The Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 is gearing up for election season and settling the dust after a summer of construction.
At its latest regular meeting Sept. 17, the Cortez school board talked over facilities, stadium upgrades and the school board election. It also heard a few presentations from the community and staff, including one on an upcoming college readiness week.
The discussions come as they ramp up the campaign for the November election, which includes a proposed property tax increase to raise teacher salaries.
Panthers StadiumAfter a summer of safety and facilities upgrades throughout the district, the Panther Stadium project is getting closer to completion.
The althletics track is receiving final touches, Re-1 Superintendent Lori Haukeness said Tuesday, adding that two district art teachers would paint the school logo.
Empire Electric Association also gave the district $16,000 rebate for the stadium’s LED lights, she said.
District administrators reported that the newly installed Raptor visitor management system is working well. Through the Raptor system, visitors submit their driver’s license at the front desk, to have a computer perform a sort of background check, screening for sex offenders and notifying staff of child custody violations.
Montezuma-Cortez Middle School Principal Katherine Ott said the system’s police notification system already has proved helpful: Police officers recently handled a conflict between parents at the middle school.
Other upgrades also are seeing success, according to administrators.
“At Kemper, it feels so much more secure with that entryway and the big foyer and high visibility,” said Jamie Haukeness, principal at Kemper Elementary School and director of maintenance and security in the district.
Board election is in NovemberIn November, voters will elect a new school board.
However, it should remain largely the same, since no one is challenging incumbents Tammy Hooten from District E, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk from District D, Lance McDaniel from District A and Sherri Wright from District C.
Kara Suckla, currently representing District G, does not plan to seek reelection, and no candidate has announced plans to run for her seat.
Wright is running for a four-year term, while all other candidates are seeking two-year terms.
“I’d like to publicly thank everyone for their willingness to stay on the board and re-running,” Superintendent Haukeness told the board Tuesday night. “It’s a very large responsibility, and it takes a lot of time.”
GEAR UP WeekTai Rogers presented on National GEAR UP Week, which started Monday at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which run through the Colorado Department of Higher Education, aim to support kids and prepare them for post-secondary schooling. Although the program is open to all, it targets low-income or first-generation students, Rogers said.
He is on campus every day working with the high school students enrolled in the program. The program helps students with academics, career exploration and college visits, but it isn’t intended to replace counseling services, he said.
The program operates through a seven-year federal grant that was awarded to 15 high schools throughout the state, according to Rogers. This is the second year of the program in Re-1.
As part of the week’s celebrations, M-CHS teachers will spend time speaking about their collegiate experiences, having students share their aspirations and dreams, and hosting a Dress for Success day, where students are encouraged to come to school in professional attire.
Coming upMary Jo Standard, from the School Community Youth Collaborative, spoke about Teen Maze, a health fair for middle school youths. The event is scheduled for Nov. 12-14 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.The board’s next meeting will be Oct. 22 at the high school library. This will be its annual Indian Policies and Procedures meeting, focusing specifically on the progress of Native American students.ealvero @the-journal.com