The Eagle's Nest
Eagle Mosaic


Common Knowledge, Common Virtues, Common Sense 
A National Charter School of the Year, A Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School,
 A Certified Official Core Knowledge Site School, A John Irwin School of Excellence ,
A Gilder Lehrman Affliate School  
Volume 18 Issue 20                                                                
January 19, 2015
Important Dates
Jan. 26-Jan.30|National School Choice Week, make sure to come to the Front Office any time this week to pick up your National School Choice Week Scarf
Jan. 27|Citizenship Character Assembly, speaker is Carson Maczuzak from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to talk about the upcoming Penny Drive held in February.
Jan. 30|Liberty T-Shirt Day
Jan. 30|6th Grade Movie Night, 5:30-7:30
Feb. 9-Feb. 13| Volunteer Appreciation Week
Feb. 13|NO SCHOOL, LCS Teacher Professional Dev. 
Feb. 16|President's Day, No SCHOOL
Feb. 20|Winter Carnival
Feb. 24|New Kindergarten Parent Orientation, 6:30
March 6|Group Pictures
Surveys Distributed Soon: Your Feedback is Vital 

It is the time of year when The Board of Directors seeks parental input on your child's educational experience at Liberty.  The Board values your opinion and strives to do its very best to be one of the top schools in Colorado.  A general survey focusing on our institution as a whole will be distributed to all families via email February 2, 2015.  The following week, on February 9, 2015, families will receive an individual teacher/class survey.  If you have more than one child attending Liberty,  please complete a survey for each of your students.  Please take a few minutes to fill out these surveys.  If you have any questions regarding the surveys, please call the front office at (970)482-9800.  We value your feedback.   

The Gala Committee is always welcoming new members.  


Here are a few ways to get involved:

  •          Donate an item, service, or become a sponsor.  Donations may be left in the front office with a completed donation form.  Contact us to learn about becoming an event sponsor.
  •          Join us Tuesdays at 8 a.m. on January 13th, 20th, and 27th in the teachers' lounge. We'll be preparing for the gala in a variety of ways.  From data entry to decor, we'll have projects of all sorts! 
  •          Pink Bag take-home projects- Thanks to all that have already helped with pink bag projects!  A fresh new crop of pink bag projects have arrived in the front office!  Sign out your bag today-many hands make light work! 
  •          Collect fabulous items for the silent auction- Contact us to learn how to help.  This opportunity is perfect for those looking to volunteer on their own schedule. 


Jodi Fraser:  970-988-1570 or  

Qeryldine Hofinger:  970-219-4374 or  



Cotillion Openings Remain For Boys

The 24th Annual Fort Collins Cotillion

Spaces still remain for 4th-5th grade boys.

Schedule and Registration:

Classes will be held on Sunday evenings.

January 25, February 8, February 22, March 1 and March 8, 2015

CLUB COTILLION- 4th -5th grades
5:00 - 6:30 PM

Please visit for more information or email

If you have already registered for the 2015 Fort Collins Cotillion, we thank you and
will look forward to seeing you in class.


Attention Parents of Incoming Kindergarteners
If your child is a sibling of a student currently enrolled in Liberty, and will be attending kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year, please make sure that they are on the sibling waiting list.  We will begin running the lottery for the general public on January 26, 2015.

Please contact Julie Russell, LCS Registrar at 482-9800, ext. 3114, to get on the list.

Lecture Coming to Liberty Common This Spring

Attention Parents:


Liberty Common School is excited to host a talk by Daniel T. Willingham.  Please join us on March 27th at 6:30 PM to hear a talk by Daniel T. Willingham a professor and author from University of Virginia.  He is an advocate of the Core Knowledge Curriculum and teaching our students content to comprehend the literature they read.  


Dr. Willingham has worked closely with ED Hirsch to cognitively explain why and how what we do works.  He will be discussing literacy and what we can do as parents and educators to make sure our students are reading.  Dr. Willingham does an incredible job of making the cognitive sciences accessible to all participants. 


