Paying it Forward

Ian Spetnagel, a 7th grade Skinner student, just received the “Nugget For a Day” award for exemplary sportsmanship while playing on Skinner’s football team this past season. Nominated by Mr. Dehning (Skinner’s 8th grade social studies teacher and football coach), Ian will:

  • Attend a Nugget’s practice, meet all of the players and take photos with them
  • Take a tour of the Pepsi Center
  • Receive a Nugget’s jersey
  • Receive eight tickets, in a catered suite, for that evening’s game

As it turns out, Ian recently changed my life – and the lives of others I don’t even know. An outstanding student, Ian went the movies about a month ago and was inspired to purchase tickets for people behind him in line. “Paying it forward,” he said.

Ian’s act of random kindness motivated me to pay it forward at a CU Buffs basketball game the following weekend – I paid for drinks for the couple behind me in the concession line. The gentleman at the game was really surprised and happy when I told him I was only following one of our student’s lead by paying it forward.  A few minutes later, his wife found me and assured me, “I’ll pay it forward, too.”

Doing an unprompted good deed for another is something all of us can do – young or old, rich or poor, outgoing or shy. If you have an elderly neighbor, why not shovel his sidewalk in the morning after finishing your own?  You could pick up trash you see on the ground so our kids grow up in a clean neighborhood.  When you see a young mother struggling to carry babies and package, lend her a hand.  Anyone can pay it forward – it’s just a matter of thinking about it and doing it!

Thanks to Ian’s example, I know paying it forward has become part of my everyday life. I hope it spreads like wildfire across the Skinner community. Way to go, Ian!

-Mr. James Duran, Skinner Student Advisor & Athletic Director

 

Skinner basketball season is coming

Skinner Scorpion 7th and 8th grade boys and girls basketball season is almost here!  In middle school, 7th and 8th graders play basketball from December 3rd to February 22nd, while 6th grade basketball players’ season is a spring sport, from March 11th to May 17th.

Our student-athletes will work on dribbling, passing and teamwork as they prepare to meet middle school teams from across the district for games. Ms. Goebel is the coach for the girls team and Mr. Duran will coach the boys.

To participate, students must be academically eligible throughout the season, pay a $25 participation fee when equipment is issued and must complete and sign the following documents:

  • Physical (within a year of participation
  • Parent permission slip and emergency contact information
  • Code of conduct
  • Financial responsibility

For more information, please contact Skinner Athletic Director James Duran at 720-424-1433 or james_duran@dpsk12.org or look at the Athletics page on the website at http://athletics.dpsk12.org/ms_sports//

Prospective Skinner parents wine & cheese event

Do you know 4th or 5th grade parents interested in knowing more about Skinner Middle School? Invite them to our annual Skinner informational wine and cheese party at Highlands Garden Village’s Hearthstone Common House!

Next Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. prospective Skinner parents and guardians are invited to learn more about the great academics, Spanish language, arts and sports offerings at the school.  Enjoy a glass of wine and some munchies and mingle with principal Michelle Koyama, several teachers and parents who can share what Skinner is REALLY like.

WHAT: Wine and cheese reception and party

WHY: Introduce prospective families to Skinner Middle School

WHEN: Wednesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: 4700 W. 37th Ave., Hearthstone Common House in Highlands Village Gardens (one block south of Sprouts)

We hope to see our neighbors there!  And thank you for helping us spread the word…

Girls Soccer Team Scores Big Wins

The Skinner Scorpions Girls’ Soccer Team concluded an unprecedented, amazing season last Thursday in their quarterfinal matchup against Hill Middle School. With their Top 8 finish in DPS, the girls built upon the recognition they developed all season long for Skinner athletics with pride and sportsmanship.

The girls’ season began in late March with one major question being asked by Coach Smith, “How will we fill the gaps left by a strong group of 8th grade leaders from last year?” A mixture of unified 7th and 8th grade girls became the answer over the course of the season as they demonstrated dedication to their development and maintained fun as their priority. By working hard in the classroom and on the soccer field every week, the girls ensured their eligibility and encouraged one another to improve both academic and athletic skills.

