DENVER (CBS4)– Most schools have trophy cases filled with trophies that celebrate athletic victories, basketball, football, baseball, etc. Now you’ll soon find state championship trophies for academics.

State lawmakers approved a measure during the legislative session that would challenge students in other ways besides athletics.

“So after they graduate they can say our class had a state championship in basketball, soccer and academic growth,” said Rep. Kevin Priola, a Republican representing Henderson.

Priola is the sponsor of legislation that sets up the first ever state championship in academic growth.

Schools compete in the same conferences as athletics so the same rivalries exist but there will be new ones, too.

Global Leadership Academy in Mapleton doesn’t have athletics and will be among the schools to beat.

“It really gives me something to feel good about because I don’t play a lot of sports,” said student Jose Bonilla.

“In my perspective education is more important than sports,” said student Daisy Felix.

“Being recognized for academics just makes you want to do better in academics and go further in life,” said student Brian Ortiz.

This wouldn’t be some token award. Sen. Mike Johnston, a co-sponsor of the bill, said winners in each division will receive a trophy.

“I think there will certainly be some swagger for schools who win it,” said Johnston, a Democrat representing Denver. “So my school is smarter than your school. It might lead to some academic taunting in stands during football season, smack talking in academics.”

This policy won’t be difficult to implement. The Colorado Education Association already tracks academic growth and would now use those for division standings like CHSAA does with sports, so schools can follow their ranking.


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