Throw Back Thursday: Arapahoe Alumni

Mr. Kleeman


Nick Herbic

Welcome to the third article of the series TBT: Arapahoe Teacher’s Edition where we interview teachers who used to go to Arapahoe! Follow the Arapahoe Xtra on our journey to find stories of long lost traditions, countless changes, meaningful memories and of course exciting high school experiences from the past.

As a school that is over half a century old, one would expect Arapahoe High School to have experienced a great deal of change over the years. After interviewing Mr. Kleeman, a Language Arts teacher here at Arapahoe, I have gathered insight on his Arapahoe experience back in 1983, the year of his graduation.

When Mr. Kleeman attended Arapahoe, he did not have the relationship with the Arapaho Tribe that we have today. Instead, as put by Mr. Kleeman, “Our mascot at the time was an angry Pawnee indian. Which is kind of ironic because it’s one of the enemies of the Arapaho”. Our current relationship with the Arapaho Tribe is very uplifting, and certainly helps to build our school’s strong sense of community.

According to Mr. Kleeman, a decent amount has changed about Arapahoe since then. Another point he brought up is how Arapahoe has built itself up as a desirable school of excellence. “It has become a lot less of a neighborhood high school. It’s got a name for itself now”, said Kleeman. Some aspects have managed to stay the same over the years, though. “How students interact with teachers in our offices, that’s the same. A lot of our offices look the same. Most teachers stay here for a long time now, and it was the same back then”. Clearly, there are plenty of reasons we have so many Arapahoe Alumni for teachers now.

As with many other parts of life, many traditions at Arapahoe live on for a very long time. The tradition of hazing, something many athletes are likely familiar with, was around when Mr. Kleeman attended Arapahoe. Along with the undying tradition of the senior prank. Some years have had legendary pranks, and some had somewhat forgettable pranks. Mr. Kleeman did a senior prank himself. “I lit an incense cone and put it under a toilet in the boy’s bathroom. Somebody was probably saying ‘hey, it’s smelling good in here’”, he said.

Stay tuned every Thursday to hear more about teachers and their fun high school stories!