INTERLUDE: ROBERT ROMERO/A GRALAND SUCCESS SYMBOL

In 1975 the Rocky Mountain News published an article on Robert (Bobby) Romero. I found this article a few weeks ago-- another example of the unexpected delights I have discovered in the archive den in the basement of the Georgia Nelson Bldg. A touching story about a beloved Graland teacher.

Read on and learn a bit more about the school’s history during the John Comfort era:

“Six years ago, Bobby Romero’s face was a brown island in a sea of white at one of Denver’s most exclusive private schools. Today, a 21-year-old junior at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, he looks back at his education at Graland Country Day and reckons that without it, he might have joined many of his friends who ‘took the other road and became freeloaders.’ Romero was a pioneer in a program that brought Chicano students to Graland by distributing scholarships to boys in poor neighborhoods... 

“The decade-old program’s instigators, Graland Headmaster, John Comfort and William E. Cope, head of the Boys’ CLubs of Denver, point to Romero as a symbol of success. Comfort said he would like Romero to come back as the first Chicano teacher. . . ‘He worked harder than anyone I know,’ Comfort said."

I also found a photocopy of an article from Empire Magazine. Here Robert reminisces about his education at Graland School:

“The experience of transferring to Graland was at first ‘a classic case of culture shock,’ recalls Romero. I had to wear a coat and tie and dress shoes.

" Even more of a shock than differences in dress was nightly homework in English, mathematics, biology, history, and Latin. ‘Each teacher demanded a whole lot of time and effort. My family was supportive, but no one could help me. . . It was a struggle. . . If it hadn’t been for my family’s support, I could never have lived through those few months at Graland. They were painful. I would tell myself at times, ‘I can’t compete. I can’t keep up.’ But his Latin teacher tutored him, and he learned to think because his instructors demanded individual participation. ‘It was the first time I had been required to stand up and give a speech or criticize someone else’s paper. I had to use my mind, and it was good for me.’

. . . Before Bobby finished the ninth grade -- the senior year at  Graland -- he was captain of the football, basketball, track, and baseball teams and was elected ‘Graland Boy of the Year.’

“Later, he attended Fountain Valley near Colorado Springs. . . , and in his senior year was a high school All-American in lacrosse. Subsequently, he enrolled at Colorado College. . . He lettered in lacrosse all four years and . . . graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate, having specialized in American history.”

Two years later, Robert Romero came to Graland and enriched the lives of many students. A remarkable man!
 
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Graland Country Day School

55 CLERMONT STREET    DENVER, CO 80220    303.399.0390   
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.