Colorado Springs SD 11
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Laura Bomersbach Steele Elementary School
Laura Bomersbach Steele Elementary School
THE Colorado Springs School District 11 Introduces the D11 Teacher Impact Award, Thanks to a Generous Donation from The Dakota Foundation (Photo) - 05/21/24

The Colorado Springs School District 11 is thrilled to announce the introduction of the new Teacher Impact Award, made possible by a generous donation from The Dakota Foundation. This prestigious award honors and celebrates our educators' exceptional dedication and achievements.

Yesterday, administrators from D11 proudly recognized and rewarded four of our most outstanding teachers with an incredible gift of $11,000 each. The Teacher Impact Award is given to educators whose students have demonstrated significant growth and achievement, as evidenced by data indicating more than one year’s growth within a single school year. Winners were selected based on this data and recommendations from principals, colleagues, and students.

These exemplary teachers embody the D11 standard of excellence, and we are immensely grateful for their unwavering commitment to the students and families of our district. Please join us in congratulating our 2024 Teacher Impact Award recipients:

Kyle Yeh, Coronado High School

Julie Lounello, Sabin Middle School

Sandra Briggs, Mitchell High School

Laura Bomersbach, Steele Elementary School

D11 Superintendent Michael Gaal expressed his gratitude, stating, "The #1 way to student achievement is access to high-quality instruction. In THE Colorado Springs School District 11, we are humbled to have support from the Dakota Foundation and the Board of Education to celebrate our most excellent teachers with $11K cash rewards for demonstrating that over this last academic year!"

The Dakota Foundation is dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and recognizing the profound impact of exceptional educators. Through their generous contributions, they aim to foster a culture of excellence and growth within school communities. The non-profit was founded in 1997 by A. Bart Holaday to focus his philanthropic efforts toward social entrepreneurship and enhance self-sufficiency. The Dakota Foundation, in partnership with Pikes Peak State College, has also been instrumental in the development of The Mitchell Promise and subsequently, The D11 Promise, which provides a path to free college for qualifying students across D11. 

Congratulations to the Teacher Impact Award recipients of The Colorado Springs School District 11! Your dedication and impact are making a lasting difference in the lives of your students.

The Colorado Springs School District 11 and Colorado College to host first ever High School Graduations at Ed Robson Arena in Downtown Colorado Springs - 05/20/24

The Colorado Springs School District 11 is incredibly excited to announce that the High School Graduations for Coronado, Doherty, Mitchell, and Palmer will be held at the distinguished Ed Robson Arena at Colorado College on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, and Wednesday, May 22, 2024. The D11 Class of 2024 are the FIRST high school graduates to have ceremonies held at this prestigious location in the history of Ed Robson Arena on the campus of Colorado College. This exceptional venue will provide the highest quality experience our students and families deserve, at no cost, and closer to home! With a state-of-the-art AV system, the experience for families and friends in attendance and watching at home will be unparalleled.

This new venue, renowned for its architectural beauty and cutting-edge facilities, perfectly matches the unparalleled academic excellence emerging from District 11. It reflects our commitment to providing an extraordinary environment that celebrates the hard work and achievements of our graduates.

We are tremendously thankful to Colorado College, the Downtown Partnership, and all local businesses and neighbors who have worked with us to make this an unforgettable experience for our students and families. Their collaboration and support have been instrumental in ensuring that this milestone event will be a memorable celebration of our students' accomplishments.

Join us in celebrating the remarkable journey of the D11 Class of 2024, as they step into the future with the excellence and distinction that have become the hallmark of our district. 

Press is encouraged to attend. 

Graduation Details:

Doherty High School: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 9:00am. Students will arrive by police escort at 7:15am. 

Coronado High School: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 3:00pm. Students will arrive by police escort at 1:15pm. 

Mitchell High School: Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 9:00am. Students will arrive by police escort at 7:15am. 

Palmer High School: Tuesday, May 22, 2024 at 3:00pm. Students will arrive by police escort at 1:15pm.


