Cherry Creek High School

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Cherry Creek High School
Cherry Creek HS logo.png
9300 East Union Avenue
Greenwood Village, Colorado
United States
Coordinates39°37′50″N 104°52′48″W / 39.6305°N 104.8800°W / 39.6305; -104.8800Coordinates: 39°37′50″N 104°52′48″W / 39.6305°N 104.8800°W / 39.6305; -104.8800
School districtCherry Creek School District
CEEB code060-515
PrincipalRyan Silva
Teaching staff175.65 (FTE)
Enrollment3,499 (2015-16)[1]
Student to teacher ratio19.97
Campus size80 acres (320,000 m2)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Scarlet, White, and Royal Blue               
Athletics26 sports; 96 teams
Athletics conference5A - Centennial League
Feeder schoolsCampus Middle School, West Middle School

Cherry Creek High School (commonly Cherry Creek, Creek, or CCHS) is the oldest of seven high schools in the Cherry Creek School District in the Denver metropolitan area. It is located in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and is one of the largest high schools in the Denver metro area, with an 80-acre (320,000 m2) campus and more than 3,700 students. Cherry Creek High School has been designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and has received an "Excellent" rating on the Colorado School Accountability Report.[3]


In 1950, seven small school districts in Arapahoe County were consolidated to form Cherry Creek School District No. 5, eliminating original School District #19 and making its one-room schoolhouse obsolete. In 1953 the schoolhouse was sold at public auction, and for the next 16 years, it was used as a storage shed. The consolidation brought the eight schools of Ash Grove, Castlewood, Cherry Creek, Cherry Hills (Cherry Creek), Cunningham, Maple Grove, Mountain View, and Sullivan (Mountain View) together for educating elementary students, but Cherry Creek area high school students did not have their own school until 1955. Appropriately, it was named Cherry Creek High School. On September 6, 1955, the school opened its doors to 364 high school students (grades 9-12) and an additional 349 younger students (grades 7-8) who had to wait until the following year for their own Cherry Creek Junior High School building to be completed.

The district bought land at the corner of South Holly Street and East Belleview Avenue in 1965. It built a second junior high school, Cherry Creek West Junior High, which opened its doors in September 1966 to 655 students, although construction was not complete until that November (for example, there was no cafeteria until then). When Cherry Creek West Junior High was opened, both it and the original junior high, renamed Cherry Creek East Junior High (now known as Campus Middle School), housed grades 7-9, making the high school a three year high school (grades 10-12).

Four separate additions were made to the high school building before 1970, more than doubling its size. The Vocational-Practical Arts Center (1970), and the Performing Fine Arts Center (1974) were added to the campus unit between the West Building, which was the entire Cherry Creek High School in 1955, and the East Building. The latter reverted to the high school when Campus Middle School was built in 1971 (grades 7-8), and Cherry Creek became again a four-year high school. Additional major renovations occurred in 1997 when the Vocational Industrial Arts Building was transformed into the Information Center. Additions to East, Fine Arts, and West were completed in 2005.

The original $800 one-room Cherry Creek Schoolhouse, found on a ranch north of Parker, was purchased and brought back to the high school campus in 1969. Restored and now serving as a museum-classroom, it rests south of the Information Center building.[4]



The Cherry Creek High School campus is located in the city of Greenwood Village on East Union Avenue between Yosemite Street and Dayton Street. It is directly across the street from Cherry Creek State Park. Also located on the property are the Cherry Creek School District's West Admissions building, West Maintenance building, and Education Service Center which is located there as well. [5] It is adjacent to the buildings and campus of Campus Middle School and Belleview Elementary School, both of which feed into the high school.


