Manual High School (Denver)

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Manual High School
1700 East 28th Avenue
Denver, Colorado

Coordinates 39°45′24″N 104°58′03″W / 39.75654°N 104.96744°W / 39.75654; -104.96744Coordinates: 39°45′24″N 104°58′03″W / 39.75654°N 104.96744°W / 39.75654; -104.96744
Type Public
School district Denver Public Schools
Principal Brian Dale (B-Dale)[1]
Grades 9–12
Color(s) Blue, Red, and White             
Athletics conference Denver
Mascot Thunderbolts[2]
Information (720)-423-6441[3]

Manual High School is located in the Whittier neighborhood on the east side of Denver, Colorado.


Manual Today[edit]

Manual High School of the 2011 school year will be graduating their first senior class since re-opening from closure in the spring of 2006. With Manual's graduating class of 2011 they show the renewed preparation for making students college bound. Manual high school has made a commitment to leave no T-Bolt behind and to do “whatever it takes to ensure that students stay in school and are prepared for success in college, career and in life.” (Alexsis)


Once a model of educational excellence and community, Manual High School fell on hard times. For this reason the school had to make some changes. (Jazmin)

Manual is one of the oldest schools in the area, the original building had been located near the current one, and opened its doors in 1896, an institution deeply woven into the fabric of the community.

In 2006 after several failed attempts to fix the problems, Manual High School was closed. When the decision was made public, several hundred students from Manual High School rallied outside the headquarters of Denver Public Schools to protest. Students were disappointed and angry because they couldn't finish the school year. (Jazmin)

Students shouted "Hell, no. We won't go" and "Go T-Bolts" as they marched for about an hour in sub-freezing temperatures outside DPS headquarters at 9th and Grant. Some students suggested that the decision to close Manual was motivated by race. In the end, the displaced Manual students were given the option of attending other higher performing schools. Busing and bus passes were provided. The school then reopened in fall of 2006 (Anthony)

A 2007 article by Katherine Boo in The New Yorker described efforts by then-superintendent of school Michael Bennet to turn the school around.

Manual will grow into a 9-12 high school starting with a freshman class in the 2007-2008 school year, adding a class of students every year thereafter. In the 2010-2011 school year, Manual will be a fully developed 9-12 grade high school.

Dr. Robert Stein, a Manual graduate and top school leader in Colorado was tapped to lead the new Manual High School. He left the school in 2010, and Mr. Joe Sandoval came in to take his place until they were able to find the right principal for the school. (Bobbi) For the next 2011-2012 school year, the principal selection committee has chosen Mr. Brian Dale, former principal of Bruce Randolph (Bobbi).

Notable students who went to Manual include the first black mayors of Denver, Wellington Webb, and Seattle, Norman Rice; boxer, poet, and activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales; writer Ted Conover and National Public Radio correspondent Scott Horsley. Manual has excelled at basketball and baseball where they have produced players such as Micheal Ray Richardson, Billy Lewis, Daniel Banuelos/Cortez, who went on to play college baseball, and LaVon Williams, who went on to a second career as a celebrated wood carver. Manual has graduated two classes since re-opening in 2007. Our third class will graduate in May 2013. (Eddy)

During WW II at least 50 Manual men and one teacher, Richard Orange, gave their lives in service. Unfortunately, no complete and accurate honor roll record could be kept of the men who served, but presumably the roll call would include a major fraction of all graduates of the 1930s and 1940s.{Manual High School's yearbook from 2003-2004} (Juana)



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