Tickets are on sale now at 



We will have Dr. Willingham's new book, Raising Kids Who Read What Parents and Teachers Can Do, for sale and book signing after the presentation In Raising Kids, Willingham explains this phenomenon and provides practical solutions for engendering a love of reading that lasts into adulthood.

We hope you can all make it to this educational evening.
 Click Here for lecture flyer.


Yearbook Orders Now Available



The last day to guarantee a yearbook and to add personalization to your yearbook is February 6th.

Click on this link for easy, convenient online ordering: 


Questions???? Contact:

Mrs. Clouser (


Come and Cheer On Our Lady Eagles, Tuesday, January 20th

In This Issue
Important Dates
Surveys Distributed
Gala Committee
Cotillion Openings
Incoming Kindergarteners
Lecture Coming to Liberty
Yearbook Orders
Girl's Basketball
Healthcare Reminder
Quiet Zone
Kindergarten Volunteers
King Soopers Gift Cards
Principal Writing
18th Annual Spelling Bee
History of Liberty Common High School
Donor Drop Box
BOD News
Contact Us
Liberty Common School
1725 Sharp Point Drive 
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Phone: 970-482-9800
Fax: 970-482-8007
Office Hours: 7:50-4:00 p.m.

In an effort to keep students safe during drop-off and pick-up times, please refrain from using cell phones.  The front, middle and back drop-off and pick-up areas are designated NO CELL PHONE AREAS.   

Please call our attendance line by 8:30 a.m. if your    child will not be attending school due to illness, appointment or is out of town. 482-9800, option 2, please call by 8:30 a.m.

If you need to take your child to an appointment during school hours, please come to the Front Office, sign them out and we will call them out of class.

All students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. must be signed in at the Front Office.  It is important that a reason be included on the sign-in sheet.  

If your student is ill and you  want any/all homework, please contact the teacher by email as early as possible and homework will be available after 3:00 p.m. in the office. 

If you have any questions about these policies please contact Mrs. Ronen at

Healthcare Reminder
If your student is sick with a fever of 100 degrees or higher or is throwing up or has diarrhea, he or she is NOT ALLOWED to attend school. Your child may return to school if they are not throwing up or fever-free(WITHOUT FEVER REDUCING MEDICINE) for 24 hours.
Board of Directors
Sarvjit Gill            227-4202
Joel Goeltl           593-8556
Paulette Hansen 282-8455
Jeff Webb            545-9636
Bill Werst             631-8379
Denise Benz       420-4184
John Rohrbaugh 225-2259
You may contact all members of our Board of Directors at
  Jan. 18, 2015
6:00 p.m. 
Teacher's Lounge
Liberty Common School

Sharp Point Dr.

Quiet Zone
Please remember that the front office is an office of business and the use of cell phones is prohibited.  We also ask that conversations be kept to a minimum so that front office staff can provide quality customer service to students, staff members and other parents.  Thank you.

Kindergarten Volunteers Needed

Mrs. Horton, on of our  kindergarten teachers, is needing volunteers on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays any time throughout the day.  Volunteers do not need to be parents of kindergarteners to assist in the classrooms.  Please email Angela Horton or Connie Trout of interested.
Gift Card Program Sets Sights On Next Goal

Educational Co-op by Casey Churchill, LCS Principal

Have you seen the news lately? Pick up any paper and education is in the news. There is a lot happening.   Controversy is amuck around the amount of testing, how the kids are taking the tests, the Common Core State Standards, who is taking the tests, etc. Clearly the educational pendulum has swung completely to one side. With all the changes in education of late, it's no wonder parents are beginning to question how the United States manages our public education system. All of these mandates have grid locked the system and teachers are hard pressed to do what they do best... teach.


Now is the time for parents to rise up and question the schools that their children attend. Become informed around all the educational lingo and schools of choice. Are your local schools performing up to expectations? If not, why? What can be done to improve schools that our kids attend? Are our children testing too much? What is being done with the results? Parents need to be informed.


Recently, the Liberty Common Schools hosted information nights. At the informational meetings, we informed interested parents about our school and all that it has to offer. Parents came with the above questions and we had answers. Prospective parents have been very curious and interested in Liberty due to the above educational debates.


