John F. Kennedy High School (Denver, Colorado)

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John F. Kennedy High School
Kennedy High School Denver.jpg
2855 S. Lamar Street
Denver, CO 80227

United States
Coordinates 39°39′52″N 105°04′02″W / 39.664468°N 105.067277°W / 39.664468; -105.067277
Type Public high school
Motto "Home of the Commanders"
Established 1964
School district Denver Public Schools
Principal Jeannie Peppel
Faculty 77.7 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1510[1] (2005-06)
Student to teacher ratio 19.4[1]
Campus type suburban
Color(s) Navy blue and kelly green         
Athletics 5A
Athletics conference Denver League[2]
Mascot Commanders
Educational Program International Baccalaureate[3]

John F. Kennedy High School (also known as "Kennedy" or "JFK") is a public secondary school located in the Bear Valley neighborhood on the southwest side of Denver, Colorado, United States. The school serves about 1,500 students in grades 9-12 in the Denver Public Schools system.

When the school opened with the spring semester of the 1965 - 1966 school year, it served both grades 7 - 9 and grades 10-12. There was no junior high school in the area, so the new school was designed to accommodate both junior and senior high school students.

In 1974, a court ordered the almost 100% white school, along with the rest of Denver's school system, to begin desegregation busing. A large portion of the former attendance area was assigned to Lincoln High School (without buses) and students from other parts of Denver were assigned to Kennedy (with buses). The court-ordered busing was the start of the great white flight out of the Denver Public School System.[citation needed]


  • Hispanic 65.6%
  • White 23.8%
  • African American 1.6%
  • Asian 7.0%
  • Native American 2.1% [4]

61.46% of Kennedy students are eligible for a free/reduced lunch rate.[4]

International Baccalaureate Program[edit]

On December 11, 2007 Kennedy became the second high school in Denver to offer the two-year International Baccalaureate program, and is the only school in Denver to offer an authorized IB education for all grade levels.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Kennedy offers many after-school sports:

  • Fall sports
    • Football
    • Softball
    • Golf, boys
    • Tennis, boys'
    • Volleyball
    • Cross country, boys' and girls'
    • Boys' soccer
    • Girls' gymnastics
    • Cheerleading
  • Winter sports
    • Basketball, boys' and girls'
    • Swimming, girls'
    • Wrestling, boys'
    • Cheerleading
  • Spring sports
    • Baseball
    • Swimming, boys'
    • Golf, girls'
    • Soccer, girls'
    • Tennis, girls'
    • Lacrosse, boys' and girls'
    • Track and field
    • In-line hockey, boys'
    • Cheerleading

Activities and clubs[edit]

Kennedy offers many after-school activities and clubs:

  • Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE)
  • Anime Club
  • Believe It Or Not I Care (BIONIC)
  • Book Club
  • Cheerleaders
  • Chess Club
  • Cultural Commanders Club
  • DECA
  • Destination Imagination
  • El Pomar Youth in Community Service (EPYCS)
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Fellowship of Christian Commanders (FCC)
  • Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
  • Key Club
  • Latin Dance
  • Link Leaders
  • Math, Engineering, Science Association (MESA)
  • Mock Trial
  • Model U.N.
  • Peer Counseling
  • Scrapbooking
  • Slam Poetry
  • Speech and Debate
  • Spring Break London Trip
  • Student Leadership (Student Council)
  • Weightlifting

Performing arts[edit]

Kennedy offers many performing arts avenues for students to follow:

  • Drama
  • Vocal
  • Instrumental music
    • Marching band
    • Jazz band
    • Orchestra
    • Concert band
  • Dance

Honorary societies[edit]

Students who excel academically are offered the opportunity to join one or more of these societies:


The mission of the JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens. Students receive instruction in leadership theory and application, Foundations for Success, wellness, fitness and first aid, geography and earth science, citizenship, American history, firearm safety, and rifle marksmanship. Students are required to wear a uniform once a week. JROTC provides students with opportunities to be members of competitive drill and rifle teams and to achieve success in various levels of leadership positions within the program.

Teachers honored[edit]

The National Association of Biology Teachers, in conjunction with Prentice Hall and the Colorado Biology Teachers Association,[5] gave Kevin Lindauer the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Colorado for 2008.[6]

Parent support groups[edit]

Commander Connection[edit]

The mission of the Commander Connection, also known as the Commander Club, is to act as a support group, to enhance the academic, athletic, social and arts & science activities of the students at John F. Kennedy High School, and to promote school spirit & school pride. The Commander Connection provides volunteer support of student activities. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at Kennedy High School.


KIBPA (Kennedy's International Baccalaureate Parent's Association) is the parent support group for IB students and teachers.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]