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A non-traditional path to high school graduation

​Part eight of a series focusing on how Cherry Creek Schools is meeting the needs of all children.


Two years ago, Madison Dixon was ready to give up on school altogether.

“I wasn’t doing school at all. I was ditching. I never participated in class. I was just falling behind.”

But a friend told her about Endeavor Academy, the Cherry Creek School District’s alternative high school. Endeavor helps students earn their diploma and prepare for success after high school by re-engaging them in learning. The school uses both traditional and non-traditional instruction in an academically rigorous and personalized learning environment.

It turns out Endeavor was just what Dixon needed.

“It’s amazing,” Dixon said of Endeavor. “I love how small the classes are and how individualized the teachers become with the students there.”

Endeavor Academy Principal Mark Morgan and 2016 graduate Madison DixonShe said Endeavor staff members, including Principal Mark Morgan and especially teacher Kris Gearke, were there for her when she really needed someone.

“Ms. Gearke made me feel like I had someone to confide in when it came to stuff outside of school,” Dixon said. “She’s helped me apply at different places and opened me up to new experiences.”

Endeavor gave Dixon the ability to believe in herself and her potential.

“Going to Endeavor gave me the voice I never thought I would have.”

In fact, Dixon was selected as one of two student speakers at Endeavor’s mid-year graduation ceremony, held Dec. 16 at CU Denver South. As her family, friends, fellow graduates and the entire Endeavor staff looked on, Dixon shared a poem she had written and thanked the Endeavor staff and her classmates for their support and guidance on her journey.

Dixon and her fiance are now looking forward to a move to Washington state, where she plans to attend college and pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist.

Posted 4/3/2017 2:40 PM
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Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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