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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.


2018 Recipients

Academy 20

  • Academy International Elementary
  • Air Academy High School
  • Challenger Middle School
  • Chinook Trail Elementary School
  • Discovery Canyon Campus High School
  • Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School
  • Douglass Valley Elementary School
  • Explorer Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Pine Creek High School
  • Rockrimmon Elementary 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
  • Silver Creek Elementary
  • Stargate Charter School

Adams-Arapahoe 28J

  • Aurora Quest K-8

Boulder Valley RE-2

  • Bear Creek Elementary School
  • Boulder Community School/Integrated Studies
  • Boulder Universal
  • Coal Creek Elementary School
  • Creekside Elementary School At Martin Park
  • Douglass Elementary School
  • Eisenhower Elementary School
  • Fairview High School
  • Fireside Elementary School
  • Flatirons Elementary School
  • Foothill Elementary School
  • High Peaks Elementary School
  • Horizons K-8 School
  • Jamestown Elementary School
  • Lafayette Elementary School
  • Louisville Elementary School
  • Mesa Elementary School
  • Southern Hills Middle School
  • Summit Middle Charter School
  • Superior Elementary School

Charter School Institute

  • Colorado Early Colleges: Parker
  • Thomas Maclaren State Charter School

Cherry Creek 5

  • Belleview Elementary School
  • Challenge School
  • Cherry Creek Charter Academy
  • Cherry Creek High School
  • Cherry Hills Village Elementary School
  • Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
  • Creekside Elementary School
  • Dry Creek Elementary School
  • Greenwood Elementary School
  • Homestead Elementary School
  • Indian Ridge Elementary School
  • Rolling Hills Elementary School
  • Walnut Hills Community 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
  • Gold Camp Elementary School
  • The Vanguard School (Elementary)
  • The Vanguard School (High)
  • The Vanguard School (Middle)

Colorado Springs 11

  • Academy For Advanced And Creative Learning
  • Chipeta Elementary School

Delta County 50(J)

  • Paonia Elementary School

Denver Public Schools

  • Bromwell Elementary School
  • Cory Elementary School
  • Creativity Challenge Community
  • Denver School Of The Arts
  • DSST: Byers High School
  • DSST: Byers Middle School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Polaris Elementary School
  • Slavens K-8 School
  • Steck Elementary School
  • Steele Elementary School
  • Swigert International School
  • Westerly Creek Elementary
  • William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School

Douglas County RE-1

  • Academy Charter School
  • Ben Franklin Academy
  • Buffalo Ridge Elementary School
  • Challenge To Excellence Charter School
  • Lone Tree Elementary
  • Mountain Vista High School
  • North Star Academy
  • Northridge Elementary School
  • Parker Core Knowledge Charter School
  • Platte River Charter Academy
  • Redstone Elementary School
  • Rock Canyon High School
  • Stem School Highlands Ranch
  • Stone Mountain Elementary
  • Summit View Elementary School
  • Timber Trail Elementary School

Eads RE-1

  • Eads Elementary School
  • Eads Middle School

Eagle County RE-50

  • Eagle County Charter Academy

Eaton RE-2

  • Galeton Elementary School 

Englewood 1

  • Englewood Leadership Academy

Gilpin County RE-1

  • Gilpin County Elementary School

Gunnison Watershed RE1J

  • Crested Butte Secondary School

Harrison 2

  • James Irwin Charter Elementary School
  • Soaring Eagles Elementary School

Jefferson County R-1

  • Bergen Valley Intermediate School
  • Bradford K8 South
  • Coal Creek Canyon K-8 Elementary School
  • D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School
  • Deer Creek Middle School
  • Dennison Elementary School
  • Devinny Elementary School
  • Elk Creek Elementary School
  • Evergreen High School
  • Evergreen Middle School
  • Fairmount Elementary School
  • Governor'S Ranch Elementary School
  • Jefferson Academy
  • Jefferson Academy Elementary
  • Jefferson Academy High School
  • Manning Options School
  • Marshdale Elementary School
  • Meiklejohn Elementary
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • Mount Carbon Elementary School
  • Normandy Elementary School
  • Parmalee Elementary School
  • Ralston Elementary School
  • Ralston Valley Senior High School
  • Red Rocks Elementary School
  • Rooney Ranch Elementary School
  • Shaffer Elementary School
  • Sierra Elementary School
  • Ute Meadows Elementary School
  • West Woods Elementary School
  • Westridge Elementary School
  • Wilmot Elementary School

Kim Reorganized 88

  • Kim Elementary School
  • Kim Undivided High School

Lewis-Palmer 38

  • Lewis-Palmer Elementary School
  • Prairie Winds Elementary School

Littleton 6

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

Mesa County Valley 51

  • New Emerson School at Columbus

Ouray R-1

  • Ouray Middle School

Poudre R-1

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

Pueblo County 70

  • The Connect Charter School

Salida R-32

  • Crest Academy 

St. Vrain Valley RE-1J

  • Altona Middle School
  • Black Rock Elementary
  • Blue Mountain Elementary
  • Fall River Elementary School
  • Lyons Elementary School

Steamboat Springs RE-2

  • Soda Creek Elementary School
  • Steamboat Springs Middle School

Swink 33

  • Swink Elementary School

Telluride R-1

  • Telluride High School

Thompson R2-J

  • Berthoud Elementary School
  • Big Thompson Elementary School
  • Ivy Stockwell Elementary School

Vilas RE-5

  • Vilas Undivided High School

Windsor RE-4

  • Grandview Elementary School 
  • Windsor Charter Academy Elementary School


Contact Information:
Kim Burnham
Competitive Grants and Awards
(303) 866-6916
Burnham_K@cde.state.co.us

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