After over two decades with the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1, Dan Porter is retiring from education.
The assistant superintendent and human resources director said his departure from the district is bittersweet, but he will remain a strong advocate for Cortez students. Next week is his last official week with the school district.
“Our community can only grow as far as our schools grow,” he said.
He will work at Ertel Funeral Home, which he said is “more of a calling than it is a job.”
Porter has held a wide array of positions within Re-1, including paraprofessional, counselor, principal at Lewis-Arriola and Pleasant View elementaries, along with Beech Street Kindergarten, director of human resources, and assistant superintendent. He also has coached football, track and basketball at all levels.
In addition to his Re-1 career, Porter taught and worked in Dove Creek, Dolores School District Re-4A and Fort Collins.
He also attended Cortez schools himself.
“They gave me the opportunity to go to school and be successful in college and come back and work for them,” he said. “And so I am truly a product of our school system. So I’ve always been very proud of that.”
Porter said he will remain a stalwart support of education in the community, including as the Montezuma-Cortez district seeks to pass a mill levy override in November.
“When it comes to trying to get more money for teachers and being a cheerleader for the school system, I’ll always be that person,” he said. “Because I’ve been on the inside, and I know what it’s like to try to recruit 30 teachers a year. Because we don’t pay well enough.”
At the most recent school board meeting on Aug. 20, Porter was recognized for his years with a plaque.
“This is a small token of the board and the district’s appreciation for all of your loyalty and time and energy that you have spent in the district,” Superintendent Lori Haukeness told Porter.
He thanked the board and staff, and told them he would always be around. “A lot of us have been through a lot of fire together,” Porter said.
A retirement party for Porter is scheduled at Lewis-Arriola Elementary School on Thursday, Aug. 29 from 5-6 p.m.