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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.

2019 Recipients

Academy 20

  • Academy International Elementary School
  • Challenger Middle School
  • Chinook Trail Elementary School
  • Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School
  • Foothills Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Ranch Creek Elementary
  • TCA College Pathways
  • The Classical Academy High School
  • The Classical Academy Middle School
  • Timberview Middle School
  • Woodmen-Roberts Elementary School

Adams 12 Five Star Schools

  • Coyote Ridge Elementary School
  • Hulstrom Options K-8 School
  • Meridian Elementary School
  • Prospect Ridge Academy
  • Silver Creek Elementary
  • Stargate Charter School
  • Stem Lab
  • Thunder Vista P-8

Adams-Arapahoe 28J

  • Aurora Quest K-8

Aspen 1

  • Aspen Community Charter School

Big Sandy 100J

  • Simla Elementary School
  • Simla Junior High School

Boulder Valley RE-2

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

Charter School Institute

  • Colorado Early Colleges: Parker

Cherry Creek 5

  • Belleview Elementary School
  • Challenge School
  • Cherry Creek Charter Academy
  • Cherry Hills Village Elementary School
  • Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
  • Greenwood Elementary School
  • Heritage Elementary School
  • Homestead 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
  • Gold Camp Elementary School
  • 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
  • Carson Elementary School
  • Cory Elementary School
  • Creativity Challenge Community
  • Denver Language School
  • Denver School Of The Arts
  • DSST: Byers High School
  • DSST: Byers Middle School
  • Mcauliffe International School
  • Park Hill School
  • Polaris Elementary School
  • Slavens K-8 School
  • Steck Elementary School
  • Swigert International School
  • Westerly Creek Elementary

District 49

  • Pikes Peak Early College 

Douglas County RE-1

  • Academy Charter School
  • Bear Canyon Elementary School
  • Ben Franklin Academy
  • Buffalo Ridge Elementary School
  • Challenge To Excellence Charter School
  • Coyote Creek Elementary School
  • Gold Rush Elementary
  • Heritage Elementary School
  • Lone Tree Elementary
  • North Star Academy
  • Northridge Elementary School
  • Parker Core Knowledge Charter School
  • Platte River Charter Academy
  • Redstone Elementary School
  • Rock Canyon High School
  • Saddle Ranch Elementary School
  • Stem School Highlands Ranch
  • Stone Mountain Elementary
  • Summit View Elementary School
  • Timber Trail Elementary School
  • Wildcat Mountain Elementary School

Eads RE-1

  • Eads Elementary School
  • Eads Middle School

Eagle County RE-50

  • Brush Creek Elementary School 
  • Eagle County Charter Academy

Eaton RE-2

  • Galeton Elementary School 

Englewood 1

  • Englewood Leadership Academy

Idalia RJ-3

  • Idalia Elementary School 

Jefferson County R-1

  • Bergen Valley Intermediate School
  • Bradford K8 South
  • Dennison Elementary School
  • D'evelyn Junior/Senior High School
  • Devinny Elementary School
  • Evergreen High School
  • Evergreen Middle School
  • Fairmount Elementary School
  • Jefferson Academy
  • Jefferson Academy High School
  • Kendrick Lakes Elementary School
  • Manning Options School
  • Marshdale Elementary School
  • Meiklejohn Elementary
  • Mount Carbon Elementary School
  • Parmalee Elementary School
  • Prospect Valley Elementary School
  • Ralston Elementary School
  • Ralston Valley Senior High School
  • Red Rocks Elementary School
  • Rooney Ranch Elementary School
  • Shaffer Elementary School
  • Ute Meadows Elementary School
  • West Woods Elementary School
  • Westridge Elementary School
  • Wilmot Elementary School

Kim Reorganized 88

  • Kim Elementary School

Lamar RE-2 

  • Alta Vista Charter School

Lewis-Palmer 38

  • Lewis-Palmer Elementary School
  • Prairie Winds Elementary School

Littleton 6

  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • John Wesley Powell Middle School
  • Littleton Academy
  • Lois Lenski Elementary School
  • Newton Middle 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
  • Ouray Senior High School

Platte Canyon 1 

  • Fitzsimmons Middle School

Poudre R-1

  • Bennett Elementary School
  • Bethke Elementary School
  • Cache La Poudre Middle School
  • Dunn Elementary School
  • Fort Collins Montessori School
  • Fossil Ridge High School
  • Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School
  • Kruse Elementary School
  • Liberty Common Charter School
  • Mcgraw Elementary School
  • Traut Core Elementary School
  • Werner Elementary School
  • Zach Elementary School

Pueblo County 70

  • The Connect Charter School

Ridgway R-2

  • Ridgway High School 
  • Ridgway Middle School

Salida R-32

  • Crest Academy 

St. Vrain Valley RE-1J

  • Black Rock Elementary
  • Blue Mountain Elementary
  • Hygiene Elementary School
  • Lyons Elementary School
  • Niwot Elementary School

Steamboat Springs RE-2

  • Soda Creek Elementary School

Swink 33

  • Swink Elementary School

Thompson R2-J

  • Stansberry Elementary School 

Windsor RE-4

  • Windsor Charter Academy Elementary School

Contact Information:
Kim Burnham
Competitive Grants and Awards
(303) 866-6916