From The Director

Where would we be without our AMAZING volunteers here at PCK? Year after year, you come through for us by volunteering in so many important ways around the school. No task is too big or too small for our parent volunteers, and we appreciate every offer of assistance, every effort made, and every donation of time and materials/food. For me personally, it is incredibly humbling to see your passion to serve, your commitment to helping PCK be a premier P-8 school, and the sacrifices you make to be here at school and involved in your child’s education.  

This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we could not let it go by without offering our sincere thanks to every parent who has volunteered on behalf of PCK this past year. From the hearts of the entire PCK staff, a huge thank you for ALL that you do for and with us each year. We appreciate you more than these mere words can express! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Like all charter schools, parent volunteerism is essential to our success, and we are truly partners when it comes to growing and educating our students. I know many of you take your volunteer commitment to heart and either meet or significantly exceed our goal of 20 hours/year/family. This year, we have a special thank you for families that met or exceeded 20 hours. Your child will bring home a special treat today. Read it carefully and look inside. If you happen to find it contains a ‘Gold Ticket,’ please bring your ticket in to the front office within the next week to claim a special gift. We chose the GOLD ticket surprise because it serves as a reminder to all of us that you, our wonderful, amazing, creative, generous, kind, and exceedingly helpful volunteers are appreciated and valued even more than gold! Thank you for every single volunteer hour you donated here at PCK this past year.  

With much appreciation,

Mrs. Aplin

Let’s Keep Everyone Safe

Parents, please do not leave children unattended in your car while it is running. This is a safety concern that has come up recently. Thank you!

News From The Foundation At PCK

OUR ONLINE AUCTION IS LIVE!! Bidding will close tomorrow evening at 7:30pm. We want to thank all of our generous PCK parents for their donations and continued support. Thank you to the following families for contributing towards a teacher’s ticket; we are happy to have so many teachers and staff in attendance this year!

photo of Gala magnets

We have sent out the details on the Spring Gala & Auction via email and posted to our Foundation Facebook page.  We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow night!

Enter the Online Auction here: https://pck.cbo.io/

Congratulations, Art Show Winners

bulletin board displaying DCSD Art Show winnersIn last week’s newsletter you saw the amazing PCK artists chosen to represent our school at the DCSD Art Show. The show’s judging committee only gives out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards, along with 2 honorable mentions in the various categories. Eighteen schools representing 10,000 students in kindergarten through 6th grade participated in this very prestigious show. PCK students Brooke Clarkson (3rd grade) and Guy Gibbs (5th grade) received 1st place awards, Maddie Kessel (4th grade) won a 3rd place award, and Carly Anderson (5th grade) won an Honorable Mention ribbon. You can see the art on the bulletin board near the art room and in the display case in the school lobby. This is a fabulous accomplishment for our artists. Congratulations!

PCK Shines In Essay Contest

photo of essay contest winners
Earlier this year, our 6th grade students entered original essays in the 32nd Annual Great Women in Engineering and Science Essay Contest, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers. A panel of 14 judges reviewed the 82 entries from 13 schools in Colorado and Wyoming. Winners of the top three awards receive a cash prize, a science kit, a science book, and an invitation to the Society of Women Engineers Rocky Mountain Section Awards Banquet. PCK students
Chloe Grant and Henry Bae earned top awards!

Five students won Honorable Merit Awards and a science kit, including our own Erica Martch and Kunj Arora.

Of the 10 students to earn Honorable Mention Awards and a science book, four are from PCK: Emme Carwin, Ruby Stewart, Alexandra Graf, and Audrey Whitmore.

Lastly, five schools received library awards for outstanding participation in the contest. PCK won a school award of reference books on women engineers and scientists for our library.

Congratulations to all of our amazing writers!

Our Great Character Is Growing

At last week’s Character Assembly, we recognized a whopping 18 students for demonstrating outstanding character in the past month. Congratulations to:

photo of Character Award recipientsAbigail O.
Chloe S.
Claire A.
Demetri K.
Easton B.
Ella S.
Haley M.
Kendall T.
Lilah R.
Mason S.
Mikaela S.
Nanami M.
Preston G.
Quinn S.
Reagan L.
Sofia M.
Tashi M.
Zachary L.

Great job, Character Leaders!

You can see the video of last week’s Character Assembly here. It includes an outstanding performance of a scene from our upcoming production of Newsies.

Meet The Candidates

Thank you to the following PCK parents for their willingness to run for the two open seats on our Board of Directors. All parents are encouraged to vote next Tuesday, April 16.

Bob Logan

photo of Bob LoganI am a proud parent of three active boys, two of whom attend Parker Core Knowledge.  My youngest, Wyatt Logan is currently in 1st grade. My middle boy, Tyler Logan is in 3rd grade and my oldest Jack attends another Douglas County school.

