Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Superintendent Lori Haukeness announced Tuesday that she will retire at the end of the school year.
Haukeness has served as superintendent since 2016, capping a 27-year career with the district. The Montezuma-Cortez School Board will discuss the search for a new superintendent at its next meeting, Jan. 20.
“Above all, I am most proud of the staff that makes up the heartbeat of the district. Each and every one of you makes a difference in the lives of our students, and it is a great privilege to lead such amazing professionals,” Haukeness said in a letter to staff members.
The district touted Haukeness’ accomplishments in a statement, including improvements in student achievement, graduation, drop-out rates, financial stability and sustainability.
Over the past five years, district elementary school achievement in reading has improved by 5%, achievement in math has risen by 2%, the graduation rate has improved by 6.2% and the high school dropout rate has improved by 3.5%.
“It’s not going to be an easy job to fill those shoes,” Montezuma-Cortez school board member Lance McDaniel told The Journal. “I think she did an excellent job, considering where the district was when she started.”
Haukeness has also defended teachers, leading efforts to increase teacher salaries and improve job satisfaction.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and staff at RE-1 and for the incredible progress that we made together for our students,” Haukeness said. “I will remain a strong advocate for our schools and students and teachers in my role as a community member”.
The district board meeting on Jan. 20 will start at 7 p.m.