Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw - CSPM

Lloyd “Pappy” Shaw

Lloyd “Pappy” Shaw was a legend. A known polymath or “renaissance man,” Shaw created priceless learning experiences for Cheyenne Mountain School students that included: rodeo, flying glider planes, hiking, skiing, camping, music, poetry, theater, photography, outdoor biology, and a troupe of high school square dancers that toured the country. His goal was to create “happy and interested” students – and did so by encouraging their love for and knowledge of art, science, nature, culture, history, literature, and the “great big world” outside the classroom door.

– From the CSPM Curator of History

Born in 1892 in Colorado Springs, Lloyd Shaw began distinguishing himself at Colorado Springs High School as an “excellent student” who played football and in his senior year won the state oratorical contest in Boulder. While attending Colorado College he played football, studied drama, English and biology and decided to become a teacher.

After teaching English at the Cutler academy and Colorado Springs High School, Lloyd was hired to run Cheyenne School in 1916. Lloyd was teacher, principal and Superintendent of Cheyenne School District until his death in 1951.

Early on, Lloyd coached football, basketball, and track. After coaching football for three years he talked the district parents into dropping football for the safety and the betterment of his male students. Shaw later wrote that he realized football did not harmonize with the educational philosophy he had for the school. He was not comfortable with the school defining itself in terms of victory over other schools, and he did not like the adulation given to athletes who happened to be physically bigger than other students. Shaw preferred activities in which all students could participate and which complimented the educational goals of the school.

Lloyd was happy sharing his love of the outdoors. One student, Eric Swab recalled, “with the first snow Shaw called juniors and seniors to the auditorium and told them they had 30 minutes to go home, pack a lunch, and be back at the school for a hike to the school cabin”, which was up on Cheyenne Mountain.

Shaw began teaching the students square dancing, for which, over the years, the dance teams gained national and international recognition. However, it was not teaching just square dancing to Shaw. Mrs. Shaw remembered that Lloyd used, “contras from England, running sets from the Appalachians, quadrilles and ballroom dancing.”

To quote from Richard Marold’s short article in a local paper in 2002, “…from 1916 to 1951 he gained national recognition for his educational approach, dance teams, drama productions, field trips and lectures. Ernie Pyle, the great World War II correspondent, after a visit to Cheyenne, called it the best public school in the country.” One student described her experience at the school this way, ‘Teaching was not confined to the classroom, nor did it require expensive equipment, just a very wise man and a tree to sit under.’” Lloyd Shaw – a true Renaissance Man!

Generously Submitted by John Orsborn, CSPM Volunteer Educator

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