2022: The Year in Pictures


Carly Philpott

July 2 – People crowded the streets of downtown Denver after it was announced June 24 that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade. Colorado’s government is Democratic enough that it is unlikely we will lose abortion privileges, but surrounding states will largely face abortion restrictions and bans. I attended three protests, and despite the anger at the situation, the energy was hopeful that we could still fight back. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

This year began in the wake of one of Colorado’s biggest infernos ever. Over 1,000 structures were destroyed in the Marshall Fire at the end of 2021, and the entire state felt the effects.

Shortly after, the Russo-Ukrainian War escalated with unprecedented Russian strikes against major Ukrainian cities. The war would go on to dominate world news for the remainder of the year, with Russia accused of war crimes, and Ukraine eventually pushing back successfully later in the year.

Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, and an outbreak of monkeypox in Europe and the U.S. had some fearing the next pandemic. Fatal crowd crushes occurred in Indonesia and South Korea as crowds resurged after COVID protocols loosened. Rapper Ye, known frequently as Kanye West, contributed to a rise of antisemitism worldwide. And Pakistan, Florida, and Cuba prominently felt the effects of climate change via devastating storm systems and flooding. Most recently, a blizzard dumped several feet of snow on Buffalo, New York, killing dozens of people.

But among the devastating events of 2022, there were bright lights, too. A man’s gift to his wife became one of the most played online games in the world (Wordle). The Winter Olympics united countries in Beijing in February. NASA successfully tested an asteroid defense system, shooting a probe at an asteroid and altering its orbit, which could potentially protect Earth from future asteroid threats. And they launched the unmanned Artemis I in the first of many new moon explorations.

Some of the world’s major governments saw important transitions in power: Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro lost to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, while Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu regained power. King Charles III took over from Queen Elizabeth in the United Kingdom, while in the U.S., Democrats lost the House of Representatives and gained a seat in the Senate in November’s midterm elections.

2022 saw pain and joy in nations across the globe. Here are some moments captured by our staff.

