Class of 2016
Mary Lou Sherwood
Mary Lou Sherwood spent 24 years calling Academy District 20 home. In her role as an administrative assistant from 1986 – 2010, she served four superintendents and numerous boards of education.
Never seeking recognition, Mary Lou always did what was needed and along the way she cared deeply for each and every person. She never hesitated to go above and beyond to ensure students, teachers and staff felt valued and respected. Her kindness, thoughtfulness, professionalism and nurturing nature have become part of the fabric of Academy District 20.
While with the district, Mary Lou was awarded the Classified Employee of the Year. She also served on the board of the statewide Colorado Association of Superintendent Assistants. Today, although retired, Mary Lou serves on the Academy District 20 Foundation Board.
There is a strong history of musical education excellence at Academy District 20, and that excellence was rooted by Larry Perkins. Beginning his career as a band teacher in 1962, Larry went on to spend 35 years with the district; sparking passion in his students, and co-workers alike.
While many remember Larry for his musical accomplishments, he was also instrumental in exploring magnet schools and implementing performing arts curriculum. After serving as a teacher for 17 years, Larry entered administration and for 16 years served as the Coordinator of Information Services. During that time, he founded The Communicator, which is still the official district newsletter.
But perhaps Larry’s lasting legacy was documenting and writing the history of Academy District 20, a two volume piece that was carefully researched and written.
Dominic Mollica helped identify and solidify the district ideal of excellence. He started as a teacher and went on to lead Air Academy Junior High School and Eagleview Middle School.
Those who worked with Dom say he embodied the Academy District 20 mantra, “How is this good for kids?” He also understood the importance of hiring quality people and successfully led the team who created Eagleview Middle School; the design, the name, the furnishings and most critically the middle school concept.
Dom led the school for eight years, guiding it to become one of the crown jewels of the district. Under Dom’s tutelage, Eagleview had the most Secondary Teacher of the Year Awards and the academic and performing arts departments were recognized locally and by the state. Dom was a leader who brought out the best in people, a mentor who's spirit infused the classroom.
Glenn Peterson, Coach Pete, was a teacher, coach, colleague, mentor and friend to Academy District 20. Coach Pete’s mantra was to, “Do the right thing” and even into his 80s, he encouraged students, athletes and coworkers to do the same.
An industrial arts teacher and cross country coach at Air Academy High School for more than 25 years, Coach Pete strived to provide his students a hands-on learning experience, and encouraged them to be creative and think big. As a department chair, he fostered a team mentality and was the driving force behind “Kadet Kulture,” championing a focus on character development and motivation toward excellence.
Coach Pete led with optimism, integrity, life-long learning, kindness and joy and he coached others to live out the same values. Those fortunate to receive his joy, knowledge, fun and love will continue his legacy.
Carol Stansfield has selflessly dedicated herself to educating children and adults through experiential, hands-on and outdoor experiences.
Beginning her career at Academy District 20 as science specialist at High Plains Elementary, she quickly became known for her inspiring and engaging science lessons. However, Carol wanted to make a difference beyond her school. Then one day while sitting in her crammed office the idea for a “ School in the Woods” was born.
With hard work, determination, passion and gusto Carol turned this spark of an idea into a reality. Today the School in the Woods program is likely the most popular in the district. Each year 4th graders and their parents eagerly await admission. Although Carol is now retired, she continues to stay active in the program, serving on various committees and attending the annual overnight, sleeping under the stars with the newest naturalists.