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Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards

Award Criteria

The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science. (View more information on the School Performance Framework in SchoolView.)

The Excellence Awards are named for a true friend and visionary of education, former Colorado State Representative, John J. Irwin.

John Irwin Biography

John Irwin was born in Kansas in 1926 and went on to earn a chemical engineering degree from the University of Kansas. He continued his education at Harvard where he earned an MBA. In 1971, the Irwin family moved to Colorado where John continued his career at Kodak's new plant in Windsor.

After a long and successful career at Kodak, he retired and successfully ran for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, serving three terms. John Irwin served on the state accountability committee, the House Education committee and was the 1992 co-sponsor of a charter school bill, with then Senator Bill Owens, that did not at that time become law. After the untimely death of John Irwin, the bill was carried with bi-partisan support the following year by then-Senator Bill Owens and Representative Peggy Kerns. John Irwin was a true charter school visionary and pioneer, as the law when finally adopted, was only the third such law in the nation. Irwin believed strongly in parental involvement in education and empowering self-governing schools. Irwin loved learning and believed reading was the basis of a solid education. Having benefited from a solid education himself, John worked tirelessly to make sure every child in every part of this state received a high-quality education.

During all of the years Rep. Irwin served Colorado in the legislature, education was his passion. In his final year, in addition to co-sponsoring the precursor to the Charter School Act, John Irwin also sponsored legislation creating the Excellent Schools Program, which through subsequent legislation evolved into the Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards program.

John Irwin

Previous Award Recipients

The John Irwin awards recognize the academic excellence that John J. Irwin believed in and supported as a citizen, a father, and a legislator.

Click on the following dates to see award recipients from prior years. Note, awards for 2015 were not determined due to lack of assessment data.


2016 Recipients

Academy 20

  • Academy International Elementary School
  • Air Academy High School
  • Challenger Middle School
  • Chinook Trail Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Pine Creek High School
  • TCA College Pathways
  • The Classical Academy High School
  • Woodmen-Roberts Elementary School

Adams 12 Five Star Schools

  • Coyote Ridge Elementary School
  • Hulstrom Options K-8 School
  • Meridian Elementary School
  • Stargate Charter School
  • STEM Lab

Adams-Arapahoe 28J

  • Aurora Quest K-8

Aspen 1

  • Aspen High School

Boulder Valley RE-2

  • Bear Creek Elementary School
  • Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies
  • Coal Creek Elementary School
  • Douglass Elementary School
  • Eldorado K-8 School
  • Fireside Elementary School
  • Flatirons Elementary School
  • High Peaks Elementary School
  • Horizons K-8 School
  • Louisville Elementary School
  • Mesa Elementary School
  • Nevin Platt Middle School
  • Southern Hills Middle School
  • Summit Middle Charter School
  • Superior Elementary School

Charter School Institute

  • Colorado Early Colleges: Parker
  • Colorado Springs Early Colleges
  • Thomas Maclaren State Charter School
  • Victory Preparatory Academy High State Charter School
  • Victory Preparatory Academy Middle State Charter School

Cherry Creek 5

  • Belleview Elementary School
  • Campus Middle School
  • Challenge School
  • Cherry Creek Charter Academy
  • Cherry Creek High School
  • Cherry Hills Village Elementary School
  • Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
  • Dry Creek Elementary School
  • Greenwood Elementary School
  • Heritage Elementary School
  • Homestead Elementary School
  • Indian Ridge Elementary School
  • Pine Ridge Elementary School
  • Rolling Hills Elementary School
  • Willow Creek Elementary School

Cheyenne Mountain 12

  • Broadmoor Elementary School
  • Cheyenne Mountain Elementary School
  • Cheyenne Mountain High School
  • Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School
  • The Vanguard School

Clear Creek RE-1

  • King-Murphy Elementary School

Colorado Springs 11

  • Steele Elementary School

Delta County 50J

  • North Fork Montessori at Crawford

Denver Public Schools

  • Bromwell Elementary School
  • Carson Elementary School
  • Cory Elementary School
  • Denver School of The Arts
  • DSST: Byers Middle School
  • DSST: College View High School
  • DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School
  • DSST: Stapleton High School
  • DSST: Stapleton Middle School
  • Polaris at Ebert Elementary School
  • Slavens K-8 School
  • Steck Elementary School
  • Steele Elementary School

