Colorado Academy

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Colorado Academy
3800 South Pierce Street
Denver, Colorado 80235
United States
Coordinates 39°38′52″N 105°4′9″W / 39.64778°N 105.06917°W / 39.64778; -105.06917Coordinates: 39°38′52″N 105°4′9″W / 39.64778°N 105.06917°W / 39.64778; -105.06917[1]
Motto Spiritus Vitam Vivificat ("Spirit Enlivens Life")
Established 1906
CEEB code 060393
Head of school Michael G. Davis, PhD
Faculty 150
Grades pre-K to 12
Enrollment 968 (as of 2016)
Average class size 17
Student to teacher ratio 9:1
Hours in school day 8:10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Campus size 94 acres (380,000 m2)
School color(s) Red/black/white
Athletics CHSAA 3A, 4A, 5A
Athletics conference Metro League, Southern League
Mascot Mustang
Nickname Gus
Team name Mustangs
Rival Kent
Average SAT scores 663 Critical Reading; 651 Math (mean for 2014-2016)
Average ACT scores 29.1 (mean for 2014-2016)
Publication Kokopelli Literary Magazine
Yearbook Telesis

Colorado Academy is an independent nonsectarian, co-educational, college preparatory day school for students from Pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school's 94-acre (380,000 m2) campus is located in Lakewood, Colorado and serves approximately 945 students.

Colorado Academy follows a trimester calendar with grades issued at the conclusion of each term. Classes in all divisions follow a six-day rotating schedule. Each class meets a minimum of four out of every six days. Classes meet for 70 minutes. Students (Upper School) take five to six academic classes each trimester.


Colorado Academy was established in 1906 as the Hill School for Boys in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, and by 1923 was called the Colorado Military School. Military training was incorporated into the curriculum. The school outgrew its space during World War II and in 1947, moved from its location near the University of Denver to its present location in Lakewood, just outside the Denver city limits. In 1955, the school began shifting its focus away from military training. Under the leadership of F. Charles Froelicher, Colorado Academy emerged as a college preparatory school for boys. The school became coeducational in 1971.


The school's present campus was purchased in 1947. Then known as the Kirk estate, it had been the country home of Jesse Welborn, president of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The campus has buildings for each division, including a state-of-the-art Upper School that opened in January 2013, that features an innovation laboratory, expanded science labs and classrooms. The campus includes two libraries: a Lower School Library and the Raether Library, Newton Athletic Center, Froelicher Theatre, Schotters Music Building, Welborn House, Smith Center, Stevens Arts Center and the Campus Center/Bookstore. The CA campus also has a number of athletic fields, such as Stuie's Courts (8) (Tennis), Wright Field, Simms Field, Firman Field, Slater Field (turf) and a baseball field that was renovated in 2014.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

All students participate in a week-long experiential learning program in the spring trimester called Interim. The Rocky Mountain wilderness and the Denver urban landscape are some of the many settings for a range of exploratory and challenging experiences. The program is designed to provide students with challenging outdoor experiences alongside classmates and CA faculty. Trips involve approximately 10-14 students. Outside the school calendar, more than 20 weekend outdoor trips as well as a variety of exchange offerings or summer travel opportunities are available. Recent trips have included Africa, Russia, Iceland, Argentina, and Senegal.

CA maintains a relationship with a sister school in the rural mountains of Haiti. Students and faculty travel to the village of Nordette to continue work on the construction of a new school. CA works with the non profit organization The Road to Hope for its ongoing work in Haiti.

Upper School students run an annual Students H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Eat) program for nearly 1,800[2] low income Denver residents, serving food and giving out toys.

Students from all divisions may apply to take part in the Student Philanthropy Program Board through which students help direct grant dollars to non profit organizations.

The CA Mock Trial team, founded in 2008, has qualified for the state tournament every single year, and has competed for the state title the last two years.

Other Upper School clubs include Yearbook, AfricAid (founded by alumna Ashley Shuyler), and Faces of Diversity, and others.

The award-winning student literary magazine, Kokopelli, has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Studio Art and Photography students may apply for competitive admission into the school’s Portfolio Program. CA offers private music lessons to students in Grades 1-12.


Colorado Academy fields Colorado High School Activities Association-sanctioned competition teams in basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. These teams compete in 3A and 5A classification in the Metro League and Southern League. Additional competitive sports available to students include rock climbing and ultimate Frisbee. Non-competitive options include conditioning, cross-training, and yoga.

State championship titles won by the school's teams include men's soccer (1998, 1999, 2012, 2013),[3] women's soccer (1999, 2014[4] 2003[5]), women's field hockey (1997, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015),[6] women's lacrosse (2000, 2015, 2016), women's golf (2007, 2008), women’s track and field (1983), women's ultimate frisbee (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) men's ultimate Frisbee (2008), and women's swimming (2012).

Notable alumni[edit]

Former headmasters[edit]

  • F. Charles Froelicher (1955–1975)
  • Sir Frank Wallace (1976–1990)
  • Christopher H. Babbs (1991–2008)[8]


  1. ^ "Colorado Academy". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  2. ^ "Founder of Students H.O.P.E. Returns to CA Event", Colorado Academy, 2010-12-24 
  3. ^ "Colorado Academy may again gallop away in 3A". Rocky Mountain News. 1999-09-02. It's amazing, really, what Colorado Academy did on their way to the 1998 Class 3A boys soccer state title. Playing in the Metro League... 
  4. ^ "Colorado Academy wins 3A soccer crown". Rocky Mountain News. 1999-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Mustangs win in shootout". Rocky Mountain News. 2003-05-20. 
  6. ^ Jackson, Tony (1997-10-24). "It's official: Mustangs win field hockey title". Rocky Mountain News. Colorado Academy's 2-1 victory over Fountain Valley amounted one small step for the Mustangs, one giant leap for high school field hockey. In a sport that has awarded its own state championships for years, this one came courtesy of the Colorado High School Activities Association, which only this fall began to sanction it. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P. (2008-06-09). "Babbs ends 27 years at prep school". Denver Post. After 27 years at Colorado Academy, the last 17 years as headmaster, Christopher Babbs is stepping down and moving with his wife to Mancos. 

External links[edit]