Modern Day Highlands Ranch 1976-1997: MISSION VIEJO

Date and Time: 
Monday, February 15, 2021 - 7:00pm to Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 7:59pm
David Johnston, HRHS

Watch the above  54 minute, 32 second video of the program, recorded February 15, 2021

A focused review of Mission Viejo’s construction of the master planned community of Highlands Ranch from 1976 until 1997, which is when Shea Homes purchased Mission Viejo. Highlights of these 21 years include: 

--Early Planning and Infrastructure,

--Filming of Centennial, the TV Miniseries

--The First Homes

--HRCA and HR Metro are Formed

--The Convenience Center

--Growth of the Community and Residents


Recognition of Jim Toepfer, The Father of HR 

Watch this 10 minute 45 second video of the Award Presentation to Jim Toepfer, recorded February 2021  

James Toepfer was the President of the Colorado Division of Mission Viejo, and a City Planner. He was responsible, along with a very talented team, of planning for and implementing the immediate needs of the community, as well as long-range plans for the future growth that was expected (and materialized!).

Jim is affectionately known as "the Father of Highlands Ranch".

Speaker:  David Johnston, HRHS

David moved with his family to a location just north of Highlands Ranch in 1977.  He watched HR grow from fields to the large suburb it is today.  David's childhood memories of Highlands Ranch include picking up cans along Daniel's Park Road, picking wild asparagus along the Highline Canal and learning to drive on the streets before the homes came in.  David graduated from Cherry Creek High School, received a bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado - Boulder and graduate degrees from the University of Denver.  David now works as the Director of Program Management for MeteoStar, A Division of Sutron Corporation.  David has had the opportunity to travel all over the US and Canada as a kid along with international travel as an adult and has never found a place he likes more than Colorado.  David has always liked history and currently also volunteers as a Highlands Ranch Mansion docent and was appointed to the Douglas County Historical Preservation Board until 2017.  David is happy to be living and raising his family in Highlands Ranch.

Presentation of Appreciation Award:  Sara Lebofsky, HRHS

Sara was proud to be the Volunteer Health Fair Coordinator for the National Health Institute in the Washington, D.C. area; to have organized and been the first president of the Highlands Ranch Senior Club; a long term HRCA Delegate, Ranch Hand, HRCA Community July 4 Parade team member and HR Mansion Docent.  Sara is a Lifetime Member of the HR Senior Club and the Highlands Ranch Historical Society. As the  HRHS Vice-President, Sara provided monthly educational and entertaining programs for numerous years, started the HRHS Tours and helped organize the Wrangler Program. She continues to provide the programs.  Highlands Ranch has been home for 25 plus years.


PO Box 631334
Highlands Ranch 80163