Mullen High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
J. K. Mullen High School
3601 South Lowell Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80236
United States
Coordinates 39°39′02″N 105°02′11″W / 39.650626°N 105.036278°W / 39.650626; -105.036278Coordinates: 39°39′02″N 105°02′11″W / 39.650626°N 105.036278°W / 39.650626; -105.036278
Type Private, coeducational
Motto Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1931
President Carl Unrein, '72
Dean Joe Welling
Principal Janell Kloosterman
Faculty 84
Grades 912
Enrollment 900
Student to teacher ratio 17:1
Campus size 39 acres (160,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Navy Blue and Gold         
Sports 23
Mascot Mustangs
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]

Mullen High School (formerly J.K. Mullen High School) is a Roman Catholic, Brothers of the Christian Schools, college-preparatory high school in Denver, Colorado. It is run independently within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver.


Mullen High School was named for John Kernan Mullen, businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company. Together with his wife, Catherine, Mullen envisioned the founding of a high school in Denver for orphaned boys. In 1928, working with Bishop Henry Tihen, Mullen contacted Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town, for advice on how best to design and operate such a school. Following Father Flanagan’s recommendation, Mr. Mullen wrote to the Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de La Salle in Santa Fe, New Mexico and invited them to be the directors and teachers of his planned school.

St. John Baptist de La Salle was a 17th-century French priest who established gratuitous schools for the children of the poor and working classes, as well as an order of religious men to teach in and run the schools. An innovator both in the Catholic Church and in education, St. La Salle was a pioneer of the practical liberal arts curriculum, the simultaneous method of classroom instruction, early childhood education, and formal teacher training. In 1950, he was named the Patron Saint of All Teachers of Youth.

In June 1928, Mullen opened negotiations with the De La Salle Christian Brothers. However, both Catherine and John Mullen died before the project could be completed, but their daughters and their husbands carried on with their plans. They purchased a 420-acre (1.7 km2) plot of land on the outskirts of Denver known as the Shirley Farm Dairy. An agreement was made that would allow the dairy to remain in operation in exchange for the students’ opportunity to work in the dairy and receive training in agriculture and mechanics. And so, on April 8, 1932, 17 boys and three Brothers moved into the new J.K. Mullen Home for Boys.

Since then, Mullen High School has experienced four distinct eras of change and growth:

  • 1931–1950, when the school was conducted for orphan boys only, who both attended school and worked in the dairy farm;
  • 1950–1965, when paying boarders and day students joined the orphans as students, the school’s farm operations ended and its name was changed to J.K. Mullen High School;
  • 1966-1989, when the last of the orphans graduated, the boarding section closed, and the school became a four-year college preparatory high school for boys;
  • 1989–present, when the school became a co-educational high school and modernized its facilities and programs.


Mullen's academic year follows the trimester system, with five 70-minute classes a day in each of three trimesters, for a total of 15 classes per year.[2] The school’s academic curriculum comprises college prep, honors, and Advanced Placement courses and a selection of over 130 academic electives. In addition, all students select and complete their own community service projects. In order to graduate, each student must have a total of 70 hours of community service. Since 1983, students have logged over 300,000 hours of service.[3]

AP Courses[edit]

  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics C
  • AP US Government & Politics
  • AP US History
  • AP European History
  • AP Spanish
  • AP French
  • AP Latin
  • AP Computer Science

Extracurricular Activities[edit]


Mullen is a leading school in Colorado inter-scholastic athletics. Mullen is classified in the state’s 4A size classification but chooses to play up into the Colorado's highest classification, 5A, for basketball and football. Mullen athletes have won state championships in 16 sports. Mullen competes as a part of the Centennial League in all sports except football. In football, Mullen competes in the newly created Super 6 League.

Rivalry with Cherry Creek[edit]

Mullen enjoys an intense rivalry with Cherry Creek High School of Greenwood Village, Colorado. This rivalry was developed in the Centennial League and continues despite Mullen and Cherry Creek now play football in separate leagues since 2010. The two schools have met in the 5A State Football Championship game 3 times – 1998, 2004, and 2008, with Mullen winning each time. This rivalry is widely believed to be the state’s top high school rivalry[4] and spans several sports and activities.

State Championships[edit]

State Championships[5]
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall Football 8 1978, 1979, 1980, 1998, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010
Soccer, Boys 1 2011
Softball, Girls 1 2001
Cross Country, Boys 1 1999
Cross Country, Girls 5 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
Winter Swimming, Boys 2 2003, 2011
Swimming, Girls 7 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
Basketball, Boys 2 2001, 2006
Basketball, Girls 4 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006
Spring Golf, Boys 7 1984, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002
Golf, Girls 5 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Tennis, Girls 2 2001, 2006
Track and Field, Boys 12 1968, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Track and Field, Girls 11 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011
Baseball 2 1978, 1985
Total 70


Mullen offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations. Over 90% of students participate in at least one co-curricular activity throughout the year. Some of these are:

  • Chess Club
  • Drama Club
  • Fashion Club
  • French National Honor Society
  • H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Promote Equality)
  • Knowledge Bowl
  • Lasallian Youth
  • Latin Club
  • Latin National Honor Society
  • Link Crew (leadership training program)
  • Liturgy Committee
  • Mullen Media
  • National Honor Society

  • World Affairs Challenge Team

Speech and Debate[edit]

Mullen is also a Charter Member of the National Forensics League.

Performing arts[edit]

The school's "cafe-chape-torium" (so named due to its functions as the school's cafeteria, chapel, and auditorium), located in the Rilko Center, serves as the venue for Mullen's theatrical and choral performances.


Mullen offers three ensembles for student enrollment. Mullen Singers, a large concert chorus, is a non-audition ensemble open to students on all levels. Students perform a variety of both traditional and contemporary styles of choral music at numerous venues throughout the year, including formal concerts. Varsity Singers, our men's chorus, and our Women's Chorus are 'training choirs' in which students are taught choral basics. Chamber Ensemble is an audition-only, 16 member group of Mullen's finest choral musicians.

Students are encouraged to audition for, through the preparation of arts songs, local Honor Choirs as well as All-State choir. In March 2006, Mullen Singers performed Mozart's Coronation Mass at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of a nationally selected ensemble. In February 2007, they performed as part of a nationally selected festival chorus at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. In June 2008, Mullen Singers performed by invitation for the 2008 Summer Olympic festival in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, China. During the summer of 2010, two Mullen students went to New York to sing in an audition only ensemble at Carnegie Hall.


Members of Mullen Theatre participate in several major dramatic productions throughout the year. In addition to working with student actors, Mullen Theatre's technical aspects are handled by an entirely student-driven tech crew. Past productions include Arthur Laurents's West Side Story, William Shakespeare's Macbeth,' Jerry Herman's Hello Dolly, George S. Kaufman's & Moss Hart's You Can't Take It with You, Tom Briggs's and Louis Mattioli's State Fair, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I. Mullen Theatre also presents an annual series of student-directed plays, usually held in February.

Mullen Theatre Troupe 778 is an active member of the International Thespian Society and has students participate and compete in a number of events at the Colorado State Thespian Conference each year.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ "Academics". Mullen High School. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Academics". Mullen High School. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  4. ^ Burnett, Sara (29 November 2008). "Cherry Creek and Mullen clash in 5A football rivalry". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 29 J [1] uly 2013.
  5. ^ "Past Colorado High School State Champions" (English). Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ryan Hewitt - - Stanford University". Retrieved 31 July 2015. 

External links[edit]