I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 133 graduates from Montezuma Cortez High School and Southwest Open School. I am incredibly proud of all of the hard work that our students have put forward to achieve this milestone and of all the hard work and support provided by our teachers and administrators to make this possible.
I would also like to recognize the support that parents, grandparents, and families have provided our students to support them reaching this goal.
High school graduation is an important milestone and truly represents a gateway for our students to be able to move forward and pursue their passions and life goals - whether that be attending college in the fall, joining the military or entering the workforce.
Last year 35 percent of our graduating seniors chose to attend a four-year college, 21 percent chose to attend a two-year college and 3 percent chose to pursue career and technical education. This year, we hope to exceed the number of students pursuing higher educational opportunities.
Our goal is to ensure every one of our students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to pursue their dreams and goals in life.
As a district, we also continue to expand opportunities for students to explore their interests and develop their dreams while they are still in high school. These opportunities include individualized support to develop and explore their interests through the graduation pathways.
These pathways include opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school, opportunities to explore and train for a variety of potential careers through our Career and Technical Educational (CTE) program, and support from teachers and advisors to explore other careers and areas of interest to students. This past year alone, M-CHS students earned over 1,000 college credits and saved over $135,694 in college tuition by taking college classes offered through the school. We also had approximately 250 students participate in our CTE programs including culinary arts, fire science, agricultural science, auto body, welding, emergency medical services and more.
As a parent, I had the privilege of attending my son’s college graduation this month. As I watched him walk across the stage, I was reminded of his walk across the graduation stage in Cortez and was grateful yet again for the education he received at M-CHS to prepare him to pursue his dreams.
Working together as parents, students, teachers, and district leaders, we have increased our graduation rate by over 20 percent in the past five years.
Together, we are ensuring that all our students can graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their dreams.
Congratulations again to our graduating seniors. We are so proud of you and look forward to watching you soar.
Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at email@example.com. Education Update appears in The Journal on the fourth Friday of the month.