‘My life changed when I started attending Greeley West’


Jayden Phipps

Jayden Phipps, the girls spiking the ball in this picture, loves to compete and is up for any challenge. It shows in her writing, too. Congratulations on your graduation!

Jayden Phipps, Class of 2020

Well, my last day of high school is here and I am finally qualified as another one of those people to tell you that “it goes by so fast.”  My high school journey started four years ago when I transferred to West from attending a small charter school my whole life. I was a somewhat shy, uncultured girl who made the change for better opportunities. Now that my time at West has come to an end, I can back up my initial decision to transfer and be proud of all that I’ve overcame and achieved.

I came to West with a distinct past on my shoulders; I had experienced some tough things coming in from middle school that made me lose sight of myself and goals. It affected me big time; I lost motivation in school and all my drive as a student, I wasn’t supported by staff, my relationships suffered, and overall I struggled for awhile. 

My life changed when I started attending Greeley West.

The last four years have been the absolute best years of my life. I found myself, a great group of friends, and have pushed myself to achieve things I never thought were imaginable. I realized that your experience in anything is what you make of it so I put in the time to get the most value out of every aspect of my high school career. 

It all started with my academics; I always had academic potential but struggled in the advanced classes I was placed in. All my academic achievements, awards and high GPA’s couldn’t have been achieved if Mr. Paulson didn’t recruit me to be in AVID my freshman year. He saw my potential and stuck by my side all throughout high school holding me accountable and always motivating me to do more because he knew I was capable. Mr. Paulson taught me everything from organization, to note taking, to how to ask questions when I was confused. He prepared me for hard classes and put me on the right path for success college. When I was facing adversity and going through rough things in my own life, he was there to keep me on track and making sure I didn’t throw away all of my potential just because things get rough. He is truly the best teacher I’ve ever had and the best staff member at this school. I wouldn’t be the student I am today without his guidance and I am so lucky to have such an amazing teacher to have guided me through high school. I don’t think I can ever repay Mr. Paulson for the change he made in me and in my life and what I will be today and in the future because of what he has done. 

I’ve always had a passion for sports my whole life, and although I burnt out of my love of the game soccer, I found a new meaning of passion when I started playing volleyball. My volleyball career started in seventh and eighth grade when I tried the sport out for the first time. I had no experience, never played on a team before, and basically had no knowledge of the game. I decided to try out for West’s Volleyball team as a freshman, and the rest is history. I was a captain of my team almost every year, won an MVP award every year, won defensive player of the year in 2018, won all around player of the year in 2019 and also won academic all state awards as well as an All Conference award my senior year. Being a part of the team wasn’t all achievements though, we were a part of the hardest league in Colorado and didn’t really go anywhere as a team the first three years. My senior year we had an influx of leadership and determination on our team and decided to work to attend regionals my last year. We defied all the odds and made regionals for the first time in 15 years; and it was one of the best moments of my life being apart of something as great as that. 

Going to school at West didn’t only give me memories and achievements to look back on. Going to school at West was so much more than a place you went to learn and see your friends. Going to school at West cultured me, prepared me for my future, but also taught me that your experience in anything is what you make of it. My experience at West has its ups and downs, but overall I wouldn’t take it back for anything and I thank all the people who helped me get to where I am at now.