In 1960, construction began on a cotton field located at 31st Avenue and Dunlap Avenue. Named after Hernando Cortez, the Spanish conqueror, Cortez High School was officially opened in September of 1960. There was a faculty of 28 for 583 students. Dr. Max Kaslo was the first principal. The Cortez boundaries in 1960 stretched from Bell Road and 19th Avenue to Northern Avenue and 43rd Avenue. The boundaries receded through the years with the building of new schools.