I used to argue that to be a successful school, we must simply teach the Core Knowledge Curriculum. Over the last several years, I have changed my tune. I now sing praises for schools of choice. I believe that serving students in our community through site based management is a better way to serve our students. Yes, I am a firm believer in educating children through the CK curriculum, but if someone else has a better plan, then they should have a fair try at their own school.


Charter schools have proven success throughout the state of Colorado. The idea that a school can operate on local values and principles based on the community in which it is created is a revolutionary idea. The creators of the school are "in house". They are both invested parents and staff. The school is an "Educational Co-op". The school has buy-in from both parties because if things are good, they are rewarded by smart kids and more revenue. If things are bad, they shut down. Someone else can come along and give it a go.


A great example of this repurposing can be seen right here in our hometown. Liberty Common School has expanded over the last few years. We ended up purchasing a former expeditionary learning charter school a couple miles south of our original campus. The charter school that built this building did not have the student numbers or financial stability to stay afloat. Just like any other unsuccessful business, it had to close its doors. A few years later, because of Liberty's success, we were in a position to buy this building.


How come schools can't follow a similar free market approach to education such as this? If things work out, the school thrives and the lottery list grows. If things don't work out, they shut down (and shut down immediately). This idea is completely opposite the public education sector where struggling schools are given more money to fix the problem. More money is not the solution to all of our problems. Giving local autonomy to the schools gives the power of change to the parents who are invested in their child's education. This is when we see big things happen.


The success of our schools should be manifested through the hard work of the community that developed the school, not through the control of bureaucrats dictating tests and policies. Charter schools embody the spirit of a free market education where parents can research an education that meets the needs of their children. Picking a school based on a families address is a thing of the past. More parents, like you, should play a major role in their children's education by finding a school that meets their needs. Thanks for choosing Liberty and thanks for investing your time to make this school great.  


Here's the Buzzzzzzz
Participants included: (from left to right) Eleni Armatas(Hersh), Ruby Richardson(Ronen), Henry Halgren(Siener), Dakota Montenero(Schupp), Ryan Green(Galeener), Meghan Satterwhite(Cardenas),Maddie Giles(Duroux), Elizabeth Skalicky(Canfield),Katie Magloughlin (Huey).

Congratulations to all who participated in the 18th Annual Liberty Common Spelling Bee. Our champion this year is Katie Magloughlin, a sixth grader from Mr. Huey's class! The Spelling Bee was coordinated by our 5th grade teachers. Mrs. Schupp, began the Spelling Bee with a few jokes to break the ice. One of which was, "What's better than a talking dog?" "A spelling bee!" Words participants were asked to spell included: quintessential, nebula, honorarium, diabolical, exhilarated and  paralytic. Katie Magloughlin won the Spelling Bee by spelling camelopard. Consult Webster's to learn the origin, correct pronunciation and definition.
Spelling Bee Champion, Katie Magloughlin. Watch future Monday Notes for a report on Katie's journey to the state spelling be. Good luck Katie!

The History of Liberty Common High School
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Bob Schaffer, (Founding Parents)
Liberty Common School has a unique history that is important for all to know. There were many hardships and roadblocks encountered along the way. The Founders persevered to make our school what it is today, but it wasn't easy. We are fortunate to have had such persistent pioneers with a vision to make one of the best charter schools in Colorado.

Last  week we ran part one of  "The History of Liberty Common High School"  by
Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and LCHS Principal Bob Schaffer, founding parents.  This week, we are publishing the latest chapter of our Liberty story.  Our hope is that by sharing our history, we will better value the efforts by our Founders to get where we are today. It is because of their vision and foresight that we have the top elementary and high school in the state of Colorado.

We continually thank our founding parents for their hard work and dedication.  We could not have asked for a better educational system to educate children.  Our hope is that you feel the same.