Both my wife and myself consider ourselves very lucky that we have the opportunity to send our boys to PCK. The education, the character building, the friends and relationships that the boys make are outstanding. We participate in as many activities and volunteer opportunities as possible.

Parker Core Knowledge has a great history of excellence. As a new board member candidate, I will do all I can to continue and improve upon this.  I am passionate about the continuing success of PCK.

I have a Masters degree in Finance from The University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelors of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

I work for a large financial banking Fortune 500 company.

I am married and have lived in Parker with my family for the past 12 years. We love the area and the town and all the opportunities it offers. My boys are very active and participate in various sports and scouting adventures. We love to ride bikes, go camping, play with friends and participate in all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer.

I would appreciate your choosing me for this board member position. I am hard working, a great listener, a committed team member and will do everything I can to continue to make Parker Core Knowledge the best it can be.

Thank You


Rion Buswell

photo of Rion BuswellMy wife and I moved to Parker in 2011, after having lived in Castle Rock for a decade. Our daughter started PCK two years ago and is now in the 5th grade. Changing schools is not always an easy decision to make for a 3rd grader, but once as we toured the school and talked with school leaders, we recognized the unique opportunity at PCK.  Our son began the 1st grade this year, and we continue to be impressed by the teachers, staff, and kiddos here.

I grew up in a small town in Iowa, where my mother was not only a teacher for 38 years, but my teacher for 2.5 years.  That always makes for interesting dinner conversation! I went to the University of Northern Iowa where I received a Business Degree with an emphasis on Human Resources.  I received my MBA from Regis University (sorry, not going to mention years of graduation).  

I am former Corporate Executive of a national Facility Management Company.  Currently I own and operate two small businesses in the Parker area.  I’m grateful for this arrangement, as it allows me to be a present father and husband, while serving the Parker community. I also enjoy being an active member of our small, self-governed neighborhood Board. This gives me an opportunity to connect with neighbors, lead our fire mitigation program, and support new initiatives in the neighborhood.

I feel my past leadership experience can contribute to the amazing work done by the PCK Board, and I would be honored to serve and continue their high standards.


Rion Buswell, MBA


John Faries

photo of John FariesMy daughter Ella Faries is in the 5th grade and has attended PCK since kindergarten.  We absolutely love being part of the PCK family and I’m excited to have the opportunity to get involved in a way that allows me to use my experience and expertise to make a positive impact on such an incredible school.  

I am the President & CEO of Columbine Federal Credit Union with branches in Centennial and Parker.  Prior to my tenure at Columbine, I was the Chief Financial Officer for two other credit unions where I was responsible for the organizations’ fiscal functions, treasury management, and execution of strategic initiatives.  In addition, I’m a CPA and hold my Series 65 license.

Beyond my role at Columbine, I have extensive experience serving on the Board of Directors of a variety of organizations in an effort to help shape their strategic direction.  I currently serve as the Vice Chairman of CU Prodigy, a technology organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Treasurer of Recovery Management Group, Inc., located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I also serve as a Director for the Mountain West Credit Union Association, the state trade association for Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming credit unions.

Throughout my career, youth financial literacy education has been a passion of mine.  I served on the Board of Directors of the National Youth Involvement Board [NYIB] for many years.  As an organization focused on reaching and teaching financial literacy to youth, the NYIB network reaches more than 300,000 students a year and has been instrumental in the development of several standardized financial literacy curriculums used throughout the country.  After my time with NYIB, I wanted to find a new way to make an impact on the youth in my community. As such, in 2016 I formed the Columbine Connects Foundation with the mission of providing scholarship opportunities and micro-enterprise grants. Since the Foundation’s inception, we’ve had the opportunity to provide over $20k in scholarships to youth in the southeast metro community and continue to grow and expand our reach.  

I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for a position on the PCK Board and would be honored to serve in this capacity.  


Jessica Berry

photo of Jessica BerryDear PCK Board of Directors,

I’m writing to express my interest in becoming a member of your board.  I know how lucky I am to be a part of the PCK community, and I’m looking to give back to a school which already feels like home in such a short amount of time.

A little about myself – I have an extensive media and public relations background, and I’m truly blessed to do what I love.  I served 13 years combined in the Air Force and Navy, serving as a Public Affairs Officer in this capacity before my current role a spokesperson for Colorado’s largest health care system.  I am the current Public Relations Person of the Year for Colorado, recognized by my industry’s peers through the Public Relations Society of America.