The final game of the #3 Scorpions’ regular season provided the highlight of the year as they faced their rival, the #2 Lake Knights. The Scorpions entered the match determined to bring home a victory since the last time they had beaten Lake could not be remembered after many years of defeat (for both the Boys’ and Girls’ teams). Down 0-1 at halftime, the girls made up their minds that they would not be denied. With teamwork, heart, and intensity, the Scorpions fought back to score 2 amazing goals in the 2nd half and to finish the season with the 2-1 rivalry win and the #2 ranking in their conference.

With the Top 4 teams in each conference of 7 advancing to the postseason, the Scorpions clinched their spot in the playoffs for the second year in a row with their 4-3-1 record and their #2 conference ranking. Qualifying for the playoffs continues to transition from unfamiliar territory to an expectation for the Skinner Athletics Program due to the development achieved over the past 2 years.

For the 1st Round of the playoffs, the Scorpions were matched up against the favored Grant Ranch Grizzlies. As the underdog, the Skinner girls entered the match with the aim of advancing to the quarterfinals, a feat which had not been accomplished by any Skinner girls’ soccer team in the documented past. The game proved to be a thriller as a multitude of fans attended the match in the form of Skinner staff, students and parents. Looking like a completely different team than they were on the first day of practice a month earlier, the Scorpions carried an unexpected 2-1 lead into halftime after putting forth their best performance of the season in the first half. Capitalizing on a penalty kick early in the second half, the Skinner girls took a 3-1 lead and began to taste the feeling of playoff victory. However, the Grant Ranch Grizzlies fought hard with 2 late goals to tie the match with less than seven minutes remaining. Rather than panicking, the underdog Scorpions regained their intensity and momentum with 2 stunning goals to retake the lead and to win the game 5-3 as the crowd and their vuvuzela horns went “bananas.”

Upon arriving at the Quarterfinals against the #1 ranked, undefeated Hill Middle School, the Hill coach summarized the Scorpions’ season accomplishments best by saying, “Congratulations! I was surprised to see that you guys beat Grant Ranch in the 1st round. I never knew Skinner was good at sports. I’ve never seen Skinner this deep into the playoffs.” As the Hill coach and many others recognized over the course of the season, the 2011 Skinner Girls’ Soccer Team truly made a name for themselves and for Skinner as they earned their spot in the Top 8 and were given the chance to play on the North High School turf field in the quarterfinals! After holding a 1-0 lead for nearly twenty minutes in the first half, the Skinner girls ultimately lost to a much more experienced Hill squad. After the game, the Hill coach and team members paid the Skinner girls the most important compliment they could receive by stating, “You girls were the most fun team we have played all season! Thanks for your sportsmanship!”

The 2011 Skinner Girls’ Soccer team will truly be a group to remember! They set the tone for future Skinner athletes to follow in their footsteps of leadership and character! While Coach Smith will dearly miss the amazing group of 8th grade captains and leaders from this year, he looks forward to the continued growth of his developing soccer program at Skinner Middle School. He will continue coaching both the Boys’ squad next fall and the Girls’ squad next spring in his 3rd season with each team.

Coach Smith shared with his girls at the end of the season, “Girls, I’ve been playing soccer for 20 years now, and I’ve never had more fun than I did with you this season! You made a name for yourselves and for Skinner Soccer, and I couldn’t be more proud of you! Go Scorpions!”

Great Season for Skinner Basketball Team

Fourteen girls played on the Skinner 6th grade girls basketball team this year. The team had two solid wins against Bruce Randolph Middle School and a win against Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy.

All the girls had great attitudes in practice, and about learning the fundamentals of the game and improving their skills. Jonelle Cordova and Maria Perez-Alcon were standout players in many games.
Emphasizing sportsmanship over winning, coach Jessica Goebel worked on the development of this young team. Girls from the 7th & 8th grade girls team – especially Maddi De Young and Analece Apodaca – served as assistant coaches, coming to several practices and games to lead drills, provide individual coaching and demonstrate leadership for the younger girls.

Skinner Baseball Team Enters the Playoffs

The Skinner boys baseball team finished the regular season well above .500, with a 4-3 record. After a rough start the boys overcame numerous obstacles to come back and win. Two of the three games lost were by only one run, showing that this team had serious heart this year!

Pitchers Christian Robles and Alejandro Granados were team leaders for the rest of the Skinner athletes who were new to the baseball program.

The boys will play their first playoff game against Martin Luther King Middle School on May 9 at 3:45 p.m. at the Skinner field on the corner of W. 41st and Irving. If you have some time on Monday afternoon, come cheer on the team!

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