The History of Liberty Common High School
By: Mrs. Michelle Provaznik and Principal Bob Schaffer (Founding Parents)

Director of the Elementary School, Casey Churchill organized the move from LCS to LCHS and the expansion at LCS.  It was an enormous undertaking of brilliant coordination.
(continued from last Monday)
The school would offer a classical, liberal-arts curriculum building upon the Core Knowledge Sequence.  It would accentuate the humanities, and excel in math, science and engineering.  Committees of parents were convened to further refine the curriculum and the course schedules.

Public meetings were held to describe the school, its goals and plans.  Administrators described the kinds of teachers they envisioned hiring and who from the current school would go to the high-school building.  A relaxed high-school Dress Code was developed and elated ninth graders were allowed to try it out for their last semester at the old Liberty Elementary School.

The House System was developed.  Ninth and eighth graders who had committed to attending LCHS were assigned to one of three Houses: Domus Scientiae, Domus Virtutis or Domus Prudentiae.  They began working on House projects such as House crests, logos, mottos and events.

Still, one question loomed over all of these discussions and activities:  Where would the new high school be located?  Hopes for a high-school property adjacent to the current school were fading.  Visions of a single Liberty campus were becoming dim.  All options considered had turned into dead ends.  The school was now well into 2010 - the year the high school was scheduled to open, but there was still no building in hand.

One mile south of the elementary school stood a building that had been occupied by a defunct charter high school for a few years and had been abandoned for a few more years since.  Would that building work?

Peter Kast approached the building's owners, and obtained a key allowing the Board to wander through the dusty vacant facility.  After the walkthrough, the Board huddled in the parking lot looking on the abandoned school as the winter sun set over its roof.  The group began mulling numbers and options.  If the price came down, with some remodeling, and with additional classroom expansion over a few more years, this location could work.  The Board decided to pursue the building at 2745 Minnesota Drive, and to continue searching for other options.
LCHS opened under the guidance of Director of Secondary Schools Bob Schaffer who was soon after named school principal by the Liberty Board of Directors.

It quickly became apparent the poor economy stressing Liberty's finances was simultaneously working to the school's advantage as a buyer of an abandoned building in a slow real-estate market.  The price of the building was, by the week, dropping further below its original asking price.  With the help of an investment corporation FCCS, LLC, headed up by local developer and charter-school backer Troy McWhinney, a solution materialized allowing Liberty Common School to lease the building and purchase it a few years later.

Tenancy stretched the Liberty budget to its limit, but the numbers added up - barely.  With solid enrollment and aggressive fundraising among the parent community, the Board believed it could make ends meet.

A Letter of Intent was signed in February of 2010.  Once an agreement was finalized, the landlord opened the building right away so parents could take a tour.  From that moment, excitement punctuated all the work and countless hours required to get the building ready to open by August 18th of 2010.

Teachers needed to be hired.  After attending numerous job fairs and accepting applications from literally around the world, a first-rate team of LCHS educators was assembled.

The high school's roster of inaugural instructors was announced: 
Jared Dybzinski, Dr. Charles Hubbeling, Dawn Karr, Marques Kem, William Kranz, Kay Lannen, Jerry Lavin, Torgun Lovely, Duane Staton, Dr. Barbara Werner, Ken Vetter, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, Megan Ellis, Connie Logsdon, Dave Lunn, Susan Porter, Donny Reeves, Wade Torgeson and Erin Voorhies.
Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, former U.S. Congressman and State Senator, and founding parent Bob Schaffer, who had been hired as project manager for the high-school expansion, was named Director of Secondary Schools, and later Principal. Along with Liberty's headmaster, the pair would direct the opening and operation of Liberty Common High School.

Architects and contractors worked feverishly throughout the summer remodeling the building.  The administration shopped at auctions for used school furnishings and equipment.  New lockers - cherry red ones - were ordered and would eventually line the empty hallways.  New lunchroom tables were ordered, too.  There was no turning back now.  LCHS would open on time with its leading class of 10th graders.  In three years, these pioneering students would become Liberty's first graduating class - the inaugural Class of 2013.

