Panther Nation Newsletter

November 5, 2021

A message from our Principal

With Thanksgiving approaching, we’ll all soon be taking time to acknowledge what we’re grateful for. This month, WPHS’s Sources of Strength Leadership group will be leading our school in understanding and appreciating the many joys of discovering what each of us is grateful for during this season.


It’s also a time for all of us to reflect on the importance of this recognition in our own lives. What good is gratitude to us?


Gratitude journals and other gratitude practices are a perfect place to start. They’re often so simple and basic; sometimes, journaling for just three weeks can really bring things into clarity. The results can be overwhelming. Many studies have found that people who practice being grateful consistently report a host of benefits, such as:

  • Stronger immune systems

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Exercise more and take better care of their health

  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

  • Higher levels of positive emotions

  • More optimism and happiness

  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate

  • More forgiving

  • More outgoing

  • Feel less lonely and isolated.

The social benefits are especially significant here because, after all, gratitude is a social emotion. It has a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people. It’s a reality of goodness. We confirm that there are good things in the world. Certainly, life is not perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

Finally, gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. When the sources of this goodness are recognized as being outside of ourselves. True gratitude involves a humble dependence on others. We realize that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Tis the season of gratitude. We invite you to join us in celebrating and participating in this exercise with us.

Until next time.

Mr. Burr

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Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about our Sponsor of the week, Art Club's Ms. Ray

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Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about our Coach of the Week, Ms. Havens

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Mr. Becker By Tristan Talbot

This year at Woodland Park Highschool, we have gained a lot of new staff members teaching all subjects. All of these teachers are great at their jobs and we are so happy to have them here. One of those teachers is Mr. Becker. This is Mr. Beckers’s very first year teaching.


This year Mr. Becker is teaching competitive team sports, training for athletes, senior capstone, and academic success. I asked Mr. Becker what his favorite thing about teaching here at the high school was and he said, “ I like being around the kids and feeling like he’s making a difference in their lives. Mr. Becker told me that his experience at this high school has been great, and he loves all the challenges he has faced so far, and it’s keeping his job interesting and keeping him motivated to teach. I also asked Mr. Becker what he thought his greatest strengths as a teacher were, and he told me that he is very organized and is good at building relationships with his students. I asked Mr. Becker if there were any other subjects that he wished he could be teaching and he said he would like to teach history. I additionally asked him what his favorite subjects were when he was in school and he said he liked history and physical education. Mr . Becker is also the JV baseball coach and will be the middle school boys basketball coach later this year. I questioned Mr. Becker on what his favorite movies were, and he said they were “Sandlot” and “ Field of Dreams”.

In conclusion, Woodland Park has gained a lot of amazing staff teaching all subjects, and our very own Mr. Becker is one of those Amazon teachers.


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Dirt Biking by Dayton Smith

Many of the students at Woodland Park High School participate in riding dirt bikes. Dirt Bikes are two-wheeled vehicles with an engine.


The first person I interviewed was Joey Wagner. He rides a Ttr 250. When I asked him the most challenging part about riding he said “being able to ride good and not slow” he loves riding fast and doing tricks and flips in the air. He loves to ride many different trails that Colorado has to offer. Some of his favorite places to ride are 717 by Woodland Park and some of the trails in Salida. His biggest inspiration is his dad Joey said “he got me into riding” when he was asked 2 words that describe him he said “cool and smart” he has learned from dirt biking how to be smart about what you do and what you are going to do. Joey has been riding for 7 years! He said his strengths were “ I can teach people really well” his biggest fear was knuckling a jump and getting hurt. Dirt biking also helped him overcome obstacles by keeping trying them and preserving them.


Calvin Brisly is another student that participates in riding dirtbikes Calvin rides a yz 125 and a 2015 CRF 250r. He has been riding ever since he was 3! He said “the most challenging part about riding is learning how to do things in the air” but Calvin continues to keep trying and keep persevering through tough obstacles. Calvin says “the best part about riding is going with friends and getting out of the house. He loves to explore all of the mountains and terrain on all of his bikes. His biggest inspiration is his grandpa “my grandpa started me out riding dirtbikes he is the first one that got me a bike” his dad continues to support his hobby of riding dirt bikes and made it possible to ride dirt bikes in Colorado. The first bike he ever rode was a “Kawasaki bug”. He has learned that a good way to relieve stress for him is to go out and ride. “I overcome all my obstacles by making mistakes and learning from them.”


Kory Palmer is a 9th grader here at woodland park high school he rides a honda 450 Kory has been riding about a year and a half. When he was asked what is the hardest part about riding he said “ the most challenging part about riding is working the clutch” you use the clutch when you come to a stop or when you want to shift into a lower or higher gear. Kory said the best part about riding is the freedom you have and how fast you can go! Kory is self-taught and learned on a honda 110! He got the bike as a birthday gift. He loves to go and hit some jumps on his bike. He loves the thrill it gives you. Kory said “two words that describe me are fast and hard working.” go out and maybe give dirt biking a try it's fun and it gets you out of the house and into the Colorado mountains!

Community Service Opportunity for Families and WPHS Students

2021 Salvation Army Bell Ringing campaign

2021 has continued to be a challenging year for all of us in many different ways and it’s still so important to support one another. The Holiday Season is just around the corner and we rely on you, our faithful volunteers, for your caring and support of the Teller County community as we begin our 2021 Salvation Army Bell Ringing campaign. Things have begun a slow return to "normal" and our goal continues to be having a SAFE, FUN, and SUCCESSFUL campaign. Be assured Bell Ringing will take place this year with the safety of both volunteers and donors alike taken into consideration. Volunteers will be required to watch a short training video online and will also be supplied with personal protective equipment.


Just like last year, we will be Ringing the Bell in Cripple Creek (Cripple Creek Market), Divide (Divide Market) and Woodland Park (Walmart & City Market). We have 2 hour slots available on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays starting November 26th through December 24th.


Remember - 90% of all donations remain in Teller County and your contribution of time allows The Teller County Salvation Army to continue to feed the hungry, house the homeless, nurture our youth, provide year-round emergency assistance, and fund our well-known Holiday programs that share food, clothing, and toys with needy children and adults.

If you have any questions or need assistance signing up, please feel free to email us at bellringers@aspenminecenter.org or call our friendly staff at the Aspen Mine Center - 719-689-3584.

Click the icon below to volunteer.