Best of Boulder 2013: Education and Schools

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Photo by Meghan Barrett
Colorado Mountain Ranch, winner of best summer camp

Advanced Education

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
1600 Pleasant St., 303-492-1411

Second Place: Naropa University Extended Studies
Third Place: CU Continuing Education
Fourth Place: Front Range Community College
Fifth Place: Boulder College of Massage

Well, we saw this one coming. The biggest kid on the playground wins again. The good old University of Colorado is
not only alma mater for many of us, it’s at the heart of what makes
Boulder such a special, distinctive place to live and work. Imagine if
we didn’t have the plethora of entertainment and cultural opportunities
that the university delivers. Imagine the business we’d lose if it
weren’t for those tens of thousands of college kids. Imagine the traffic
… OK, well, bad example. We love you, CU. There. We showed great
restraint. Didn’t mention the football team once.


Private School

SHINING MOUNTAIN WALDORF SCHOOL
999 Violet Ave., 303-444-7697

Second Place: Alexander Dawson School
Third Place: Boulder Country Day School
Fourth Place: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Fifth Place: Friend’s School

Private
schools might get a bad rap on TV and in movies for breeding preppy
aristocrats. But here in Boulder, we know that places like Shining Mountain Waldorf School have
a lot more to offer than Social Climbing 101. For 30 years, Shining
Mountain Waldorf has been offering Boulder County’s children only the
best in private education. The school uses the Waldorf method of
teaching, which bases its lessons and progression on childhood
development. But what really keeps students and parents coming home
happy is the caring faculty and staff and their ability to foster a love
of learning academic subjects as well as art and music.


Public School K-8

BOULDER COUNTY SCHOOL OF INTEGRATED STUDIES
3995 East Aurora Ave., 720-561-6500

Second Place: Casey Middle School
Third Place: Peak to Peak Charter School
Fourth Place: Centennial Middle School
Fifth Place: Horizons K-8 School

We’d
never say any Best of Boulder categories are unimportant. They aren’t.
But some are kind of more important than others. If you want a latte or a
sandwich, and you decide to hit up a business that didn’t win those
categories, you’re a darn fool but you’ll be just fine.

This category, hey, it might matter a little more. It’s only your child’s education. Boulder Weekly readers say the Boulder County School of Integrated Studies, sprawled
along Aurora Avenue just west of Foothills, wins the category with its
arts-focused, multi-cultural curriculum. The K-5 school aims to
integrate recent research on how kids learn into its methods, including
some Waldorf and Steiner school theories. BCSIS also emphasizes a
holistic approach to address the head, heart and hands of its students.
That’s definitely a greater goal than boiling up the best hot dog.


Public School 9-12

BOULDER HIGH SCHOOL
1604 Arapahoe Ave., 720-561-2200

Second Place: Fairview High School
Third Place: New Vista High School
Fourth Place: Niwot High School
Fifth Place: Monarch High School

Boulder High School, this
year’s Public School 9-12 winner, presents its students with an
abundance of ways to succeed. The school employs exceptional teachers
and offers ample academic opportunities for students, such as its
Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which are a chance to rack up college
credit early, and its array of foreign language classes, which include
Japanese and Latin among others. The school is also known for
high-caliber extracurricular activities, including its athletic
department, Model United Nations and its distinguished music and theater
programs. Our runner-up, Fairview High School, has also received
accolades for its high test scores, International Baccalaureate (IB) and
AP classes, and its stellar athletics and fine arts programs.


Summer Camp

COLORADO MOUNTAIN RANCH
10063 Gold Hill Road, 303-442-4557

Second Place: YMCA Summer Camps
Third Place: CU Science Discovery
Fourth Place: Avid4 Adventure
Fifth Place: Thorne Nature Experience

Are
you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the good times? OK, maybe
this isn’t a Bill Murray movie. But that doesn’t have to change your
answer. Colorado Mountain Ranch is about as close as you’ll get to a Meatballs experience
as Boulder has to offer. For more than six decades, kids have spent
summers hiking, canoeing and horseback riding — all on the ranch’s
200acre property near Gold Hill. And there’s this kid named Rudy who is
kind of an outcast, but he runs the big end-of-summer race and wins the
camp its honor back. Oh wait …


STAFF PICK: Nobel Prize Winner

DAVE WINELAND OF NIST

Not
many award-winners in this publication have met a reigning monarch. In
fact, it’s probably exactly the same number as could explain what Dave Wineland, a physicist who works for NIST and the University of Colorado, studies.

Wineland
took home a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012 for his work in the field
of quantum physics, particularly quantum clocks and quantum computing.
He was awarded the prize in Stockholm, Sweden, by King Carl XVI Gustaf
of Sweden.

Wineland’s
work involves isolating single particles like atoms or electrons, or
small groups of them, according to his Nobel Lecture. Being able to
monitor, predict and control those particles can lead to computers and
clocks exponentially faster and more accurate than conventional
versions.

Wineland’s
Nobel Lecture slides repeatedly cite and credit dozens of other
physicists, and he shared the prize with French colleague Serge Haroche.
We say, enough with the humility. Congratulations.