Douglas County RE-1

  • Challenge to Excellence Charter School
  • Heritage Elementary School
  • Highlands Ranch High School
  • Mountain Vista High School
  • Northridge Elementary School
  • Parker Core Knowledge Charter School
  • Platte River Charter Academy
  • Redstone Elementary School
  • STEM School
  • Stone Mountain Elementary
  • Summit View Elementary School
  • Thunderridge High School
  • Wildcat Mountain Elementary School

Durango 9-R

  • Sunnyside Elementary School

Eads RE-1

  • Eads Elementary School

Eagle County RE-50

  • Eagle County Charter Academy

East Grand 2

  • Fraser Valley Elementary School

Edison 54JT

  • Edison Elementary School
  • Edison Junior-Senior High School

Englewood 1

  • Englewood Leadership Academy

Gunnison Watershed RE-1J

  • Crested Butte Secondary School

Harrison 2

  • James Irwin Charter High School
  • Soaring Eagles Elementary School
  • Wildflower Elementary School

Jefferson County R-1

  • Bergen Valley Intermediate School
  • Bradford Intermediate School
  • Bradford Primary School
  • Deer Creek Middle School
  • Dennison Elementary School
  • D'Evelyn Junior-Senior High School
  • Devinny Elementary School
  • Elk Creek Elementary School
  • Evergreen High School
  • Fairmount Elementary School
  • Jefferson Academy
  • Jefferson Academy High School
  • Manning Options School
  • Marshdale Elementary School
  • Meiklejohn Elementary
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • Mount Carbon Elementary School
  • Parmalee Elementary School
  • Ralston Elementary School
  • Ralston Valley Senior High School
  • Red Rocks Elementary School
  • Sierra Elementary School
  • Ute Meadows Elementary School
  • West Woods Elementary School
  • Westridge Elementary School

Lewis-Palmer 38

  • Bear Creek Elementary School
  • Palmer Ridge High School
  • Prairie Winds Elementary School

Littleton 6

  • Arapahoe High School
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • John Wesley Powell Middle School
  • Littleton Academy
  • Lois Lenski Elementary School
  • Runyon Elementary School
  • Sandburg Elementary School
  • Wilder Elementary School

Mesa County Valley 51

  • New Emerson School at Columbus

Ouray R-1

  • Ouray Elementary School
  • Ouray Middle School
  • Ouray Senior High School

Poudre R-1

  • Bennett Elementary School
  • Bethke Elementary School
  • Dunn Elementary School
  • Fossil Ridge High School
  • Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School
  • Liberty Common Charter School
  • Livermore Elementary School
  • McGraw Elementary School
  • PSD Global Academy
  • Red Feather Lakes Elementary School
  • Tavelli Elementary School
  • Traut Core Elementary School
  • Werner Elementary School
  • Zach Elementary School

Prairie RE-11

  • Prairie Junior-Senior High School

Pueblo City 60

  • Fountain International Magnet School

Pueblo County 70

  • The Connect Charter School

Ridgway R-2

  • Ridgway Elementary School
  • Ridgway High School

Salida R-32

  • Crest Academy

St. Vrain Valley RE-1J

  • Altona Middle School
  • Blue Mountain Elementary
  • Lyons Elementary School

Steamboat Springs RE-2

  • Soda Creek Elementary School
  • Steamboat Springs Middle School
  • Strawberry Park Elementary School

Summit RE-1

  • Breckenridge Elementary School
  • Summit Cove Elementary School

Telluride R-1

  • Telluride High School

Thompson R2-J

  • Berthoud Elementary School

Weld County RE-8

  • Quest Academy at Dacono

Windsor RE-4

  • Skyview Elementary School


Contact Information:
Lynn Bamberry
Director, Competitive Grants and Awards
Bamberry_L@cde.state.co.us
303-866-6813

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