Rocky Mountain High School (Colorado)

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Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Rmhs logo.png
Rocky Mountain High School logo
Fort Collins, Colorado
United States
Coordinates 40°32′48.02″N 105°5′59.84″W / 40.5466722°N 105.0999556°W / 40.5466722; -105.0999556Coordinates: 40°32′48.02″N 105°5′59.84″W / 40.5466722°N 105.0999556°W / 40.5466722; -105.0999556
Type Public high school
Motto The Lobo Way
Established 1973
School district Poudre School District
Principal Craig Woodall
Grades 9-12
Enrollment Class of 2010: 568, Class of 2011: 515, Class of 2012: 527, Class of 2013: 493, Class of 2016; 678
Number of students 1900
Color(s) Cardinal red and yellow gold         
Athletics 5A
Mascot Lobo

Rocky Mountain High School (RMHS, Rocky) is one of four public high schools in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States. Its colors are cardinal red and gold and its mascot is the lobo, or wolf. The school serves roughly 2000 students, mostly from south, west, and central Fort Collins. Rocky Mountain High School opened at its current location in 1973 and was expanded in 1994.


Rocky Mountain High School was founded in 1973. Its student body was made up of sophomores and juniors originally from Fort Collins High School and Poudre High School. The campus was made of three separate buildings. In 1994 to 1995, the school's campus was redesigned to make one large building from the original three separate ones. A new media center, theatre, a vocal music room, a larger commons area, and a large fitness center were added during this remodel. In 2005, an auxiliary gym and multipurpose room were added. Rocky started as a three-year high school, but as part of a grade reconfiguration in Poudre School District, it became a four-year high school. The class of 2009 had 692 seniors, the largest senior class the school has ever had.


Rocky Mountain High School runs on a 4 by 4 block schedule with four classes a day. At the semester, courses that would typically last an entire year such as math or science end and are replaced with a new class. Advanced Placement classes are available. The school also participates in the CU Succeed program, which allows high schoolers to take classes for college credit. Juniors and seniors can also take college level courses at the local Front Range Community College.

During the 2015-16 school year, the Alternative Cooperative Education program at Rocky Mountain constructed a GeoDome, a geodesic growing dome[1] that allows students with barriers to employment to practice career skills. They learn not only practical skills in gardening, construction and business management, but valuable soft skills like communication and collaboration.[2]

The school also has a robust film program,[3] which provides students with skills to express themselves, become visually literate and appreciate culture.[4]

Notable accomplishments[edit]

Since its opening in 1973, Rocky Mountain High School has been involved in many sports and academic competitions. Some of the most widely recognized of their extracurricular activities are the athletic, the speech and debate, and the music programs.

In 2006, RMHS senior Colin West won first place nationally in extemporaneous speaking with the National Forensics League.[5] In 2016, graduating senior Sammie Leo became the first student in district history to qualify for the national Speech and Debate tournament in every year of high school.[6]

The baseball team, coached by Scott Bullock, won the CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) State Championship in four consecutive years, from 2007 through 2010.

In 2009, as part of the High Plains Hockey League, Rocky Mountain Varsity Hockey took home the state championship.

The Rocky Mountain Highlighter, the school's prestigious newspaper, is regarded as one of the top student newspapers in the nation due to having won numerous Pacemaker awards.[7] The paper is advised by Stephen Wahlfeldt.[8]

School culture[edit]

Rocky Mountain High School is known for fostering a positive, inclusive school culture. In the fall of 2015, the school rallied around Cory Breslin, a student with a disability who helped collect the equivalent of 8,900 meals for a food bank in Virginia.[9] In November, students created a March-Madness style fundraiser to raise $1500 for charity.[10] For the last twenty years, the school has also hosted Adopt a Family. A Rocky student started the service project in 1996. Homerooms and school groups each adopt a family, trying to meet as many needs as possible on their wishlist.[11] In 2015, the school adopted about 80 families.[12]

In 2011, the school raised $90,000 for charity. In 2012, they collected 2,000 pairs of shoes for families around the world as part of the Kindness Challenge.[13]

Performing arts[edit]

The Rocky Mountain High School Music Department received a prestigious award from the GRAMMY Signature Schools program. Created in 1998, this program recognizes top US public high schools that are making outstanding commitments to music education Rocky Mountain High School was recognized as Colorado's best high school music program for 2010-2011.


Rocky Mountain has three different levels of band: Symphonic, Summit Winds, and Rocky Mountain Winds. The Rocky Mountain winds has been recognized as one of Colorado's best bands. During the summer of 2008, the Rocky Mountain Wind Ensemble accepted an invitation to play in China prior to the Beijing Olympics games.

The school's marching band, Spirit Band, plays at every varsity football and basketball home game.


Rocky Mountain also has four orchestras: Concert Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra. Each ensemble performs a wide repertoire, ranging from Renaissance to rock. The Symphony Orchestra strings team with members of the Rocky Mountain Winds to perform masterworks of the orchestral literature. Each orchestra gives numerous concerts throughout the year at the school, in the Fort Collins community, and in state festivals.

