The Littleton Public Schools community is invited to celebrate Heritage High School's 50-year-anniversary during an event Sept. 24. The school is located at 1401 W Geddes Ave in Littleton.
Opened in 1972, the school building was designed by Eugene D. Sternberg — a Hungarian-born American architect whose legacy in Littleton also includes the Arapahoe Community College campus, Bemis Library and Geneva Village.
The name "Heritage" was chosen to "honor all peoples of all nations" and the school's mascot became the "Eagles," according to the school's history page on the City of Littleton's website.
The Sept. 24 event will offer an open house, light breakfast and a gallery of memorabilia from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. From 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., school tours will be held by Heritage ambassadors and at 11 a.m., a dedication ceremony will be held for the Ray Barron Wrestling Room.
Barron was a coach at Heritage from 1980 to 2014 where he led more than 50 wrestlers to place at the state tournament. He is a member of the Colorado Coaches Hall of Fame and National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Faculty alums of Heritage said they're excited for the celebration later this month.
Jack Whiting, who joined Heritage in its inaugural year as the school's science department chair, said it was "rewarding to see teachers new to high school, or to Littleton schools, rise to the occasion" during his tenure from 1972 to 1990.
"I was really proud of it," Whiting said. "There was a real spirit of camaraderie and willingness to do new things."
Kathy Hoy-Gipe, who served as Heritage's assistant principal from 1982 to 2000, said she is looking forward to the ceremony and reflected on her tenure at the high school as one that was “very positive."
“I thought I was very lucky to get paid for what I was doing, it didn’t seem like work to me," she said. "I’m excited just to be back at the school and feel what it’s like outside, see some of the changes, and meet some of the students."
Hoy-Gipe praised the school for its academic performance. The school last year had a student body of around 1,700 and placed in the top 10% of all schools in Colorado for overall test scores. It has also as earned the State of Colorado's John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award six times because of its "Excellent" rating on the Colorado School Report Card, according to the City of Littleton.
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