The campus contains four buildings (West, Information Center, Fine Arts, and East) with 170 classrooms; eight tennis courts; a baseball diamond; two practice football fields; Stutler Bowl, Creek's stadium; and a challenge course.[6] The West Building, by far the largest of the four, houses two gyms; a swimming pool; a weight room; Shillinglaw Lecture Center; and the Creek Cafe, a DECA run cafeteria. The Information Center Building has a library and technology center, the Registrar's Office, the Counseling and Post-Grad Center, and another (former) cafeteria. Connected to the IC by the "IC Tunnel", the Fine Arts Building features a large theater, music labs, the debate room, and art labs. The East Building contains a gym and the Attendance and Security offices. The sprawling campus is meant to evoke a large "college-like" feel in order to prepare students for college life.[7]


The demographic breakdown of the 3,507 students enrolled in 2013-14 was:

  • Male - 50.4%
  • Female - 49.6%
  • Native American/Alaskan - 0.3%
  • Asian/Pacific islanders - 10.6%
  • Black - 3.0%
  • Hispanic - 11.4%
  • White - 71.4%
  • Multiracial - 3.3%

10.6% of the students were eligible for free or reduced lunch.[2]


Cherry Creek High School offers Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 31 subject areas. In 2007, 906 students took 2,374 AP exams, and 87% of the students scored 3 or higher (considered passing). The next year 986 students took 2,240 AP exams, 88% scoring 3 or higher.[3] Creek has been recognized as one of the nation's top high schools for AP participation in math, science, and technology, receiving the 2008 Advanced Placement Siemens Award.[8] Creek is also the only school in Colorado to have offered AP French Literature every year, until the test was discontinued.[9]


  • Richard Womack[when?]
  • Leonard Shillinglaw (1956–1966)
  • Ivan Muse (1966–1968)
  • Walter Armistead (1968–1970)
  • Donald K. Goe (1970–1973)
  • Henry F. Cotton (1973–1988)
  • Mary Gill (1988–1993)
  • Kathy Smith (1993–2009)
  • Ryan Silva (2009- )


The current Athletic Directors are Jason Wilkins and Mark Goldsberry.

CCHS is part of the 8-team Centennial League that also includes Arapahoe, Grandview, Cherokee Trail, Smoky Hill, Eaglecrest, Mullen, and Overland.[10] Teams currently practice and compete in the 7,000 seat Stutler Bowl, which was built in 1964.[11]

In addition to 200 state championships, Cherry Creek has won three Wells-Fargo Cups as the All-Sport Champion in the state of Colorado.[12] In 2005, Sports Illustrated named it the 5th-best high school athletics program in the nation.[13] It was also appointed the top athletic high school in the state in both 2006 and 2007 by Mile High Sports Magazine.[3] It is well known for its successful tennis team, which achieved the school's 200th state championship on September 13, 2012.[14]


The Cherry Creek football program has experienced a large amount of success, having won eight state championships. In the 2007 football season, John Elway was the quarterbacks' coach for the varsity football team on which his son, Jack Elway, played.[15] Dave Logan, the voice of the Denver Broncos and coach of six Colorado State Championships (with a rival of Creek's called Mullen), was hired to be the Cherry Creek football coach in January 2012.

On November 29, 2014, Cherry Creek won the 2014 Colorado 5A Football Championship with a 25-24 win over Valor Christian High School.[16]


The school is perhaps best known for its tennis program, which is considered to be one of the most successful in the United States.[17] Over a 28-year span, from 1972 to 2000, the boys' team won 316 consecutive dual matches. Additionally, the school has won 40 of 43 state titles in boys' tennis since 1972. Cherry Creek High School has produced many notable athletes, including ATP professional Jeff Salzenstein, along with several other state champions and high-achieving academic scholars.

Women's swimming and diving[edit]

Cherry Creek is also a power in women's swimming, with 26 state titles. As a senior in 1991, five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Amy Van Dyken won two individual state titles (she also won a pair as a junior) and helped the Bruins earn a state team championship.[13] The team holds the state records in the 4X50-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 4X50-yard freestyle, and 100-yard breaststroke.[18]

Ice hockey[edit]

The Cherry Creek ice hockey program staged one of the quickest turnarounds in school and state history after the program was reinstated in 2012 after a 25-year hiatus. After struggling in the 2012-13 season and only garnering a 2-16-1 record, the team made two straight "frozen four" appearances the next two seasons. In 2015 the team made a championship run and won the state title 3-2 in three overtime periods against Monarch High School.[19] The same Bruin squad also went on to win a USA Hockey national championship with a 2-1 victory over Dubuque High School in the combined division title game.[20]

State Championships[edit]