Rocky Mountain Singers

The Rocky Mountain Singers are a select mixed group of 36-45 juniors and seniors. In 2007-2008, RMHS Singers were one of the three choirs selected out of 50 accepted into the Eric Whitacre Festival. They sang a variety of Eric Whitacre pieces, including "Sleep," under the direction of Whitacre himself. The Rocky Mountain Singers were invited to sing with the BYU Singers and CSU Chamber Singers in April 2011.


Spotlight is one of the many vocal groups in the Rocky Mountain High School music program. It is the school's main audition-only vocal jazz group. The group generally consists of about 12 juniors and seniors.

The group has opened for and worked with groups such as First Take from Southwest Community College in Creston, Iowa; M-Pact; New York Voices; SONOS (ARORA); BASIX; and Groove Society. In March 2007, the group placed second in the International Competition of High School A Cappella quarterfinals, earning them an invitation to the semifinals in Seattle. In March 2007, Spotlight made a trip to the California Bay Area for an a cappella boot camp, to work with an expert in contemporary a cappella music, where they put together five new songs in four days to perform at the end of the week.

The Rocky Mountain Spotlight choir made another appearance at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) in January 2009, and was also selected to perform for the Jazz Education Network Conference in Atlanta in 2013.


Echoes is an advanced mixed chamber choir, consisting of junior and senior students who are either in RM Singers or Prima Voce. Echoes ranges from 10 to 15 singers. Throughout the past 20 years, the group has succeeded in many competitions and festivals in the state and country, including CMEA and functions in Germany and Italy. Echoes made a return to the RMHS choir department in the 2010-2011 school year, after a short hiatus in 2008-2009.

Prima Voce

Prima Voce is Rocky Mountain's audition-only, all-women's choir. It is one of the top two choirs, at the same level as Rocky Mountain Singers. The choir consists of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Con Brio

Con Brio is an intermediate choir that first started in the 2003-2004 school year. In 2007, Con Brio took first place at the 2007 All Choir Competition in Longmont Colorado, as did the RM Singers, Bel Canto, and Prima Voce.


Capriccio first started off as an entry level women's choir for sophomores, juniors, and seniors in 2008-2009. In 2009-2010, when freshmen moved into Rocky, Capriccio became an all-9th-grade mixed choir.

Spotlight Syrens

Syrens is a select women's vocal jazz group that began in 2008-2009. It is made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Spotlight Syrens were selected to perform at CMEA in January 2013.

Low Beaux

Low Beaux is Rocky's all-men choir, which began in 2008-2009. Its name is a play on words and, when said, is pronounced "lobos," Rocky's mascot. It is made up of 9th-12th grade students.

Past choirs

  • Bel Canto: entry-level mixed choir (2006–2009)
  • Sinfonia: entry-level mixed choir (1973–2004)
  • Bella Voce: entry-level women's choir (2003–2006)
  • Women's Show Choir (2006–2007)
  • Varsity Women: advanced women's choir (1994–2002)
  • Center Stage: mixed show choir (1980–2007)
  • Mountain Men: men's choir (1973–2004)

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Andy Burns - 2008 graduate; University of Kentucky; MLB prospect drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2008; Colorado Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year Recipient[14]
  • Rick Dennison - former linebacker, Denver Broncos[15]
  • Marco Gonzales - 2010 graduate; Major League Baseball pitcher for the Saint Louis Cardinals; Colorado Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year Recipient[16]
  • Katie Herzig - Grammy award-nominated singer/songwriter[17]
  • Korey Jones - CFL player[18]
  • Estelle Johnson - WPSL player


  1. ^ "Rocky Mountain High School GeoDome". YouTube. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ "GeoDome teaches Rocky students career skills". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ "RMHSTV -- Opener". Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Visual Arts Department". Rocky Mountain High School. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Archived National Tournament Results" (PDF). National Forensics League. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  6. ^ "Speech and debate students learn critical thinking, public speaking skills". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "RMHS Highlighter Recognized as Top High School Newspaper". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Horan, Kyle (August 28, 2015). "Rocky Mountain High School student inspires others to donate food". Denver Channel 7. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ "PSD Gives: Students, teachers compete in beard fundraiser at Rocky Mountain High School". Poudre School District. 
  11. ^ "Adopt a Family 2014". Vimeo. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ [A Rocky student started the service project in 1996. "Adopt a Family"] Check |url= value (help). PSD-TV. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Kindness Challenge: Rocky Mountain High School". Think Kindness. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  14. ^ Lytle, Kevin (January 23, 2014). "Andy Burns invited to major league camp with Toronto Blue Jays". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  15. ^ Frei, Terry (August 19, 2008). "Dennison puts his talent on the line". Denver Post. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Cardinals' Gonzales set to debut in familiar park". Associated Press. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  17. ^ Hellen, Aaron (April 4, 2008). "Local artists returns to her roots for Apple Tree CD release". The Rocky Mountain Collegian Online. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ Lyell, Kelly (May 3, 2013). "Former Rocky Mountain High School, Wyoming standout Korey Jones gets his shot at the NFL". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]