Columbine High School students have a saying: “Once a rebel, always
Principal Frank DeAngelis said 1984 graduates Todd Park Mohr and Brian Nevin have proven that even rebels will pitch in to support a good cause.
The two are bandmates in Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a band that formed in 1986.
They recently recorded a series of messages to support the bond measure and mill-levy override campaign, being run by Citizens for Jeffco Schools.
The campaign encourages residents of Jefferson County to vote yes during the Nov. 6 election on issues 3A and 3B, which increase property taxes to build funding for JeffcoPublic Schools.
The videos will debut later this summer in the campaign cycle.
“Todd’s and Brian’s comments about how their experiences in grade school impacted where they are today resonate,” said Kelly Johnson, co-chairwoman of Citizens for Jeffco Schools. “We need people to vote yes on 3A and 3B so we can ensure today’s students have the same opportunities Jeffco students have always had and Jeffco residents continue to expect.”
DeAngelis has worked at Columbine since 1979 and remembers the boys before they were famous.
Back then, he said, they played in a band called T.J. and the Twist. He recalls their talent in those days, as
well as today.
“They were great students, but great musicians,” he said.
DeAngelis was the principal of the high school during the school shooting on April 20, 1999, during which two students shot and killed 12 students and one teacher, and injured 21 more students before killing themselves.
He said the support Mohr and Devin and the rest of the band showed in the aftermath and helped the community overcome the trauma.
“Ever since they left, they have never forgotten us,” he said.
DeAngelis and the bandmates have stayed in touch since graduation, DeAngelis said, and he is grateful for their continuous support for issues effecting the school they attended.
In 2007, the band was honored as Distinguished Jeffco Alumni at the 22nd annual Crystal Ball fundraiser hosted by the Jefferson Foundation. DeAngelis introduced Mohr and Devin, and watched them accept their honors.
“I’m so proud of them,” he said. “They’re great ambassadors for Columbine High School.”
He said Mohr and Devin have always been very supportive of the performing arts programs offered by the district, and they fear if additional funding is not approved through the property tax, future students will not have the same opportunities they had.
“We’re all concerned that if 3A and 3B do not pass, it’s going to have a major impact on schools,” DeAngelis said. “That could mean fewer choices for our students.”
He said Columbine, like most other schools in the district, is at risk of losing seven to eight teachers. DeAngelis said almost 130 high school teachers in the district could lose their jobs, depending on what happens with funding from the state next year.