State Championships[21]
Season Sport No. of Championships Year
Fall Football 9 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2014
Soccer, Boys 7 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2010
Cross Country, Boys 5 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 2008
Cross Country, Girls 2 1996, 2006
Volleyball 5 1989, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2008
Field Hockey, Girls 2 2002, 2007
Golf, Boys 8 1957, 1958, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1981
Tennis, Boys 41 1972–1990, 1992–1999, 2001–2009, 2011-2016[22]
Gymnastics, Girls 3 1993, 1995, 1998
Winter Swimming, Girls 26 1974–1979, 1981–1986, 1991, 1995–2000, 2005–2010
Wrestling 1 1991
Poms 5 1996, 1998, 2002–2004
Basketball, Boys 1 1995
Ice hockey 4 1977–1979, 2015
Spring Tennis, Girls 30 1976, 1978, 1980–1985, 1989–1992, 1994, 1995, 1997-2012[23]
Lacrosse, Boys 12 1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2015, 2017
Lacrosse, Girls 11 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006–2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
Baseball 8 1983, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2012
Soccer, Girls 2 2001, 2012
Track and Field, Girls 1 2013
Rugby, Boys 1 2011
Swimming, Boys 10 1974, 1975, 1985–1991, 1994
Former Gymnastics, Boys 5 1973, 1974, 1981, 1982, 1990
Total Over 200[24]


The current Activities Director is Krista Keogh.

Cherry Creek High School offers more than 100 activity organizations, the majority of which are open to all students. Many are nationally recognized, including the Union Street Journal, Fine Print, the Speech and Debate Team, Amnesty International, Key Club, and Future Business Leaders of America.

The school's DECA chapter is among the nation's best. In May 2009, Cherry Creek took 75 students to the national competition in Anaheim, California, the most students any high school has ever brought to the competition in the history of DECA. The Speech and Debate Team is one of the top twenty in the nation and part of “The 400" society, the top one-half of one percent of the [[National Speech and Debate Association ]] school speech programs. Furthermore, the team is the 8th largest forensics school in the nation, and has won the district competition for 23 years, establishing itself as the highest ranked debate team in Colorado.[9] Cherry Creek also has a notable Model United Nations program, and the school is known for an annual Model U.N. competition hosted by its team. More than 40 schools across Colorado and international students from Escuala Continentale in Mexico City come to Cherry Creek High school to partake in United Nations simulations.

Cherry Creek also has a distinguished Fine Arts Department, including the nationally-recognized audition choirs, Girls' 21 and Meistersingers, both of which travel both nationally and internationally, as well as a distinguished vocal jazz ensemble. The Meistersingers have been selected to perform in the American Choral Director's Association conference numerous times, most recently in 2003 and 2012. The group has established itself as one of the top high school choirs in the country.[25] Cherry Creek's Wind Ensemble was selected as a featured ensemble at the 2014 Music For All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.[26] In 2014 Cherry Creek was selected as a Grammy Signature School for commitment to music education.[27]

Union Street Journal[edit]

The Union Street Journal is Cherry Creek High School's student newspaper, a full-color monthly broadsheet of 16-20 pages. The USJ has received a Superior award for the state of Colorado from the National Council of Teachers of English.[9] The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) has named the USJ a "Gold Crown Newspaper" three times (1983, 1986, and 1988). In 1989, 1991, and 1993, the USJ was named a "Silver Crown Newspaper." From 1984 to 1990, USJ staff members won 24 Gold Circle Awards from the CSPA.[28] In more recent years, the newspaper has been the recipient of several honors from the Colorado High School Press Association, including four first-place awards in 2007 for ad design, front-page layout, and editorial writing.[29] In 2008, the USJ won several awards including Best of Show. In 2009 and 2010, the paper won seven awards for editorials, feature articles, and design; it also received Second Best of Show.

New media[edit]

On November 12, 2015, the Union Street Journal launched an all new quarterly magazine. With the usual length of 27 pages, it contains news, fine arts, and sports in illustrations. On February 13, 2016, the Union Street Journal published two news videos. [30] 2015-2016 has been a turning point in the paper's history.

Notable alumni[edit]







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External links[edit]