Manitou Springs High School Clubs Focus on Collaboration


Aubrey Hall

Lizzy Butts (10), Parker Hall (10), Mia Heiniger (9), Jayden Omi (11), Sage Stevens (12) and Coco Stevens (10) gather around a fire to converse and cook hot dogs in the evening. “The (StuCo) retreat was an incredible opportunity to get to know each other,” Sage Stevens said.

Sita Ahlen, Yearbook Editor

Manitou Springs High School has an extremely involved student body who are actively participating in several different organizations. These range from student government organizations such as the Student Council, to more academically focused clubs like Math Warriors, to more stimulating clubs such as the Thespian Society.

The creation of the Culture Team, an organization involving the leaders from clubs as well as teachers at Manitou Springs High School, aims to involve all students at the school in more established collaborative events. Each month the club will focus on a new event or cause and will promote the inclusion of students who are not already involved in clubs and other workings around the school. With the recent formation of this conglomeration, many clubs have shaped this school years goals towards working together with other participating clubs.

The National Honors Society has experienced a few changes over the years, upping the number of blood drives to two per year as well as the recent change of advisors to Amanda Kerrigan. Newly appointed NHS President, Sage Stevens (12), hopes to develop relationships with other clubs by attending and participating in meetings with the Culture Team.

The high school version of Kiwanis, Key Club, is linked to service and volunteering opportunities within the school and the greater community. Kaitlyn Davidson (12) is the President, as well as the Lieutenant Governor for Division 4 of the Key Club Rocky Mountain District, which contains ten schools within the area. Davidson hopes to continue last years streak of hosting many school fundraisers, as well as pushing volunteering options to students. She wishes to work alongside other schools within the district to create large overlapping fundraisers and events. At this junction, she has begun discussing options with Woodland Park High School’s Key Club. Key Club has also experienced some changes, with the addition of two new advisors: Mike Talbott and Amy Rockenbach.

Manitou’s Gay Straight Trans Alliance (GSTA) plans to continue advocating for students on the LGBTQ+ spectrum by involving themselves in a series of events in the region. Every year, club members have participated in Urban Peaks Night Out to End Youth Homelessness, where they camp outside to raise awareness for youth homelessness as it pertains to young LGBTQ+ people. The GSTA will also be advertising the Day of Silence, a national student-led event to to bring attention to the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ peoples to a broader audience in hopes to incorporate more of the community. “It’s really important for kids at MSHS to know that they have friends, allies and a support system, especially in times of such hatred and uncertainty,” GSTA President, Aubrey Hall (12) said.

MSHS Student Council has already gotten a jump start on the school year, meeting for a retreat in late July where they discussed plans for the school year. Student Council will also be extremely involved in the Culture Team in the coming year, and they hope to create ties with other clubs and organizations to ensure students are engaged within the schools events. The group’s plans for Homecoming Week, as well as the several school dances, have begun circulating and students are prepared to begin working as soon as the school year begins. Students in StuCo plan to make Green Machine, a group of StuCo members which work to “hype up” students for things like sports games and other activities, more of a priority this year, and hope to increase student participation in various events. Student Body Secretary, Matt Vanderwerff (11), states that the council is working towards adding a spring dance due to popular demand. “Change is always a good thing,” Vanderwerff said.

Manitou students have many options concerning clubs, and this year the formation of the Culture Team will allow Manitou to have a more inclusive environment which will process more in the coming years.