Celebrating the Rich Tradition of Diwali

  • Academics
Jessie Skipwith

This past week, Aspen Academy recognized the annual five day celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali. It is always a great gift to recognize the many different families and cultures that make up the Aspen Academy community and here are a few resources to join in this great celebration of Lights & Knowledge over Darkness. 

Although there were many celebrations happening throughout the school community recognizing this major festival, one activity that I would like to recognize in particular took place in our 1st grade classrooms.  First grade student Soren G. seized the opportunity to both lead and share with his classmates the deep and rich traditions of Diwali that he celebrates with his family.  He led his class in sharing individual handheld lights so that they could join in this historical annual celebration and then commenced in reading a book about the meaning behind Diwali.  Soren led by his example: sharing more about his own identity and self-awareness, while creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity among his classmates who in turn shared parts of their own family traditions.

Students were able to learn a little bit more about the various reasons that people from Hindu, Sikh, and Jain backgrounds honor this glorious celebration.  Please join us in gratitude and invitation as we celebrate this great tradition together and we hope that you enjoy learning more about the meaning and history of Diwali through the resources provided here

About the Author


Jessie Skipwith is the Director of Elevate, Licensed School Counselor, and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Aspen Academy.

Jessie comes to Aspen Academy with over 20 years of experience in educational leadership and student engagement. He has held head of school positions at elementary, middle and high schools, ran an all-school counseling department, provided private practice counseling services for families and individuals, and has served as the executive director of an education non-profit supporting low-income, English language learners from throughout the greater Denver area. He is a voracious reader of books about how students learn, how families and communities support developing young people, as well as books on progressive, innovative and dynamic new solutions to many of today’s life challenges. Jessie loves that Aspen Academy provides families and students with a small, nurturing and safe environment that encourages students to take healthy risks, to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, and that it inspires insatiable curiosity and wonder in students as they pursue their passions to help make the world a better place to live for all people. Outside of work, he loves to spend time with his wife and two children and enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors while hiking, golfing or skiing.