Summer Fun in the Sun

As the year comes to an end, students and teachers share their summer break plans for both at-home and outside activities.


media by courtesy of Danielle Harrison

Danielle Harrison poses with her dog on a hike in Colorado. “I would recommend for teens to go to Chatfield Park and have a fun beach day,” Harrison said.

by Elly Brooks and Claudia Llado

Met with the smell of sunscreen and blue skies, the warm sun strikes your skin as you swim in the pool, ready to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather welcoming you into summer. Everyone’s summer break is different, and as the last few days of the school year come to an end, students and teachers share their summer plans, ranging from amusement parks and concerts to at-home activities.


Chemistry and Biology Teacher Danielle Harrison

Q: What are you going to be doing this summer? 

A: So this summer, in June, I’m super busy. I’m going on a trip to Moab to go to Arches [National Park]  and Canyonlands [National Park], so I’m very excited about that. I’m going to hike a lot in Moab. I have friends coming in from Indiana, so we’re all gonna go together. Also, my brother’s getting married at the end of June. So I’ve got a family wedding that’ll be fun.

Q: What’s your favorite hike in Colorado? 

A: Chicago Lakes hike, right off of Echo Lake near Mount Evans, is really pretty, and it is very close so I highly recommend it. It’s like a 45-minute drive from here so it’s not bad. I also like Devil’s Thumb. I want to go to the lookout tower because the view looks amazing. I am a little scared because the lookout doesn’t have a guard rail so I don’t know if I will take my dog or not. 

Q: Do you work over the summer? What do you recommend for kids to do over summer?

A: I bartend part-time over the summer, just to help save some money for college that I’m doing right now on top of teaching. I am doing a master’s program through the University of Colorado (CU). I would recommend for teens to go to Chatfield Park and have a fun beach day. You can rent paddle boards for like 25 bucks for a couple hours. It’s worth it. I take my dog, Denver, who is a Border Collie and Blue Heeler [mix], to the paddle boarding area and I just let her swim around. I’ll put her on the paddleboard and she’ll jump off. 


English, Honors English and Literature of Film Teacher Peter DeFilippo

Q: What are your plans for the summer? 

A: I really love the summer because I relax as much as possible. We have a really nice pool at our condo. So, I spend pretty much every day I go out and lay out by the pool. I read as much as I possibly can. I don’t get a lot of time to read books that I want to read during the school year because I’m reading the books that I’m teaching. So, I have a bunch of books that I like to read. I also love going to the gym during the summer because during the week, it’s pretty much empty because real people have real jobs. So I like to go to the gym because I don’t have to worry about the crowds. That’s really nice. I also love to go hiking and go for walks. I really just get as much time outside as I can. I love to play video games too, so I usually spend several hours playing video games over the weekend. Also, I love to spend time with my cats and my wife

Q: What’s your favorite hike that you’ve been on? Any recommendations?

A: I really love hiking the Flatirons in Boulder and going up to Chautauqua Park. I went to college at CU and would do that almost every weekend. So, there’s a lot of really cool hikes up that way. 

Q: What video games or what books are you gonna read? 

A: There’s a game called “Diablo Four” that’s coming out right at the beginning of summer. The game is massive. You could play it forever and ever. So, I’ll be playing that a bunch. I’m currently reading a book called “Black Leopard Red Wolf” by Marlon James. It’s a traditional fantasy because it’s based on African and Jamaican mythology as opposed to most fantasies based on Western mythology. So it’s really interesting, really diverse, the main characters are really interesting too, so that’s definitely a cool one. It’s the first in a trilogy of fantasy books. I’ve been trying to read this all school year but just haven’t had enough time. So, I have that one and then my brother got me the sequel for Christmas. Those are the first two up on my list to read over summer. 

Q: How much time do you think you spend reading books over the summer? 

