Arapahoe High School (Colorado)

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Arapahoe High School
Arapahoe High School (Centennial, Colorado) logo.png
Arapahoe Warrior
Arapahoe High School is located in Colorado
Arapahoe High School
Arapahoe High School
Arapahoe High School is located in the United States
Arapahoe High School
Arapahoe High School
2201 East Dry Creek Road


United States
Coordinates39°34′53″N 104°57′45″W / 39.5815°N 104.9625°W / 39.5815; -104.9625Coordinates: 39°34′53″N 104°57′45″W / 39.5815°N 104.9625°W / 39.5815; -104.9625
TypeFree public
School districtLittleton Public Schools (LPS)
CEEB code060928
PrincipalNatalie Pramenko
Number of students2,262 (2016-17)[1]
Campus size254,756 square feet (23,667.61 m2)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Black and old gold         
AthleticsBaseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, football, golf, lacrosse, marching band, soccer, hockey, softball, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, wrestling
Athletics conferenceContinental and Centennial
RivalsHeritage High School, Littleton High School, Cherry Creek High School
NewspaperArapahoe Herald

Arapahoe High School is a public high school in Centennial, Colorado, United States.[2] Located in a suburb of Denver, it is the flagship of the Littleton Public Schools District as the largest of three high schools, with an enrollment of 2,229 students. It has been designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

The school is known for its affiliation with the Arapaho tribe of Wind River, Wyoming.


Arapahoe High School was built in 1964. Several additions have been made since then, including:

  • 1965: A gymnasium, built by Morse, Dion & Champion, architects; and Hollister, general contractor
  • 1967: An addition of a pool, classrooms and theater, built by Morse, Dion & Champion, architects; and Webco, general contractor.
  • 1979: An addition of locker rooms, wrestling facilities and a gymnastics gym, built by Allred/Fisher, architects; and Frank Hall & Co., construction management.
  • 1987: An addition of administration and counseling space, by Culbertson & Associates, who served as designer and general contractor.
  • 1997: The school's aging interior library was replaced with classrooms, and a new library and media center were constructed on the north side of the building. Accessibility was improved with the construction of an elevator adjacent to second-floor classrooms and a student-designed east entrance with wheelchair ramps and automated doors, nicknamed "The Bubble."
  • 2005: The school underwent significant remodeling. A new gymnasium was added, several classrooms were redesigned and walls were rebuilt to meet fire code standards.
  • 2014: In the aftermath of a school shooting in 2013, in which parts of the library were burned, a remodeled library was constructed in the same space.

As of 2013, the school has 70 classrooms.[3]

2013 shooting[edit]

On December 13, 2013, a shooting occurred at the school. The gunman, an 18-year-old student,[4][5] entered the school armed with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails, and 125 rounds of ammunition.[6][7] He requested to see the school librarian,[8] who was also the coach of the school debate team.[8] The shooter's demotion on the team was a contributing motive to the shooting.[9][10][11] One student was shot in the head and died eight days later.[12][13][14][15][16] The shooter attempted to start a fire with one of the devices he had carried with him and then shot himself in the head.[17][18][19]


The 254,756-square-foot (23,667.6 m2) facility includes 70 classrooms, two gyms, a weight room, a library, kitchen, a 647-seat theater, a pool, tennis courts, a track and fields for baseball, football, and soccer fields.

Native American relationship[edit]

The school has a unique relationship with the Arapaho tribe.

After complaints about the pejorative depiction of Native Americans, principal Ron Booth sought a direct relationship with the tribe by travelling to the tribe's location in Wyoming for a personal meeting with tribal elders. After an extensive process, the tribe and Chief Anthony Sitting Eagle approved a relationship between the school and the tribe, establishing relationship methodology through a specific declaration.[20]

The original logo of Arapahoe High School more closely depicted a Pawnee Indian. On September 17, 1993 the Arapaho Nation and Arapahoe High School held the Arapahoe Warrior Assembly. This assembly dedicated the school's new, and current, Warrior mascot, created by Northern Arapaho artist, Wilbur Antelope.

Since then, the Northern Arapaho tribe has endorsed the name of the high school (as spelled with an "e" at the end) and its use of the current warrior mascot, provided by the tribe. The large gym was refinished and renamed the Sitting Eagle Gymnasium (this is now the Main gym) on December 9, 1993.

According to the original agreement made by the school, the mascot is not to be put on the floor (where one could walk on it) or on any article of clothing.[20] However, whether through subsequent agreement or disregard on the part of the school, the mascot can be found on a wide variety of clothing. However, it is not found on any football uniform (where it may be rubbed into the ground), and the school does not portray a Native American Warrior at any sporting event.

Tribal members visit the school for important events, speaking every year at graduation, and every two years a larger group will visit the school to perform various traditional dances and speak about Native American culture.


Arapahoe is part of the 8-team Centennial League that also includes Cherry Creek, Grandview, Cherokee Trail, Smoky Hill, Eaglecrest, Mullen, and Overland.[21]

Arapahoe athletics include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, football, golf, lacrosse, marching band, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, winter guard, and wrestling. All athletics at Arapahoe are competed at the 5A / world level.