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  • Jan. 9 – A business lies scorched in Louisville, Colorado, after the Marshall Fire claimed over a thousand structures in Boulder County on Dec. 30, 2021. Thousands of residents were left homeless in the most destructive Colorado wildfire ever, which came in the middle of a historically dry winter. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Jan. 11 – In mid-January, Creek’s theatre program began to set up their new DMX stage lights for band and choir concerts. The lights had been purchased for the theatre in January, an effort to make lighting productions and concerts more exciting and easy to do. Each individual LED light in the DMX strip can create a completely different color than the next, making the light the perfect tool for gradient backgrounds. Colors are often projected onto the theatre’s cyc screen at the back of the theatre’s stage, making backgrounds for a concert like this. “Designing lighting requires a lot of compliance to fit into the set space and to put the puzzle pieces together of your inventory and make your conceptual ideas turn into a material plan,” junior Soli Mamet said. “Working on lighting is like learning how one thing connects to another and learning how electricity is connected throughout the theater.” – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • Jan. 17 – The labor union for King Soopers went on strike in January, disrupting grocery shopping across the Front Range. Though the stores remained staffed by temporary workers and non-union members, many Coloradans chose not to cross the picket line. My local Safeway was the most crowded I’d ever seen it, with long checkout lines and bought-down shelves. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Feb. 17 – A woman watches Olympic curling at the bar of Stout Street Social in downtown Denver. The gap between summer and winter Olympics was historically short in 2022. The COVID-delayed Summer Olympics had ended just under six months earlier when the torch was lit for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Feb. 24 – Creek’s theatre program put on a production of ‘Mamma Mia!’ which opened in early March. The musical was primarily student led, with students running construction of sets, lighting, costumes, stage management, and much more. As each part of the theatre worked together, the three-building set began to form, creating a stunning scene for the musical. The set included multiple moving parts, such as a bed that was lowered from the sky, a door that was spun around the stage, and chiffon that was stung through the arch during a wedding scene. “Our director Alex Burkart emphasizes that Creek shows are “student-led”. Teams of student actors, singers, dancers, scene designers, carpenters, painters, props, lighting, sound, costuming, musicians, directors, and stage managers all work together for a common goal,” senior Eliana Yokomichi said. “We make great friendships and memories as we learn high level live theater skills.” – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • March 8 – Rapid at-home tests became available free of charge from the federal government early in the year. While they were anecdotally less accurate than tests given by medical professionals, they gave Americans an opportunity to test themselves more easily for COVID-19. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • March 9 – Creek alum (22′) Riccardo D’Urso’s play ‘They Stole The Moon’ was staged in the Fine Arts Theatre after being selected as a finalist in a (Denver Center for the Performing Arts) DCPA playwriting competition. The play told the tale of a classic love story, and featured three actors, Gabe Dave, who played Jay, Summer Jones, who played Kate, and Ben Feldman, who was cast as a narrator. “I entered the contest with zero expectations because I love my play but I honestly never thought of it as contest-winning material,” D’Urso said. “I didn’t even tell my parents about my play so by the time it was announced that I got in the top 10, me, my creative writing teacher, and the people at DCPA were the only ones who had read it.” – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • March 14 – After Russia waged war on Ukraine in February, much of the nation united in support Ukraine. I found this Ukrainian flag hanging in the world language center at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • March 26 – The Denver Center for the Performing Arts reopened at full capacity early in the year. Many Creek students saw Gustav Holst’s “Planets” performed by the Colorado Symphony in March. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • March 28 – After a long break from concerts due to COVID-19, my friends and I went to the Larimer Lounge to see a small indie pop band, Bears In Trees, in concert along with support from other artists like Just Friends, Graduating Life & King of Heck, all of which were ‘Midwest Emo’ artists. Even before the event had begun, artists fraternized with the concertgoers, making the experience feel even more special after a long time away from a lot of human interaction due to the virus that’s been ongoing for the past two years. In such a small venue, all of us wore masks, but being back in a concert environment was thrilling. “It was amazing to see all the energy and connection [at the concert] after such a long period of being disconnected,” sophomore Maddie Smith said. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • March 29 – In late March, students gathered in the Fine Arts Theatre to watch the talent show. The show featured performances from multiple different student groups, including the juggling club, and a student band. – Quinn Rudnick

  • April 1 – Nuggets fans got ready to cheer on the Nuggets at Ball Arena. The Timberwolves beat the Nuggets 136-130. “It was a disappointing loss, but Aaron Gordon had an unbelievable reverse monster dunk,” my dad, Mike Gleason, said. – Features Editor Emily Gleason

  • April 16 – In April, California’s famous Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival kicked off on April 15, and lasted over two weekends. For the first time since 2019, Coachella was able to open again after the lasting effects of COVID-19, and the festival didn’t hold back when organizing a fresh lineup. Very few COVID-19 protocols were in place over the two weekend festival, not even proof of vaccination. With headliners such as Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Weekend, and Swedish House Mafia playing the festival, guests flocked to the event from all over, averaging 125,000 people per day. The majority of the festival was also live-streamed through YouTube, where thousands of people watched from the comfort of their own homes. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • April 26 – Last school year I wrote an article on the underappreciation for womens sports by Creek students. To say I was passionate about it was an understatement. In this image you can see that there were seven students there, four of which were women. This was a varsity girls soccer match. It saddened me to write an article about such a large discrepancy in support, especially when girls teams at creek have historically done just as well as their boy counterparts. – Junior Editor-in-Chief Alex Gribb