Rogers students and their international mural
Rogers students and their international mural
School District 11's Rogers Elementary School Collaborates on International Olympic Mural to be displayed at Paris Summer Olympics (Photo) - 05/17/24

The Colorado Springs School District 11 proudly announces the participation of Rogers Elementary School in an international collaboration to create an Olympic-themed mural, which will be displayed at the Summer Olympics in Paris. This project, spearheaded by the Al Oerter Foundation and involving renowned artists Peter Schifrin and Emanuela Pierantozzi, unites contributions from elementary students in the United States, Italy, France, and Slovenia.

Under the guidance of art teacher Mr. Nicholson, fourth and fifth graders from Rogers Elementary enthusiastically engaged in brainstorming, sketching, and painting their ideas. The mural, reflecting the Olympic values of excellence, respect, and friendship, was meticulously crafted from January through March before being sent to the Al Oerter Foundation. There, it will be combined with sections created by students from Colorado Springs’ sister city Kranj, Slovenia; Paris, France; and her sister city Rome, Italy, culminating in a grand display at the Paris Summer Olympics.

On May 15, the young artists were honored at the Olympic and Paralympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs. The celebration featured an inspiring talk by Olympic bobsled athlete Chris Coleman, who emphasized perseverance and dedication—qualities mirrored in the students’ artistic journey.

Rogers Elementary is delighted to represent Colorado Springs and the U.S. in this prestigious event and looks forward to seeing the mural celebrated on the global stage this summer.


Freedom Elementary School
Freedom Elementary School
D11 Family Hosts Angelman Syndrome Walk at Freedom Elementary; More than 10,000 Walking for a Cure in celebration of 25 years (Photo) - 05/17/24

Colorado Springs, CO – May 18, 2024 – This Saturday, May 18th, from 10 AM to 1 PM, The Colorado Springs School District 11 Freedom Elementary School will host the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) Walk, organized by a dedicated D11 parent, whose daughter has Angelman Syndrome and is a student at Freedom Elementary. This event is not only a celebration of those living with Angelman syndrome but also a crucial fundraiser for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to transformative research, world-class clinical care, impactful advocacy, and essential family support for over 30 years.

The event is spearheaded by D11 parent and Walk Coordinator for Colorado’s ASF Walk, Liz Thompson, whose daughter, Cami, is a Kindergartener at Freedom Elementary. Cami faces unique challenges associated with Angelman syndrome, a rare neurogenetic condition that affects her ability to walk independently and communicate verbally. Despite these challenges, Cami has thrived in her first full year in the K-12 system, thanks to the exceptional support of Principal Rochelle Williams, the special education team, and her dedicated teachers at Freedom Elementary.

Angelman syndrome is caused by the loss of function of a particular gene during fetal development, resulting in severe neurological impairment present at birth and lasting for a lifetime. Symptoms vary and include severe developmental delays, speech impairments, seizures, walking and balance disorders, and frequent laughter and excitability. While there is no definitive count, it is estimated that Angelman syndrome occurs in one in every 15,000 live births.

The ASF Walk at Freedom Elementary aims to bring together families, friends, and community members to raise awareness and funds to support those affected by Angelman syndrome. Participants can expect a day filled with joy, camaraderie, and hope, as well as opportunities to learn more about Angelman syndrome and the work of the ASF.

For more information about the event or to donate, please visit the Angelman Syndrome Foundation's website.


The official 2024 Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) Walk Press release is attached. 


Event details:

WHO: Open to the public, Individuals with Angelman syndrome and their families, friends, and supporters from the Greater Colorado Springs area.