Girls' golf won the Colorado State Championship in 2010.

The Arapahoe soccer program, known as ABK (Arapahoe Ball Kickers), holds 14 state championships; the girls' program has won nine state titles and the boys' program has five state titles. In 1997 and 1998, members of the ABK and friends formed the Jolly Green Men, supporters of the Colorado Rapids soccer club.


Arapahoe Herald[edit]

The monthly Arapahoe Herald newspaper is produced by journalism students. In 2005, the Arapahoe Herald was named a National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalist and went on to win a Pacemaker. The National Pacemaker Awards have been called the high school equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. In 2005, the Arapahoe Herald received the Pacemaker as well as a Silver Crown from Columbia Scholastic Press Association. It is only the sixth high school newspaper in Colorado to win a Pacemaker in the award’s 100+ year history.

In 2007 the Arapahoe Herald received the National Scholastic Press Association's All-American rating, and Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Gold Medalist Award. In 2008 the paper placed first in the American Scholastic Press Association's Newspaper Review and Contest. The Arapahoe Herald is also included in the National Scholastic Press Association's Hall of Fame for ten consecutive All-American ratings. To date, the newspaper has earned 14 All American ratings since 1992. The Arapahoe Herald won its second NSPA Pacemaker Award in November 2009. The Herald also received Gold Medal awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2008 and in 2010.

In 2009, the February issue of the newspaper gained statewide attention for a controversy over articles depicting teenage boys using alcohol to engage in sexual actions with girls, and young women objectifying themselves for attention.[22]


Calumet, the Arapahoe yearbook, is produced by journalism students. Calumet received All-American ratings in both 2005 and 2006 and was a Pacemaker Finalist in 2005.[citation needed]


Muse is Arapahoe's literary arts magazine. In 2007, the Muse placed eighth in the National Scholastic Press Association's Best-in-Show, during the Denver Convention.[23]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "ARAPAHOE HIGH SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "Arapahoe High School: United States". Geographical Names. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  3. ^ Knickerbocker, Brad. "How Columbine lessons helped in Arapahoe High School shooting (+video)." Christian Science Monitor. December 13, 2013. Retrieved on December 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Team (December 13, 2013). "7NEWS - Karl Pierson identified as Arapahoe High School gunman who shot student while targeting librarian - Story". ABC 7 News Denver KMGH-TV. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  5. ^ "Arapahoe High School: Dead Colorado school shooter wanted 'revenge' on faculty member, sheriff says". WPTV. December 13, 2013. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Colorado school shooter angry at librarian but had shotgun, machete and 3 Molotov cocktails for killing spree". Associated Press. December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  7. ^ "Police: Colorado school gunman had Sandy Hook pics". Yahoo News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Colorado School Shooting Victim in 'Wrong Place, Wrong Time'". ABC News. December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  9. ^ Cabrera; Martinez; Carter (December 15, 2013). "Colorado's school shooting -- over in 80 seconds". Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  10. ^ Cooper, Anderson. "Student: Gunman last person I'd suspect". Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  11. ^ Cabrera, Ana; Carter, Chelsea J.; Watkins, Tom (December 13, 2013). "Dead Colorado school shooter wanted 'revenge' on faculty member, sheriff says". CNN. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Hospital: Teen who was shot at Colo. school dies". AP. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  13. ^ "Gunman kills self at Colorado high school; second student critically wounded". NBC News. December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  14. ^ Zahira Torres (1 January 2014). "Memorial brings a goodbye fit for slain student Claire Davis". The Denver Post.
  15. ^ "Colorado shooting victim's dad forgives classmate". The Denver Post. Denver. The Associated Press. 1 January 2014.
  16. ^ Zahira Torres; Jordan Steffen; Jennifer Brown (10 October 2014). "Report: Arapahoe High School shooter wrote in diary of coming rampage". The Denver Post.
  17. ^ Michael Roberts (December 2013). "Karl Pierson's alleged murder plan at Arapahoe High: "The die has been cast"". Westword.
  18. ^ Sadie Gurman (17 December 2013). "Arapahoe High School gunman planned to attack multiple classrooms". The Denver Post.
  19. ^ "Diary of Arapahoe High School gunman shows he had plan to exact revenge; called himself 'psychopath'". Centennial, Colo.: 7NEWS Denver 10 October 2014.
  20. ^ a b "HIGH SCHOOL OF THE WEEK ARAPAHOE Proud to be Warriors." Denver Post [Denver, CO] 13 Mar. 2001: D. General OneFile. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^
  23. ^ "NSPA - Contest Winners". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  24. ^ "Soccer: CU Buffs' Barczuk drafted". 2013-01-18. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Melissa Benoist". IMDb. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Arapahoe High School Alum Tom Costello Reports on Colorado School Shooting". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  27. ^ "AnnaSophia Robb". IMDb. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Former Real Colorado goalkeeper Ethan Horvath earns a spot in the USMNT June camp". 2017-06-06. Retrieved January 22, 2018.

External links[edit]