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Upper School Division Head Eric Chandler, Ph.D. is one of the many enthusiastic voices celebrating Kent Denver's outstanding fall sports season. Here is an excerpt of a letter he penned recently for Connection, our weekly newsletter for parents and guardians:


Five of our teams made it to their state finals, and boys’ golf, boys’ tennis, field hockey and boys’ soccer all won state titles—the most championships Kent Denver has ever had in a single season! This is also the first time that five teams—football, boys' soccer, boys' tennis, field hockey and boys' golf—won conference championships in the same season.

Our burgeoning Cross-Country program had an outstanding fall, with the girls’ team qualifying for state and Samantha Schaffer '17 taking 10th place overall. Volleyball also had its most successful season in memory, advancing to the state playoffs and competing well against some of the strongest teams in the region.

Several coaches reached significant milestones this season. Bob Austin broke the record for the most state golf titles won by a single coach, surpassing the record of his own high school coach from the 1970's. Field Hockey's championship win made coach Kathy James the record-holder for the most state victories by a Colorado coach in her sport. And, of course, football's Scott Yates continues to amass career wins in football, and at 315 victories is tied for the most in Colorado history.

Both boys' tennis and boys' soccer continued impressive win streaks at the state championships. Coach Randy Ross and his team won their fourth-consecutive title in 4A tennis and coach Arty Smith and the boys' soccer team won a third-straight championship in their division. Max Mehlman '17 also won his second 3A Player of the Year award.

Bravo to all our athletes and coaches! Bravo, too, to all our fans and our community for its support!


Photo credit: Carol MacKay Photography

“I snorkeled.”

Not an unusual pastime for a Kent Denver student— unless, as in the case of Paul Mead ’76 M.D., MPH, the sentence ends with “in the upper lake.” That changes things ... a lot.

“I was working on an assignment for Ben Cooper’s English class,” Mead explains. “We could do an odd, non-traditional project, and I ended up taking underwater pictures in the upper lake. As I recall, I received a rather charitable B-minus.” That out-of-the-box English assignment was one of many Kent Denver experiences Mead says “fostered my interest in the natural world, in ecology and in the sort of things I’m still studying, albeit through the lens of a physician.”

Today, Mead is Chief of Epidemiology for the Bacterial Diseases Branch in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Vector-borne Diseases.

His current focus is Zika virus, a disease transmitted primarily through bites by infected Aedes mosquitos.The implications for pregnant women and their unborn children are so severe that the World Health Organization declared Zika an international public health emergency in February 2016.

“I’ve worked on a variety of diseases over the last 19 years with CDC. While in Atlanta, I worked on food-borne diseases like Salmonella and E. coli O157. Since returning to Colorado, I’ve focused on vector-borne diseases— diseases like plague, Lyme disease and West Nile that are transmitted by fleas, ticks and mosquitos,” Mead says. “Most of what I do is epidemiologic research that concerns how diseases move through populations: who gets them and why; how are they transmitted; and what we can do to effectively prevent them. I like that I can live in Fort Collins and still work internationally, and I get to interact daily with a terrific group that includes microbiologists, entomologists, statisticians, pathologists and other physicians.”

When an outbreak of listeriosis in processed meats resulted in about 21 deaths across the country in 1999, Mead led the team that traced the disease to its source. Tainted food was recalled and substantive changes in the processed food industry reduced nationwide incidence of listeriosis by about 50%.

The long-term impacts of his work in that outbreak, and in most of his professional efforts before and since, are the disease outbreaks that don’t happen, the people who don’t get sick and the deaths that don’t occur. It’s a result that’s almost impossible to quantify. “The goal of public health is prevention. The irony is that when you fail, it’s obvious, but when you really succeed, no one notices. It’s like the car crash that didn’t happen.”

Although the results are much less tangible, Mead says, “In the long run you can help more people this way than you can treating them one at a time.”


Photo credit: Jack Todd '09



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    • ThuDec08 G Day
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