The night before LCHS was set to open, students grades 7 - 10 came together at Liberty Elementary School for the last time.  Elementary Principal
Casey Churchill lit a ceremonial lantern that was carried by students at the head of a 2.2-mile long procession along the Poudre River then West up to the high ground upon which Liberty Common High School sits.   This was Liberty's first "Torch Trek," which has been reenacted by Liberty students every year since. 
Donor Drop Box
As a tuition-free, public-charter school, Liberty receives less funding from the Poudre School District than do regular public schools.  To help Liberty remain the best school around, we rely upon free-will contributions from parents, grandparents, and alumni; and upon the generosity of community members who support Liberty's innovative brand of high-quality classical education.  
The Liberty Board of Directors, the school administration, faculty, and staff extend sincere thanks and humble gratitude for the following recent contributors:

Bridgette Albright, Dr. Timothy and Nicola Allen; Randie and Cindi Ross-Bell; Mark and Andrea Bieganski; Thomas and Ludivinia Rueda-Ortegon; Phil and Kristy Burkhalter; Kenneth and Christine Campbell; Sean and Evelyn Carpenter; Kunwu Chew and Tracy Tan; Hans and Cindi Coester; Thomas and Diane Colvin; Clint and Julie Conrady; Jonathan Cushman and Linda Morita; John and Nancy Daharsh; Matt and Emily Davis; Andrew and Betsy Dean; Berrett and Juliann Doman; Gregory and Jennifer Ebel; Dale and Marie Eldridge; Jack and Susie Ellis.
Your generosity and thoughtful support of Liberty Common School give to our students academic advantages they would not otherwise enjoy.  Thank you for your leadership in public-education reform, and specifically toward achieving Liberty Common School's ongoing mission of academic excellence and fairness.

All donations to Liberty Common School are tax deductible (Federal non-profit ID # 84-1404585).  To volunteer on the Liberty Fundraising Committee CLICK HERE.  To volunteer on the Liberty Grants Committee CLICK HERE. To volunteer for the annual Liberty Spring Gala fundraiser event (Friday, April 10th, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland) CLICK HERE.  To make an online donation CLICK HERE.  For more information about contributing to Liberty Common School, please  CLICK HERE to visit the "Support Liberty" options at the school's website.
Board of Directors Upcoming Voting Issue and Vacancy Notice
Candidate Eligibility Changes.  The BOD approved two changes to the eligibility for candidates.  First, the requirement is now to be a registered voter in Colorado.  Previously it stated only voters within the Poudre School District were eligible.  The second change was that grandparents and legal guardians of Liberty Common students are eligible to serve on the BOD.   All other requirements for being a BOD candidate still apply.

Liberty Common Needs You On the Board of Directors

Board vacancy

Elections for 2 seats on the Board of Directors for Liberty Common School will be held during the week of April 20, 2015 through April 24th, 2015. Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015. Board members are elected to three-year terms.  Please Click Here for Board Application.

Liberty relies on our parents to help make this school a success. The Board of Directors' responsibilities include: maintaining a strategic vision of the School, creation and promotion of the school's curriculum and teaching philosophies, final responsibility for all School decisions, hiring and evaluation of the administration, and meeting contractual obligations with the Poudre School District.


The qualifications to be a BOD member include the following: 

  • Registered voter residing in Colorado
  • Attendance to at least one of the BOD meetings during the school year of the election
  • Read and support wholeheartedly the views presented in the following three books:
                 Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
                 Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong by William Kilpatrick
                 The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
  • Submission of Letter of Interest for BOD Membership
  • Submission of Statement of Educational Philosophy
  • Grandparent of legal guardian of a student enrolled at Liberty for a minimum of two years by the time the candidate's term on the BOD would commence
  • Volunteer in the school
  • Embrace the principles of Liberty's Charter and founding books (evaluated through an interview process)
  • Receive a recommendation from principals at either the elementary or the high school


After election a BOD member will be expected to:


Complete and sign the following documents:

Volunteer Application for the current school year

Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement

Volunteer Oath

Volunteer Agreement

Board of Directors Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement

Board of Directors Affidavit (subject to a criminal background check)


Please Click Here for complete information about running for a seat on the Board.


For more information about the election, contact Board Chairman Bill Werst at, Casey Churchill at, or Bob Schaffer at .