Cherry Creek High School

Cherry Creek High School

Coordinates: 39°37′50″N 104°52′48″W / 39.6305°N 104.8800°W / 39.6305; -104.8800

Cherry Creek High School
Cherry Creek HS logo.png
9300 East Union Avenue
Greenwood Village, Colorado, United States
Type Public
Established 1955
School district Cherry Creek School District
CEEB Code 060-515
Principal Ryan Silva
Assistant principals Doug Aglietti, Traci Dougherty, Loan Maas, Bradley Farrier, and Marcus McDavid
Faculty 331 (229 certified teachers)
Grades 9-12
Number of students 3,727
Campus size 80 acres (320,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Scarlet, White, and Royal Blue               
Athletics 25 sports; 95 teams
Athletics conference 5A - Centennial League
Mascot Bruin
Average SAT scores 1729 (seniors only)[1]
Average ACT scores 24.6 (seniors only)[1]
Feeder schools Campus Middle School, West Middle School

Cherry Creek High School (commonly Cherry Creek, Creek, or CCHS) is the oldest of six high schools in the Cherry Creek School District in suburban Denver, Colorado. It is one of the largest high schools in the Denver metro area, with an 80-acre (320,000 m2) campus and more than 3,700 students. Cherry Creek High School has been designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and has received an "Excellent" rating on the Colorado School Accountability Report.[2]



In 1950, seven small school districts in Arapahoe County were consolidated to form Cherry Creek School District No. 5, eliminating original School District #19 and making its one-room schoolhouse obsolete. In 1953 the schoolhouse was sold at public auction; and for the next 16 years, it was used as a storage shed. The consolidation brought the eight schools of Ash Grove, Castlewood, Cherry Creek, Cherry Hills (Cherry Creek), Cunningham, Maple Grove, Mountain View, and Sullivan (Mountain View) together for educating elementary students, but Cherry Creek area high school students did not have their own school until 1955. Appropriately, it was named Cherry Creek High School. On September 6, 1955, the school opened its doors to 364 high school students (grades 9-12) and an additional 349 younger students (grades 7-8) who had to wait until the following year for their own Cherry Creek Junior High School building to be completed.

The district bought land at the corner of South Holly Street and East Belleview Avenue in 1965, and built a second junior high school, Cherry Creek West Junior High, which opened its doors in September 1966 to 655 students, although construction was not complete until that November (for example, there was no cafeteria until then). When Cherry Creek West Junior High was opened, both it and the original junior high, renamed Cherry Creek East Junior High (now known as Campus Middle School), housed grades 7-9, making the high school a three year high school (grades 10-12).

Four separate additions were made to the high school building before 1970, more than doubling its size. The Vocational-Practical Arts Center (1970), and the Performing Fine Arts Center (1974) were added to the campus unit between the West Building, which was the entire Cherry Creek High School in 1955, and the East Building. The latter reverted to the high school when Campus Middle School was built in 1971 (grades 7-8), and Cherry Creek became again a four-year high school. Additional major renovations occurred in 1997 when the Vocational Industrial Arts Building was transformed into the Information Center. Additions to East, Fine Arts, and West were completed in 2005.

The original $800 one-room Cherry Creek Schoolhouse, found on a ranch north of Parker, was purchased and brought back to the high school campus in 1969. Restored and now serving as a museum-classroom, it rests south of the Information Center building.[3]



The Cherry Creek High School campus is located in the city of Greenwood Village on East Union Avenue between Yosemite Street and Dayton Street. It is directly across the street from Cherry Creek State Park. Also located on the property are the Cherry Creek School District's West Admissions building, West Maintenance building, and Education Service Center.[4] It is adjacent to the building and campus of Campus Middle School and Belleview Elementary School, both of which feed into the high school.


The campus contains four buildings (West, Information Center (IC), Fine Arts, and East) with 170 classrooms, eight tennis courts, a baseball diamond, two practice football fields, and Stutler Bowl, Creek's stadium, and a challenge course.[5] The West Building, by far the largest of the four, houses two gyms, a swimming pool, a weight room, Shillinglaw Lecture Center, and the Creek Cafe, a DECA run cafeteria. The Information Center Building has a library and technology center, the Registrar's Office, the Counseling and Post-Grad Center, and another cafeteria. Connected to IC by the "Fine Arts Tunnel", the Fine Arts Building features a large theater, music labs, and art labs. The East Building contains a gym and the Attendance and Security offices. The sprawling campus is meant to evoke a large "college-like" feel in order to prepare students for college life.[6]


