Achievement Above All - Cortez High School

Achievement Above All - Cortez High School

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Cortez Principal Reid Chitwood introducing Jennifer Wright

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Governing Board member Pam Reicks presenting Jennifer with her award

Teacher of The Year – Jennifer Wright

Jennifer graduated from Stevens Point Area High School in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point-Broadfield with a degree in Social Studies and a teaching certification.  She earned her master’s in educational technology from Northern Arizona University. Her teaching experiences range from Advanced Placement U.S. History, Honors World History, World History and Literacy Coach.  Jennifer has made a great impact on the Cortez campus in many ways.  She was Department Chair for the social studies department for many years, and during her tenure as Literacy Coach she has implemented school wide literacy activities to help the entire student body be prepared for their future.  Jennifer is one of the front runners in the use of current technology in the classroom and will bring other department members into the fold while implementing technology in the classroom.

Jennifer has coached many sports at Cortez over the years, including softball for 9 years and 8 years in the volleyball program.  She has been the head volleyball coach for the past 4 years, leading her team to the quarter finals of the state tournament this year.  Her hobbies include reading and singing karaoke.  Jennifer has been an AP U.S. History grader since 2009.  She was awarded the Cortez High School Girls Sports Coach of the year in 2008.  Jennifer is a true professional; she works to do the best job possible as a teacher and coach on the campus, and Cortez truly benefits from her presence and contributions to the school. 

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Cortez Principal Reid Chitwood introducing Monique Franco.


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Monique thanking the governing board.

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Governing Board member Rick Feilds presenting Monique with her award.

Student of the Year- Monique Franco

Monique has spent her life in Phoenix attending Manzanita Elementary and Cordova Junior High School before coming to Cortez.  Monique exemplifies all that the Achievement Above All stands for.  She is in the top 1% of her class, and has been actively involved in clubs and sports since she set foot on Cortez’s campus.  She has played Varsity basketball, Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Softball, all while also being involved in Student Council and National Honor Society. She keeps herself busy in school clubs, which include ACE (Accelerated Cultural Enrichment), Dance Club, Math Club and the National Hispanic Honor Society.  Although she is busy, she still places working hard in school as one of her main priorities. Monique has won many awards and been involved with leadership opportunities during her tenure at Cortez. She was a scholar Athlete in her three sports and was a Girls' State representative for Cortez High School.

Monique’s favorite subjects in school are Math, History and Spanish.  When she talks about her favorite teachers, she mentions Ms. Yanez, Mr. Burton, Mrs. Wright, Ms. Alexander and Mr. Corona. These teachers have always pushed her to be the best in whatever she chooses to be involved in.

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Mary Raper thanking the governing board.

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Governing Board member Patty Kennedy prestenting Mary with her award.

Support Staff of the Year- Mary Raper

Mary has been working on the Cortez campus since 1997 where she started as a bus driver. She always took an interest in the students’ accomplishments, and the students seemed to bond with her instantly.  She then applied for the attendance secretary position in 2007 and proved her expertise and willingness to learn the new process. She had an opportunity to move to another position that moved her closer to the athletes again and applied for the athletics secretary position.

Mary graduated from North High school in 1969.  Her interests include travel, and by witness, she enjoys high school sports of all types.  Mary is also active on campus in many ways.  She participated in Board Study Sessions and most recently studied the financial situation of the district by sitting on the District Revenue Committee.  She is active in helping the administration in many ways.  Some examples are setting up for school wide in-services, rooter busses, activities to celebrate our team’s successes, and many other special events.

Sheri Anderson, Assistant Principal for Operations and Resources, has this to say about Mary:  “Where does one start when it comes to describing Mary Raper?  I have worked with her for 1 ½ years at Cortez High School.  Due to Mary’s incredible knowledge, tremendous work ethic and her ability to communicate on all levels, my transition to Cortez could not have been any smoother.”



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Governing Board member Vicki Johnsons presenting the atheltic trainers with their award.

Student Group of The Year – Athletic Trainers

The Student Athletic Training Club, sponsored by Jerry Cross, promotes health and wellness and helps rehabilitate and prevent injuries for our student athletes.  They also build and model good character for others to emulate.

The group’s foundation is built on the five leaders: 

President – Bethany Thompson
Vice President– Micheal Williams
Secretary – Elan Vigil
Treasurer – Liz Rubio
Historian – Cara Butler  

The fifteen member student group participates in many activities throughout the year.  They make sure the athletes stay hydrated. They work state athletic events as well as all home games and many away games.  Mr. Cross says they work to prevent, recognize, treat, rehabilitate and evaluate athletic related injuries.  All members of the student athletic training club are certified professional rescuers through the American Red Cross.

The club’s goal and plan for the future is to create an official athletic training course offered on the campus.  The knowledge these students possess helps our entire campus.  There are times when our faculty needs physical therapy and help with injuries, and they are willing to provide the information and treatment to aid in recovery.