I have served on a couple of boards that were an extension of my passion for the women and men who defend our country.  I served on the board of Rocky Mountain Fisher House for about 4 years, and I continue to serve as one of the original board members of Veteran Tickets Foundation, with a milestone of 10 years on the board next month.

Currently, I’m involved in PCK’s marketing committee – and it’s been a great way to contribute my skills in media relations and reputation management.  

I look back at this current school year so fondly as we immersed ourselves into our new school after moving to Parker last summer.  Our 7th grader was the first to get in, jumping in with both feet; joining boys’ soccer, and acting in our amazing upcoming school play, Newsies. Next year, two of our girls will join PCK in 6th grade and Kindergarten.  Finally, our youngest son will be in Kindergarten in a couple of years.

I am a go-getter and a problem solver in my day job, but there’s nothing more important to me than my family.   I’d love to be given the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of Parker’s oldest charter school, on the heels of its 25th anniversary.   Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to years of continued success (and fun!).


Lieutenant Jessica Berry   

Artisan Pizza Spirit Night Rescheduled

Artisan Pizza logoDue the the weather, our Spirit Night at Artisan Pizza was rescheduled for next Wednesday, April 17. See you then!

Find Your Next Family Read At The Preschool Book Fair

The PCK Preschool is hosting a Book Fair today through next Wednesday. Feel free to come in and shop! We have wonderful books for preschool through primary grades.

Get Your Tickets For Newsies

BREAKING: A ragtag group of newsboys takes on the newspaper industry’s wealthiest publishers in Newsies, a boot-stomping, hand-clapping musical based on a true David versus Goliath story. Join Jack Kelly, Crutchie Morris, Boots McAleenan, Kid Blink, and many more as they rebel against higher distribution prices enacted by William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal, and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. The following union action, based upon the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, led the moguls to decrease prices and raised awareness about the need for child labor reform. Come watch dozens of PCK students, some who started practicing leaps and technique eight months ago, stop the presses with ear worms such as “Seize the Day,” “The World Will Know,” and “King of New York.” 

When: Don’t miss matinee (1:00pm) and evening (6:00pm) performances on April 19 and April 20.

Where: Tickets are available here for $11 each.

What Else: We’re bringing back dinner theater this year with catering provided by Hangry O’Hanna. Purchase a meal featuring BBQ chicken, sides and a beverage for $10.75 per person when you order your tickets. But hurry – seating at 5 p.m. is limited to 120 guests. Please note that when you purchase dinner you will also need to purchase a show ticket.

Extra Extra: All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the PCK music program.  

Lunch Room Help Needed

image of two kids holding lunch traysIf you are looking for ways to finish off your 2018-19 volunteer commitment (20 hours per year per family), you can help in our lunch room! This is not only a great way to earn volunteer hours, but you also get to work with other fun parents and staff while getting to know kids at PCK. See this Sign Up Genius for the last two months of school.

Butter Braids Will Be Here Next Thursday

Please remember to pick up your Butter Braids next Thursday during afternoon carpool. If you are available to help with pick-up day, sign up here. If you didn’t get your order form turned in today, make sure it gets in tomorrow (last chance!).

Register For The Summer Skills Sharpener Series

image of a brain made out of gearsDon’t let your student be a victim of “summer brain drain,” instead, get a summer brain GAIN! Register for the PCK Summer Skills Sharpener Series for math and language refreshers. Get the details here, then register through the PCK Web Store.

PCK Celebrates Earth Day 2019

April 22nd is Earth Day. Following a successful program in 2018, we are once again proud to host our week-long celebration focused on waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. During the Week of April 15, students will expand their environmental learning through classroom teaching, hands-on projects, and crafting recycled art. Students are also encouraged to participate in our Earth Day Photo Contest and “How I Care for Our Earth” activities to win prizes. The celebration will culminate on Earth Day and include in-classroom visits by local environmental professionals and a special appearance by Mayor Mike Waid!

All students are invited to submit an original photo, taken this school year, to the Earth Day Photo Contest. All entries must be submitted using this Google Form by 10:00pm on April 14th. Get more details here. You can see sample photos here.

Students are also invited to submit a photo to demonstrate or share how they care for the Earth as a part of the “How I Care For Our Earth” contest. All entries must be submitted using this Google Form before Thursday, April 18th. Students may use images from past activities, but the pictures must have been taken within the current school year. All entries will earn a dress down voucher to be used on Thursday, April 25th.

Thank You!

A huge THANK YOU to Blaise Singer for helping our students make many of the items for the Gala Auction, including the beautiful wooden growth chart featuring the fingerprints of our kindergartners, the string art made by 2nd and 3rd grades, and much more. The art is amazing and will be treasured by the lucky winners in the auction.

photo of auction items for the Spring Gala








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