WHAT: 2024 Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) Walk

WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 2024

Check-in: 10 AM

Walk begins: 11:15 AM

WHERE: Freedom Elementary School

5280 Butterfield Dr.,

Colorado Springs, CO 80923


D11 Media Production apprentice running cameras at Crystal Apple Awards at ENT Center. Deric Grant, Coronado HS
D11 Media Production apprentice running cameras at Crystal Apple Awards at ENT Center. Deric Grant, Coronado HS
The Colorado Springs School District 11 celebrates National Youth Apprenticeship Week: Shaping the future workforce of Colorado Springs (Photo) - 05/07/24


Colorado Springs, CO - May 8, 2024 - The Colorado Springs School District 11, in collaboration with the State Apprenticeship Agency of Colorado, is thrilled to announce the upcoming Youth Apprenticeship Week (YAW) event: Apprenticeships are the Future of Work. This engaging panel discussion will showcase the pivotal role of apprenticeships in shaping the future workforce. YAW aims to raise awareness of apprenticeships among youth, educators, parents, state agencies, and industry partners, emphasizing their significance as pathways to lucrative careers. The Colorado Springs School District 11 is committed to empowering students to be future-ready. Through apprenticeship programs at D11 and close working relationships with local industry partners, students at D11 will be the future of our local economy, uplifting the Colorado Springs community through impactful workforce development.

In 2023, over 264,406 apprentices, with over a third aged between 16 and 24, embraced apprenticeships, highlighting this career development approach's increasing popularity and effectiveness. D11 has 9 internal student apprentices in various departments including Media/Video Production, Information Technology, Language Interpretation, Facilities, and Marketing. 

Youth Apprenticeship Week provides a platform for apprenticeship sponsors, career and technical education (CTE) programs, employers, labor unions, workforce agencies, and various partners to underscore the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship programs for young individuals. Additionally, it allows youth apprentices to share their experiences, fostering inspiration and understanding.

Scheduled for May 8, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, the event will occur in-person at the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus and virtually via Webex, accommodating attendees from across Colorado. Participants include representatives from Colorado Springs Schools District 11, the Department of Education (CDE), other school districts, community colleges, and various industry stakeholders. Community members are encouraged to attend! 

Event: Apprenticeships are the Future of Work - Celebrating Youth Apprenticeship Week Event


In-person at Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus

2115 Afton Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Registration for Webex virtual attendance:

Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Event Agenda:

In-person & Virtual

9:00 am: Kickoff by Debbie Shackelford, Outreach Specialist, Colorado Springs Schools District 11, Apprenticeship Colorado

9:02 am: Welcome Address by Denise Miller, State Director, Apprenticeship Colorado

9:07 am: Colorado Springs Schools District 11 Vision by Michael Gaal, Superintendent

9:13 am: Registered Apprenticeship Overview by Bryn Nelson, Access Team Manager, Apprenticeship Colorado

9:20 am: Registered Apprenticeship Panel Roundtable moderated by Connor Strange, Colorado Springs Schools District 11 Apprentice


    - Stacy Griest, Programs Director, Colorado Restaurant Foundation

    - Jaime Pearson, Talent Partnership Lead, CommonSpirit Health

    - Ean Mikale, Owner, Infinite 8 Institute

    - Ken Motta, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Pikes Peak State College

    - Melissa Smith, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Colorado Springs Schools District 11

    - Brad Wheaton, Technician Development Program Coordinator, Mike Maroone Automotive

  Apprentice Panelists:

    - Kassandra R., Language Interpreter, Colorado Springs Schools District 11

    - Kegan V., Electrical, Colorado Springs Schools District 11

    - Nicholle Jameson, CommonSpirit Health

    - Angelina McDermed Bloom, Infinite 8 Institute

    - Deximar Rondon, Infinite 8 Institute

    - Adam Orifici, Chevy Apprentice Technician, Mike Maroone Automotive

9:45 am: Q & A Session moderated by Melissa Smith, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, CSSD11

9:55 am: Closing Remarks: "It’s a RAP" by Debbie Shackelford, Outreach Specialist

This event promises insightful discussions, valuable networking opportunities, and a deep dive into the transformative power of apprenticeships. We invite all stakeholders, educators, parents, and students to join us in celebrating the future of work through apprenticeships.