  • April 27 – In late April, Creek’s Acappellooza concert was held in the Fine Arts Theatre. Featuring combination performances from the Statesmen, A Cappella, and Choralaires concerts, the show was an homage to the 80’s. The concert featured singing, tap dancing, piano performances, tap dancing, and poetry readings. Acappellooza returned to Creek after two years of COVID-19 shutdowns, and its return was celebrated with widespread excitement. “Acappellooza wasn’t like any ordinary choir concert, it was full of life and energy and most importantly every singer got to be themselves,” junior Creek 21 performer Sara Klapperich said. “Everyone was having fun singing and dancing on stage and nobody was judged. Everyone and everything had such a positive energy and some people really needed that with what’s happening in the world right now.” – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • May 14 – In early May, a Supreme Court document written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., was leaked to the public. The document detailed claims that Roe V. Wade, Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion was flawed from the beginning and should be overturned. Following the leak, Denverites as well as people all over the country broke out in protest over the possible overtunings. At a protest I attended on May 14, police officers watched as two young teenagers fought with pro-life supporters on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Although violence was uncommon at protests in Colorado, there was a high police presence as protestors walked the streets holding signs and carrying chants against the Supreme Court. The protests continued through the months of May, June, and even into July, following the overturning of Roe V. Wade, a decision made on June 24. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • May 26 – The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) hosted this year’s Bobby G Awards in late May, a program designed to honor the best of Colorado high school theatre. The Bobby Gs returned after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, but the experience was as good as ever. During the event, 18 awards were awarded for outstanding tech or acting performances in theatre. In addition to awards, the Bobby Gs also featured 6 performances from Colorado high schools, all of which were nominees for Best Overall Production of a Musical. Many members of Creek’s theatre program attended the event, as they were nominated in Outstanding Performance by a Chorus for their musical Mamma Mia!, although they did not win the award. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • June 2 – From June second to the sixth, Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee was held in central London, celebrating 70 years of her service. Celebrations took place all across the United Kingdom, culminating in a widespread four day sequence of partying, and a four day bank holiday. During my vacation to London in June, I was able to witness the first day of the Platinum Jubilee, which included the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Trooping of the Colours. Londoners gathered in Trafalgar Square by the thousands, and lined The Mall, which led to Buckingham Palace. The Jubilee featured military bands, a display of military pageantry, a gun salute, and a flypast that could be seen from the Thames river. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • June 4 – Over the summer, my family traveled to the Netherlands for two weeks. When we visited Utrecht, one of the largest cities in the Netherlands, we were surprised the city was holding their pride parade that day. People lined the streets and watched performers sail by on boats through the canals, celebrating while sending off flares, leaving the air heavy with colorful smoke. In the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 1998, there is little disrespect towards the LGBTQ+ community, and most queer individuals face very little description. Only as little as 8% of the population disagrees that homosexuality should be accepted in the Netherlands, according to Equaldex. Compared to the United States, where 33% of the population doesn’t believe that society should accept the community, the Netherlands have been continually taking action to ensure their country is a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community. – Managing Editor Quinn Ruddnick

  • June 6 – My sister and I are counselors at Bluff Lake Nature Center. On a normal week of day camp, the kids, from ages 5-10, will explore the park, learning about things from environmental science to camp games. One of the weeks we happened to be working there, the camp took a field trip to the Urban Farm, an organization in Denver that uses recycled scraps and limited land to teach children about agriculture and modern farming. The kids got the chance to meet and feed animals they were unfamiliar with. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • June 11 – After the Uvalde mass shooting in Texas, March For Our Lives, a youth-led gun control organization held a protest on the steps of the Capital. The poster board shown in the photo had a quote from a speech made by Matthew McConaughey about a student, nine-year-old Maite Rodriguez, who died in the Uvalde shooting. This quote was incredibly impactful due to the meaning behind it, when police searched the school, everything was so gory that the only way they could identify her was by her green shoes with a heart on the right foot. It was later explained in the speech that Maite wore the shoes because of her extreme love for nature. – Web Editor Izzy Krauss

  • June 25 – Near the end of pride month, which takes place in June, The Center on Colfax held their annual pride parade. For five hours, almost 100 different groups walked Colfax to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, singing, dancing, and cheering. Over the course of 2022, nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed across the United States, most of which targeted transgender people. Legislation measures included restriction of LGBTQ issues in school curriculum, limited ability for transgender people to play sports or use of gender affirming restrooms and healthcare. Supporters of these bills claim that limiting LGBTQ rights protects children, parental rights, and religious freedom. However, those who oppose the legislation contend that they’re outright discriminatory and more about pleasing conservative political votes. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • July 7 – To be in Washington D.C. is bizarre in itself. I’m going to be honest, the White House doesn’t feel real. When I visited the city in July for the Washington Journalism Media Conference, it felt insane to be standing where Pablo Escobar once stood. The conference was a unique opportunity for me because I was surrounded by like minded people, who were wholly invested in writing of some kind. It blew my mind that there were this many students who cared about the dying industry that is journalism. I left that camp feeling hopeful and determined to get better at writing, but also remembering to bring shower shoes the next time I stay at a college dorm. – Junior Editor-in-Chief Alex Gribb

