Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis to Speak at Ed Foundation Breakfast
In the aftermath of a horrific day at Columbine High School, Principal Frank DeAngelis became one of the most recognizable educators in America.
Next month, the 1972 Ranum High School graduate comes home to speak at the District 50 Education Foundation Breakfast. “Ranum High School shaped my life,” he said recently. “The education I received at Ranum prepared me for the skills I would need in life for both the good times and the bad.”
After graduating from Ranum High School and eventually becoming principal at Columbine High School DeAngelis’ life, like everyone’s, had plenty of ups and downs, but nothing could prepare him for April 20, 1999. On that day two Columbine students attacked their own school, in what became the very first “high profile” shooting at an American school.
DeAngelis steered his school, students and the community through the heartbreaking days that followed the shooting. Over the past 15 years he has become the “go to” person for other schools trying to cope with shootings of their own.
DeAngelis is retiring at the end of the school year and in a letter to the Columbine community he wrote:
“I felt it might be time to retire before a student informs me that I taught their grandparents. Thank you for 18 memorable years as principal of this extraordinary school. I know that I will shed a lot of tears, tears of joy and tears of sadness; and I know that the memories of my time at Columbine will last for a lifetime.”
When the District 50 Education Foundation asked DeAngelis to speak at this year’s fundraising event, he jumped at the chance, “District 50 will always have a place in my heart.”
DeAngelis says in the moments after the shootings at Columbine, two of the first calls he received were people he knew from growing up in District 50. His former principal at Ranum High School, Don Rhoda, reached out to him as did his friend, Chris Dittman, a one-time principal at Westminster High School. Both of them spoke at a recent dinner and roast to honor DeAngelis.
“They are important people in my life,” he said.
DeAngelis had originally intended to pursue a career in accounting, but after two years at Metro State decided it wasn’t for him. “I reflected on what I wanted to do and decided I wanted a career that touched lives,” he said. After thinking about who impacted his life, he said he kept coming back to the people at Ranum High School. “I decided I wanted to make a difference for people and I realized that was through education.”
Connecting Hearts, Giving Hope Community Breakfast:
Friday, March 21
Westminster High School - 6933 Raleigh Street
Doors Open at 7:00 a.m.
Breakfast and Program 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Contact Christy at 720-542-5269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Posted February 27, 2014