In 2008, Newsweek ranked the school as the 282nd best public high school in the country for academics.[7] U.S. News and World Report gave Cherry Creek a silver medal in their 2008 public high school ratings.[8] Cherry Creek was placed 5th in a list of the top public and private high schools in Denver in an article in 5280.[9] The school has received seven PRIDE awards from North Central, the highest ever awarded.[2]

The class of 2008 had 23 National Merit finalists and two National Hispanic Scholars. 94.7% of the Class of 2007 attended college. Cherry Creek received the 2005 Colorado High Performance Library Center Award. The library holds more than 46,000 volumes and numerous online subscription databases. 1,300 computers across the campus offer Internet access.[10] Cherry Creek faculty founded the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference.

The class of 2009 received more than $50 million in scholarship money from schools across the United States.

Advanced Placement

Cherry Creek High School offers Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 31 subject areas. In 2007, 906 students took 2,374 AP exams, and 87% of the students scored 3 or higher (considered passing). The next year 986 students took 2,240 AP exams, 88% scoring 3 or higher.[2] Creek has been recognized as one of the nation's top high schools for AP participation in math, science, and technology, receiving the 2008 Advanced Placement Siemens Award.[11] Creek is also the only school in Colorado to have offered AP French Literature every year, until the test was discontinued.[12]

Faculty and Staff

331 staff members work with CCHS students each day, and of those, 229 are certified teachers. More than 67% of the faculty has eleven or more years of experience in education. Nine members of the faculty possess doctorate degrees, and a total of 76% have earned at least a master’s degree. Five deans and eleven guidance counselors provide students with support services.[2]

The student-to-teacher ratio in 2004 was 21.3 for the 9th grade, 19.2 for 10th grade, 18.7 for 11th grade, and 18.8 for the 12th grade.


  • Richard Womack
  • Leonard Shillinglaw (1956–1966)
  • Dr. Ivan Muse (1966–1968)
  • Dr. Walter Armistead (1968–1970)
  • Dr. Donald K. Goe (1970–1973)
  • Henry F. Cotton (1973–1988)
  • Dr. Mary Gill (1988–1993)
  • Dr. Kathy Smith (1993–2009)
  • Ryan Silva (2009- )

The school's current principal is Ryan Silva, who took over after Dr. Kathy Smith retired at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.[13]


CCHS is part of the 8-team Centennial League that also includes Arapahoe, Grandview, Cherokee Trail, Smoky Hill, Eaglecrest, Mullen, and Overland.[14] Teams currently practice and compete in the 7,000 seat Stutler Bowl which was built in 1964.[15]

In addition to more than 160 state championships, Cherry Creek has won three Wells-Fargo Cups as the All-Sport Champion in the state of Colorado.[16] In 2005, Sports Illustrated named it the 5th-best high school athletics program in the nation.[17] It was also appointed the top athletic high school in the state in both 2006 and 2007 by Mile High Sports Magazine.[2] It is also well-known for its successful tennis team. The current athletic director, Randy McCall, came under fire in early 2008 for his second job as an NCAA basketball official, for which he often missed half of each school week.[18]


The Cherry Creek football program has experienced a large amount of success, having won eight state championships. In the 2007 football season, John Elway was the quarterbacks' coach for the varsity football team on which his son, Jack Elway, played.[19]


The school is perhaps best known for its tennis program, which is considered to be one of the best in the United States.[20] Over a 28-year span, from 1980 to 2000, the boys' team won 316 consecutive dual matches.[17] Additionally, the school has won 28 state titles in boys' tennis alone. Cherry Creek High School has produced many notable athletes including ATP professional Jeff Salzenstein and several other tennis products.

Women's Swimming and Diving

Cherry Creek is also a power in women's swimming, with 26 state titles. As a senior in 1991, five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Amy Van Dyken won two individual state titles (she also won a pair as a junior) and helped the Bruins earn a state team championship.[17] The team holds the state records in the 4X50-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 4X50-yard freestyle, and the 100-yard breaststroke.[21]