  • July 16 – Larry Walker was inducted to the baseball hall of fame in 2020, becoming the first Rockie to ever do so. As 2022 is ending, legendary Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has 79.1% of votes in known ballots. If he keeps his strong numbers, our hometown Rox could have two inductees in the span of 3 years. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • July 22 – Colorado band The Lumineers play their song “Slow It Down” in their first ever stadium show at Coors Field. The Lumineers were supposed to tour through Coors in 2020 before it was canceled due to COVID. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Aug. 15 – Late Summer and early Autumn brought a flurry of rainstorms. Rain is my favorite weather, and it was refreshing to have so much of it, as the last months had been very dry. Many of the storms lasted just a couple of minutes, but some were more disruptive. This rainstorm on Aug. 15 was rattling, shaking the earth with cracks of thunder and flooding the streets with rain water. It lasted 45 minutes, flashing lightning and pouring rain the entire time. Marching band preseason camp was scheduled for the fifteenth, but only a handful of people braved the dangerous streets and made it to practice. I was not one of them. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Aug. 21 – In a Colorado Rockies season where there wasn’t much to be excited about, rookie Wynton Bernard brought fans together. Bernard, at 31, had spent the previous 11 years drifting between minor and independent league teams. The Rockies brought him up from the Triple-A affiliate Albequerque Isotopes on Aug. 11. In his third at-bat of his major league debut on Aug. 12, Bernard recorded his first hit, stolen base, and scored run. Bernard was a national favorite, garnering attention from baseball fans across the country. And at home, he created a buzz around the Rockies that hadn’t been there for a while. Even over a week later, when I first saw him play on Aug. 21, fans were still cheering him on from the stands. In the Aug. 21 game, Bernard went 0-5 at the plate, but made a stellar catch in center field. This at-bat resulted in a fly out. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Sept. 4 – Nearly two years after the East Troublesome Fire, scorch marks are still apparent. I visited North Inlet Creek, which feeds into Grand Lake. The creek was once forested on both sides, but is now open meadow. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Sept. 9 – The Colorado Rockies had a dreadful season, but there’s nothing like going to see a baseball game live. It’s especially fun when your team wins because of a three run home run hit by your favorite player, CJ Cron. While the Rockies have much room for improvement, Cron, a trade acquisition of 2021, was a star, bringing life to the scrambling club. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Sept. 20 – A firefighter from the South Metro fire department rushes to respond to an electrical fire that occurred after school. Cherry Creek High School was plagued by emergencies throughout the first semester. I was able to get up really close to these firefighters, and I took the photo with the only camera I had on me: my phone. Often, the school was forced to evacuate the West and IC building. These emergencies are almost routine now, as we find ourselves sitting on a sidewalk outside while the admins find a way to find out that the emergency was just a microwave incident. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Oct. 9 – My family has been watching Formula One, the highest class of international racing for single-seater driving. This past season, which began in March and ended in November, we rooted for our favorite teams as they battled to secure the Formula One World Championship. At the end of the season, Dutch racing driver Max Verstappen won the World Championship on October 9, following a rainy race in Suzuka, Japan. Although not the final race of the season, that wouldn’t come until late November, Verstappen had earned enough points over the course of the 2021-22 season to secure the Championship win early. Verstappen’s victory was a cause of wide celebration in my family, the perfect way to end what had been a very eventful season. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • Oct. 15 – For fall break, my family and I visited Santa Barbara, California to visit family and explore the beaches. It was my first time going to the West Coast, and I took this picture when we walked around Santa Barbara’s harbor. “The weather was just really perfect and beautiful for October,” my dad, Mike Gleason, said. “We were wearing shorts still [and] some people were fishing; it was a perfect night [when] we walked along the pier.” – Features Editor Emily Gleason