A: I would say every day. I spend probably at least two or three hours reading. I usually like to wake up and spend the first couple hours of the day reading and having some coffee before I go to the gym. I’ll read when I’m out in the pool and then sometimes in the evening, my wife and I will sit on our balcony and read some as well. I love reading fantasy and sci-fi. Those are my favorite genres. So, anything in that sort I would read for the summer. I think reading in the summer is really important because it keeps your mind sharp and it’s really just about finding a book that’s focused on something that you’re interested in.

Q: What books would you recommend for the summer?

A: A really cool book called “The Black Tongue Thief” by Christopher Yeoman. That is one of the coolest books that I’ve read in a while. It’s a more classic fantasy, but the world-building in that one is really cool. The main character looks like a virtuous knight, but this guy is really kind of a scoundrel and a thief. It’s cool to have a story where the main character is a little more complicated like that. I think students would love it.

Isabel Banks ‘25 

Q: What are you going to do over the summer? What do you like to do during your free time?

A: Over the summer, I go to my grandparents in Pueblo with my cousins and I really like hanging out with my friends. I also like going to the pool, and the mall is a lot of fun. At home, I like watching basically any kind of movie except for horror movies.


Evan Lopez ‘24

Q: How do you spend your summer? 

A: I wake up around 11 and then I watch some TikTok before I have to get out of bed to go to work. 

Q: Do you go golfing? 

A: I go golfing depending on where I am. I go to Plum Creek, Red Hawk, The Ridge and South Suburban. During the school year, I can’t go that much, but over the summer we go weekly and as much as we can. We like to play on the course and switch it up between that and the driving range. 

Q: What else do you do? 

A: I like to go swimming at the Rec Center, and when I can go to my friend’s pool, I like to go there too. I also have a job at Jersey Mikes and I might get a second job over the summer somewhere else. During the summer, I want to work around 15-20 hours a week to save up money and to have money to do other things during the summer. 


Brooke Schenderlein ‘25

Q: What are you going to do over the summer? What do you like to do during your free time?

A: I love softball, this summer I’m gonna be traveling to a couple different states for tournaments. I’m on varsity softball for Rock Canyon and we’re going to be traveling to Florida, Kansas, Utah, New York and Virginia for games and a world qualifier coming up. I really like going to the pool and going as much as I can because there’s no beach in Colorado. When I’m at home, I’ll just binge shows and movies. I also like doing crafts and stuff to keep myself busy.


Delaney Mimless ‘26

Q: What are your plans over summer?

A: I plan on playing a lot of softball for my team, The Slammers. We practice two times a week and we have games and tournaments on the weekends. So, that is going to be the majority of my summer. I’m also planning on hanging out with my friends and going to the pool. 


Ryann Francavilla ‘25

Q: What are you going to do over the summer? What do you like to do during your free time?

A: I play volleyball. Even though it’s the offseason, we still have to keep practicing for school and club volleyball. I also like to golf, and I work a lot over the summer too. At home, I’ll just watch Netflix and stuff.


Paige Rogers ‘24

Q: What do you like to do over the summer?

A: I really like being outside and I’m going to spend a lot of my time working and doing athletics. I’m a swimmer so I’ll be at the pool a lot. I also like hanging out with friends.


Marcos Saldana ‘25

Q: What are you going to do over the summer? What do you like to do during your free time?

A: Over the summer, I really like to ride my bike. I’m in the Cycling Club at Rock Canyon. At home, I like watching movies and I’ll also just go to the gym.


Espne Kaul ‘24

Q: What are your plans over summer?

A: I have a job so I’m probably just going to work. I work at Adidas in Castle Rock. When I’m not working, I just hang out with my girlfriend during my free time. I work a minimum of 13 hours, so I’m hoping to get like around 20 just to get some more money.

Q: Do you do any activities other than working?

A: I go to Plum Creek or Red Hawk because I live down there so it is easy access and I love to bring my friends with me. I’m going to Wyoming with the boys. We’re gonna buy some fireworks and send them off for the fourth of July. I’m going to make a whole trip out of it and then bring them back.