June 5, 2018
As the school year was ending, Southshore’s own Cherokee Trail High School received two awards from major news organizations acknowledging outstanding achievements. One, a silver medal in the annual “Best High Schools” list, was published recently by U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News looked at 20,500 schools to identify the high schools that prepare students for college (and life!) most successfully and awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.
Cherokee Trail High School’s Multiple Awards
The gold medals indicate the greatest level of college readiness using student performance on standardized tests, graduation rates and Advanced Placement test data. Only about 2 percent of high schools received a gold medal, while about 11 percent received a silver medal and 16 percent received a bronze. About 70 percent of the nation’s schools did not receive a medal.
According to Kim Rauh, principal of Cherokee Trail High School, that’s not even the most exciting news they’ve received about their exceptional academic performance.
“The U.S. News awards are based on 2016 data, but the Washington Post’s “Most Challenging High Schools” report uses 2017 numbers, and factors in International Baccalaureate tests,” she said. “It’s a different perspective and in that one we rank number nine in the state.”
One Trail, Many Paths
Principal Rauh says Cherokee Trail has a mantra: one trail, many paths. “It’s a play on words, because some people call us Cherokee Trails, which makes us crazy,” she says laughing. “But our goal is to meet the needs of all of our students, for some that’s Advanced Placement courses for others International Baccalaureate, and still others Concurrent Enrollment and college prep courses.”
Cherokee Trail High School works closely with the Community College of Aurora with the ultimate goal that by graduation, students will have experienced at least one college-level course. Rauh says her aim is to really prepare them, whether they’re headed for college or not.
“If their goal is college, we get them ready. But we also foster work readiness with rigorous problem-solving and extensive writing courses, then of course upper level science and math courses,” she says.
Prepared for Life
In both of these rankings, Cherokee Trail High School has performed well. “We’re very proud,” says Rauh. There are a LOT of high schools in the state and to be named number nine and even number 25 – though they look at different criteria – is an achievement.”
Rauh says their mantra, “one trail, many paths” describes how they dynamically prepare students for a post-secondary world, whether two-year, four-year colleges, learning a trade, going into the military, or straight into the workplace.
“Not everybody will go to college, but our goal is that by the time they graduate from Cherokee Trail, they have a plan and are prepared for college, if they choose that path,” she says.
Rauh and her team of teachers are excited to continue their journey to excellence. “Our mission is to make sure they’re ready for anything!” Rauh says, “whatever they decide!”
Successful Students Live in Southshore!
The Cherry Creek School District is consistently among the highest-rated districts in the state. Students who live in the master-planned community of Southshore prize their access to a superlative education. If you’re looking for that kind of commitment in a community, tour the model homes offered by Toll Brothers, Century Communities and Richmond American Homes. The new designs are available in ranch and two-story models and priced from the upper $300s to the $700s.