State Championships

State Championships[22]
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall Football 8 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996
Soccer, Boys 6 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2010
Cross Country, Boys 5 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 2008
Cross Country, Girls 2 1996, 2006
Volleyball 5 1989, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2008
Field Hockey, Girls 2 2002, 2007
Golf, Boys 4 1957, 1958, 1961, 1973,
Tennis, Boys 29 1980–2009, 2011
Gymnastics, Girls 3 1993, 1995, 1998
Winter Swimming, Girls 26 1974–1979, 1981–1986, 1991, 1995–2000, 2005–2010
Wrestling 1 1991
Poms 5 1996, 1998, 2002–2004
Basketball, Boys 1 1995
Spring Tennis, Girls 27 1976, 1978, 1980–1985, 1989–1992, 1994, 1995, 1997-2009[23]
Lacrosse, Boys 11 1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010
Lacrosse, Girls 5 2004, 2006–2008, 2010
Baseball 7 1983, 1992, 1995–1999
Soccer, Girls 1 2001
Rugby, Boys 1 2011
Swimming, Boys 10 1974, 1975, 1985–1991, 1994
Former Gymnastics, Boys 5 1973, 1974, 1981, 1982, 1990
Ice hockey 3 1977–1979
Total 181


Cherry Creek High School offers more than 100 activity organizations, the majority of which are open to all students. Many are nationally recognized, including the Union Street Journal, Fine Print, the Speech and Debate Team, Amnesty International, Key Club, and Future Business Leaders of America.The school's DECA chapter is among the nation's best. In May 2009, Cherry Creek took 75 students to the national competition in Anaheim, California, the most students any high school has ever brought to the competition in the history of DECA. The Speech and Debate Team is one of the top twenty in the nation and part of “The 400" society, the top one-half of one percent of the National Forensics League school speech programs. The team has won the district competition for 23 years.[12] Cherry Creek also has a notable Model United Nations program, and the school is known for an annual Model U.N. competition hosted by its team. More than 40 schools across Colorado and international students from Escuala Continentale in Mexico City come to Cherry Creek High school to partake in United Nations simulations. Cherry Creek also has a distinguished Fine Arts Department, including the nationally-recognized audition choirs, Girls' 21 and Meistersingers, both of which travel both nationally and internationally.

Union Street Journal

The Union Street Journal is Cherry Creek High School's student newspaper, a full-color monthly broadsheet of 16-20 pages. The USJ has received a Superior award for the state of Colorado from the National Council of Teachers of English.[12] The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) has named the USJ a "Gold Crown Newspaper" three times (1983, 1986, and 1988). In 1989, 1991, and 1993, the USJ was named a "Silver Crown Newspaper." From 1984 to 1990, USJ staff members won 24 Gold Circle Awards from the CSPA.[24] In more recent years, the newspaper has been the recipient of several honors from the Colorado High School Press Association, including four first-place awards in 2007 for ad design, front-page layout, and editorial writing.[25] In 2008, the USJ won several awards including Best of Show. In 2009 and 2010, the paper won seven awards for editorials, feature articles, and design; it also received Second Best of Show.








  1. ^ a b "" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c d e CCHS 08-09 school profile
  3. ^ History
  4. ^ District Map
  5. ^ Classroom count
  6. ^ "". 
  7. ^ Newsweek rankings
  8. ^ retrieved April 08, 2008.
  9. ^ "" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "Quick Facts" (English). Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  11. ^ CCSD Fall 2008 Points of Pride
  12. ^ a b c CCHS honors & awards
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ CCHS athletic overview
  17. ^ a b c d "Top 5 HS athletic programs". CNN. 
  18. ^ McCall NCAA job
  19. ^ John Elway coaching
  20. ^ " tennis article". 
  21. ^ 2010 5A Girls Swimming Chmp.
  22. ^ CHSAA state champion list
  23. ^ 2009 5A Girls Tennis Chmp.
  24. ^ "". 
  25. ^ 2007 CHSPA awards
  26. ^ Steve Gubser
  27. ^ Arthur McEvoy
  28. ^ William Philpott
  29. ^ a b c d Denver Post. 
  30. ^ Neal Baer
  31. ^ Jeff McAdam
  32. ^ Aimee Sporer
  33. ^ David Tauchen
  34. ^ John Wells
  35. ^ Ricky Young
  36. ^ David Aardsma
  37. ^ Tom Ashworth
  38. ^ Josh Bard
  39. ^ JD Brookhart
  40. ^ John Burke
  41. ^ Amy Van Dyken
  42. ^ Matt Iseman
  43. ^ Brad Lidge CCSD
  44. ^ Darnell McDonald
  45. ^ Donzell McDonald
  46. ^ Jill McGill
  47. ^ Tyler Polumbus
  48. ^ Mark Randall
  49. ^ Michael Ruffin
  50. ^ Jeff Salzenstein
  51. ^
  52. ^ Sean Tufts
  53. ^ Jonathan Vaughters

External links

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