  • Oct. 31 – Halloween was important to me this year, as it was the first time we got the authentic, chilling, nostalgic feeling of the spooky season since 2019. Many houses around our neighborhood came back to the show with decorations that were better than ever. Our house wasn’t the best on the block, but putting up decorations and laughing at our extensive collection of *fake* skeletal animals in the perfect way to kick into the holiday season. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Nov. 8 – No one expected Democrats to pull out any major victories in the 2022 midterm elections, but they did, gaining a seat in the Senate and fending off a large Republican lead in the House. In Colorado, House candidate Adam Frisch very nearly defeated alt-right incumbent Lauren Boebert, who was expected to carry the election easily. I watched election night coverage anxiously. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Nov. 13 – The Union Street Journal traveled to St. Louis for the National Scholastic Press Association high school journalism convention. Five USJ staffers attended panels and roundtables on Nov. 11-12. I attended twelve sessions over the course of the convention. I learned all about sports photography, covering mental health, and so much more. It was amazing to see deeper into the culture of the city. One of our dinners was at Imo’s, home of the famous, locally revered St. Louis pizza. I won’t say it was the best slice I’ve ever had, but the experience was very memorable. On the 13th, we capped off the trip with a visit to the St. Louis arch. Because of travel restrictions, the only member of the USJ who has ever been to an NSPA convention was our Editor in Chief Carly Philpott, who went with the class to the DC convention in 2019 as a freshman. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Nov. 26 – The Creek Marching Band went on a field trip to Hollywood in November this year, a biannual tradition for the band. We performed in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and a Disneyland Parade. One of the days of the trip was spent at Universal Studios, including Harry Potter world and its famous Hogwarts Castle. The experience was so fun and the best way for the band members to bond and be rewarded for the long season. It was a new experience for everyone, including upperclassmen, because the trip couldn’t happen in 2020 due to COVID-19. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

  • Dec. 3 – Team captains (from left) senior wide receiver Ismael Cisse (#14), senior outside linebacker Logan Brantley (#5), senior defensive lineman Blake Purchase (#12), and senior offensive lineman Hank Zilinskas (#58) line up opposite Valor Christian’s captains for the coin toss of the state champhionship game. Creek won the toss and elected to kick off in the first half. Creek then went on to win 24-17. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Dec. 3 – In early December, members of Creek’s theatre department traveled to downtown Denver to participate in Thescon, the yearly event for high school and middle school theaters. Over a three day weekend, troupes from all over Colorado came together to watch performances by the Improvised Shakespeare Company, Douglas County High School’s “39 Steps,” and Fort Collins High School’s “Chicago: Teen Edition.” Students attend courses on acting techniques, theatre machinery, and much more, as well as present Individual Events, like one act plays or design plots from a past show, to judges for awards at the end of the weekend. – Managing Editor Quinn Rudnick

  • Dec. 15 – Denver’s Christkindlmarket ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 23. Vendors sold food, art, clothing, and other goods. To get away from the cold, visitors crowded the food tent and listened to live music. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Dec. 21 – Temperatures across the nation hit record lows at record speeds as a polar cold front swept the US. In Colorado, temperatures dropped from around 20 degrees Fahrenheit to below 0 degrees in less than an hour and snow blanketed the area. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Dec. 25 – The eighth night of Hanukkah and Christmas fell on the same day this year, which is always special for my interfaith family. After a day of presents and family time, the eight candles on the menorah were all lit. After a year with such blatant antisemitism, it felt like the world was lightened a bit. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Dec. 29 – Despite predictions for only a few inches of snow on the evening of Dec. 28, storms dumped nearly a foot of snow in some areas around Denver. The weather caused severe accidents and backups on I-70 and I-25, but it was peaceful, too. I took this picture shortly after midnight, when the snow and the hour meant the world was utterly silent. – Editor-in-Chief Carly Philpott

  • Dec. 30 – Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo was the perfect ending to this year. My family hadn’t walked that same walk in years, and it was exactly how I remember it. The pungent smell of the hippo enclosure is indeed unforgettable, but the magic and the wonder of the perfectly illuminated park is also a memorable experience. – Assistant News Editor Peter Philpott

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