music teacher, leads grades 1-4 students as they practice a special song for our upcoming Michaelmas celebration. Come see this and other school performances on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 11:00 am!

Carolyn’s College Profiles: Lewis & Clark >>

College Profile: Lewis & Clark College

by Carolyn Francis, College Counselor

Lewis_&_Clark_College,_Frank_Manor_House,_View_from_Reflecting_PoolLocated just on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, Lewis and Clark sits on an old estate complete with lush gardens and forest pathways. The campus itself is split in two by the forest – academics on one side and student life and dorms on the other. It seems appropriate for this campus to have these two different worlds, as Lewis and Clark is proud of their rich academic and intellectual life on one hand, and social diversity and the outdoor world on the other. When applying to Lewis and Clark consider this interesting option: you can submit a portfolio of work instead of test scores. This speaks to their desire to have diverse, well-rounded class rooms.

With a relaxed atmosphere and inclusive community, Lewis and Clark is one of the leading small liberal arts schools on the west coast. There is a Core Curriculum that highlights exploration and discovery. Freshman year includes Freshman Seminar, which is centered on reading and writing. After that, 3 semesters of language, 2 classes of international affairs, 1 lab science and 3 sections of quantitative reasoning are required to graduate. Credits are distributed in thirds; one third major, one third electives, and one third liberal arts core.

With an emphasis on international study as part of their core curriculum, 6 out of 10 students study abroad at some point during their time at Lewis and Clark. Ranging from 6 months to a year, there is no limit to what is available to students. Financial aid is transferable to abroad programs, making it easy for all who wish to engage in experiential learning to take part. Internships are available as are research opportunities with faculty.

Lewis and Clark also has two graduate programs, one in Law and the other in Educational Counseling. Undergraduates total 1,985 and graduate students are 685 in Law and 758 in Education.

Lewis and Clark has representation from students around the world, which is a point of pride for them. With their Northwest location, over 90% of students participate in the outdoor rec program. Well supplied with equipment and students running the programs, there is not much students can’t do here. A free shuttle bus runs from campus to downtown Portland 7 days a week from 7am to the early morning hours; a plus for students wishing to take advantage of Portland’s arts and culture without the hassle of driving.

Residential life is 2 years on campus with “living and learning” options. About half of students stay on campus all four years. Lewis and Clark is also generous with merit aid, need-based grants, loans and/or work study.

When I asked my guide to sum up Lewis and Clark in 3 words, he struggled, so I allowed him to fudge a little. His words were: beautiful, intellectual and complex with an interesting social fabric. There is more below the surface at Lewis and Clark than what you see on the surface.

Carolyn’s College Corner >>

Carolyn’s College Corner

August 2014

With summer winding down and the new school year upon us, the College Corner is back in business! Our new building is very exciting for the high school: new gym, a dedicated performance space, playing fields and so much more. On a smaller level, I am excited as I move into my role as the College Counselor alongside Mr. McHenry. Look for the college bulletin board in the hallway announcing college visits, testing dates, college posters, college fair dates and other pertinent college information. I already have a number of schools asking to stop by and talk with interested students, so please make sure to look at the board and sign up for the visits you are interested in. All students are welcome, and it is never too early to start thinking about the next step after high school.

Juniors – I will be teaching the college prep class second block on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We will cover all aspects of the college admission process, what to expect, what matters, how to build a college list and what makes a “good fit.” We will work on resumes (high school version), talk about test prep and do some exercises to get your brain in gear for the upcoming spring and fall application seasons of 2015. Thinking ahead to test taking, college visits, essay writing and all other aspects of the college admission process will lessen your stress and make the process an enjoyable one. Remember, all your years of high school are important, but your junior year and senior year you must work at keeping your grades up!

Seniors – This is it! Your fall semester will be filled with juggling sports, extracurriculars, homework and getting your applications done! I will be running Sunday Jam Sessions beginning September 7th and running throughout the fall. I will send a separate email with dates and cost.
The Colleges That Change Lives Fair is coming to town! Please make sure to go if you can. It is the night you get home from the high school camping trip, but if you can make it I would highly encourage the extra effort to get down there.

The following dates are listed for your convenience:
Colleges That Change Lives Fair
August 26, 2014 7:00 pm
Hyatt Regency – Colorado Convention Center
650 15th Street
Denver, CO 20202

Denver Performing and Visual Arts Fair
October 22, 2014 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cherry Creek High School

SAT & Subject Tests
October 11, 2014, November 8, 2014

ACT Dates
September 21, 2014, October 26, 2014, December 14, 2014

FAFSA available as of January 1, 2015

Gap Year Fair
January 15, 2015 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Denver Academy

I will keep you posted on events and announcements on a timely basis. Please look to this column for updates or you can contact me at or check out my website at

Picture Day Details >>

Planning Ahead for Picture Day

We’re thrilled to be working with Jen Harris of JLH Photography for our school photos this year. Below, check out more information about the dates for your child’s picture taking session, and lots of details about how to order photos.

DWS Picture Day Information from Jen Harris

New Traffic Flow Map >>

New Campus – New Traffic Flow Map!

Please familiarize yourself with this traffic map before the first day of school. If we all work together to follow this plan, drop off and pick up traffic will be much smoother and more efficient for everyone. If you have questions about your particular situation, please contact the main office at (303) 777-0531.


traffic flow map-web

DWS to Relocate to New Campus on S. Pennsylvania St. >>

DWS to Relocate to New Campus on S. Pennsylvania St.

School celebrates 40th anniversary with larger campus, more amenities, including gyms, fields and theater

WALDORF new building shot with flower tree(20 of 55)The Denver Waldorf School (DWS) is excited to announce their relocation to a new, larger campus at 2100 S. Pennsylvania Street in Denver. This move is an important milestone in the 40-year history of the school, and corresponds with the school’s upcoming accreditation by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.

At more than 80,000 square feet, this new building is nearly double the size of the school’s current facility. The new campus offers two gymnasiums, a full theatrical stage, and abundant outdoor playing fields. The campus is located adjacent to Harvard Gulch Park, which provides access to natural open space that will further enhance The Denver Waldorf School’s educational programs.

“With the additional space, we can now realize our full vision for the school’s curriculum. This campus is full of amenities, including dedicated spaces for practical and performing arts, two gyms, science labs, and a library, among other highlights. We can expand our enrollment, particularly in the high school, which will foster a more vibrant experience for our students,” said Judy Lucas, the Administrative Director of The Denver Waldorf School.

DWS entered into a contract with Denver Christian Schools to buy the property. Denver Christian Schools are consolidating their three existing campuses and moving to a new location in Lakewood.

“This new campus gives our kids the chance to have a Waldorf education enhanced by even more space and greater resources. We are truly looking forward to this new opportunity,” said Anne Macomber, parent of two DWS students. DWS expects to open its doors on the Pennsylvania St. campus on August 29, in time for the start of the 2014-15 school year.