Cortez High School Recognizes Achievement Above All Recipients

Special Ceremony Recognizes CHS Teacher, Student, Support Staff Member, Student Group, and Volunteer
April 2013- The GUHSD Governing Board and Cortez High School Principal, Reid Chitwood, recently recognized Cortez High School's Achievement Above All recipients. Each school's event highlights the accomplishments and commitments of one teacher, student, support staff member, student group, and volunteer.

Omar Sultani was recognized as Cortez High School's Achievement Above All teacher recipient. Sultani is a product of Cortez himself and currently teaches Biology and Honors Biology. He is also the student council advisor and has made a great impact on his StuCo students. He has been nominated for "Advisor of the Year" by the Arizona Association of student Council State Convention. His student council group has also been named a "Council of Distinction" two years in a row. In the past, Sultani has coached both boys and girls basketball at Cortez. He is a big fan of football and loves spending time with his family. "Omar is a true professional. He works to do the best job possible, as a teacher, coach, team leader and department chair on our campus. Cortez truly benefits from his presence and contributions to the school," said Principal Chitwood of Sultani.   

Justine Hodge was recognized as Cortez High School's Achievement Above All student recipient. Hodge is involved in several extracurricular activities at school and is also in the top 1% of her class. She is a member of the swim team, National Honor Society, Math Club, and is also very involved in her church. Hodge plans to attend Arizona State University and study Secondary Education, with a focus on Math. "While being this busy, she still places working hard in school as one of her main priorities. She is truly a student leader in many ways," said Principal Chitwood of Hodge.
Diane Hayton was recognized as Cortez High School's Achievement Above All support staff recipient. Currently, she works as the one of the school's counseling secretaries. She has also worked in various other positions in the Counseling Department. Hayton also has the pleasure of working with her daughter every day, who is a guidance counselor at Cortez. She enjoys gardening, baking, and knitting. "I remember her professional attitude and mannerisms when she came in to interview for the job. She always takes an interest in doing her job correctly and efficiently," said Principal Chitwood of Hayton.  

Skills USA was recognized as Cortez High School's Achievement Above All student group recipient. The group is sponsored by Nick Wostle and Marshall Rubin. The purpose of the group is to provide student with technical work experience, such as in the fields of welding, cabinet-making, robotics, and more. The group has about 20 members, all of whom have taken part in regional competitions. The group also competed at the state level, after having high marks in the regional competition. "School spirit is projected from this group, as many have seen when visiting our campus. Their projects are embedded in the landscape, the fence by the administration office, and in artwork in the cafeteria," said Principal Chitwood of Skills USA.

Keith and Debbie Kerns were recognized as Cortez High School's Achievement Above All volunteer recipients. The Kerns are an instrumental part of the Cortez Band Parent Boosters. Mr. Kerns serves as the president and has done so for several years. Mrs. Kerns is the secretary of the group. They both are also involved in the Parent Action Club and help raise money for student scholarships by working at the school snackbars. The two are also musicians themselves, playing in the City of Glendale Summer Band for the past 25 years. "Parent like the Kerns are what make a program, school, and a community outstanding. I thank them for giving unselfishly of their time," said Principal Chitwood of the Kerns.