Cortez High School's Achievement Above All Event

Cortez High School's Achievement Above All Event
Candy Treat
Governing Board President Ian Hugh presents
Candy Treat with her award.
Candy Treat
Candy Treat has worked for GUHSD for 32 years,
which is the majority of her teaching career.

Teacher of the Year- Candy Treat

Candy Treat graduated from Edmond High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated from Central State University in 1978.  Her teaching experiences range from special education life skills, transitions math 1-6, language, and careers. 

Candy has made a great impact on the Cortez campus in many ways. During her 32 years with GUHSD, she has been a department chairperson, a resource teacher, the spirit line coach, the band auxiliary director, and a Special Olympics coach.

Outside of work, her hobbies include being a GUEA member and President of the Palm Terrace HOA, reading mysteries and sci-fi novels, and traveling, having earned her 3rd class pilot’s certificate at the age of 15.  She loves all sports especially cheer and skiing. 

She has received many honors, including being named Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2010.  Under her direction, the CHS spiritline won the AAA student group of the year in 2007. Her leadership in the band has provoked involvement for many students in one of Cortez’s finest programs.

Candy considers GUHSD to be her home away from home and has always remained loyal to the district and the schools.  Cortez Principal Reid Chitwood says, “Candy is a true professional. She works to do the best job possible, as a teacher and coach on our campus. Cortez truly benefits from her presence and contributions to the school.”

Congratulations, Candy Treat!

Rick Fields and Sonia Villa
Governing Board Member Rick Fields presents
Sonia with her award.
Sonia Villa
Sonia maintains straight As and keeps busy with
multiple clubs, sports, and activities at Cortez.

Student of the Year- Sonia Villa

Sonia Villa attended Roadrunner Elementary and Palo Verde Middle School before coming to Cortez High School. 

Sonia exemplifies all that the Achievement Above All award 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 the Cortez campus. She has been involved in varsity soccer and cross country, along with student council and the National Honor Society.  She keeps herself busy with school clubs, including ACE (Accelerated Cultural Enrichment), Dance Club, Math Club, Advanced Placement Club, and Colt Buddies. Although she keeps herself incredibly occupied, she has maintained straight As since freshman year. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at her church, planning for annual events and working with community members.

Sonia has won many awards and been involved with leadership opportunities during her tenure at Cortez. She was a scholar athlete in cross country and soccer, a girls’ state representative, and Rotary student of the month. 

In the future, Sonia plans to major in Biology at ASU and then attend medical school in Illinois to become an OBGYN.
Biology teacher and student council sponsor Mr. Sultani says that Sonia accepts nothing less than perfection and is “friendly, dedicated, determined, and always smiling.” 

Congratulations, Sonia!

Candy Box and Patty Kennedy
Governing Board Clerk Patty Kennedy presents
Candy Box with her award.
Candy Box
Candy "Colt" Box is full of Cortez pride, having
graduated from the school.

Support Staff of the Year- Candy Box

Candy Box has been working on the Cortez campus since 2007 when she was hired as the receptionist. She has a special tie to the school, having graduated from Cortez before attending Glendale Community College.

Candy always takes an interest in the faculty and students’ accomplishments, and everyone seems to bond with her instantly.  She is one of Cortez’s major supporters, even referring to herself as Candy “Colt” Box.  Now in her fifth year at Cortez, she says that her goal is to continue to make everyone feel like Cortez is their home on a daily basis.
Her hobbies include spending time with her granddaughter, traveling, playing and watching sports, and participating in outdoor activities. 

Congratulations, Candy!

Cortez Student Council and Vicki Johnson
Governing Board Member Vicki Johnson
presents the Student Council with their award.
CHS Student Council
The CHS Student Council calls themselves "the
backbone of Cortez."

Student Group of the Year- Student Council

Cortez High School’s Student Council, sponsored by Mr. Omar Sultani, aims to promote school spirit and a sense of togetherness and establish a fun and loving community regardless of anyone’s background. The group’s foundation is built upon five leaders: Zufan Yegezu, student body president; Carolyn Smith, student body vice president; Shaylan Richardson, student body chief justice; Sarah Lozano, student body secretary; and Clarissa Vargas, junior class president.

This 31 member student group participates in many activities throughout the year, including three blood drives, a canned food drive, a teacher pie toss, the special education dance, a dodge ball tournament, sports assemblies, the homecoming assembly, tailgate parties, bonfires, and pep rallies for special occasions, such as the boys soccer team winning the state championship. 

Some of the awards they have won this year are the AASC Council of Distinction award and the district leadership convention “Most Spirited” and “Most Talented” awards.  In the future, they plan to work on assemblies for spirit week, dances, prom, Mr. Cortez, a talent show, and a banquet. The group describes themselves as the back bone of Cortez.

Congratulations, Student Council!

Kristy Spinner and Pam Reicks
Governing Board Member Pam Reicks presents
Kristy Spinner with her award.
Kristy Spinner
Ms. Spinner was influenced by her parents, who
were also avid volunteers.

Volunteer of the Year- Kristy Spinner

Kristy Spinner is the mother of three juniors at Cortez who are very involved in school activities. Her sons Jeremy and Jordan both play baseball, and her daughter, Halley is in involved in many campus activities, including theater, dance and the Math Club.  Her other daughter graduated from Cortez in 2010, making Kristy a staple on Cortez’s campus for many years. 

She is heavily involved at Cortez in many ways.  Kristy is a constant positive influence on the Parent Action Committee, which takes care of endless tasks on campus.  She works all three sports seasons at games to earn money for local student scholarships. She helps the performing arts department with the theater and piano programs.  Kristy can often be seen working at sports banquets and snack bars.

Not only does Kristy volunteer at Cortez High School, but she also volunteers at her work, tutoring her students to perform well in their classes and perform well on assessments.  She is also very active with her church.

When asked why volunteering is important to her, she says she grew up with some great examples, her parents, who made volunteering a big part of growing up.  She thoroughly enjoys being a stable figure for her family and community and hopes to convey the same principles to her children.

Congratulations, Kristy!