Frank DeAngelis–or, “Mr. De,” to everyone who knows and loves him–began teaching at Columbine High School in 1979 and served as the school’s principal from 1996 to 2014. In addition to coaching the boys baseball team and leading them to two state championships, he helped create the American Studies program at Columbine in 1991, a unique academic course that is a combination of Language Arts and Social Studies curricula.
After the tragedy in 1999, DeAngelis made a pledge to remain as principal until all of the students in Columbine feeder schools at the time had graduated. That promise was fulfilled in 2012, and he continues as principal because he loves the school and its students. DeAngelis has become a symbol of hope and strength for the Columbine community, and communities across the nation have called upon him in times of tragedy and for his insight on school safety. DeAngelis was named the 2013 Colorado High School Principal of the Year, and was a finalist for the 2013 National Principal of the Year. 5280 Magazine also named Columbine High School one of the 20 best public high schools along the front range in it’s 2013 review of education in the Denver Metro Area.
In August of 2013, DeAngelis announced to the Columbine community that the 2013-2014 school year would be his last. While traveling the country and sharing stories and experiences during his time as Columbine’s principal, Mr. De has continued to stay involved with the Foundation even after his retirement. “The Academic Foundation gives me the opportunity to stay connected with my Columbine family and allows me to continue giving back to so many who have given to me over my years at Columbine,” remarked DeAngelis. The Academic Foundation honors Frank DeAngelis for his 35 years of dedication to excellence at Columbine High School!