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Great Expectations for Teaching and Learning


The Mancos School District's new superintendent, Todd Cordrey, wants to ensure that all students graduate prepared to pursue the next level of education or work in their dream job. Sponsored by Keesee Motor Company and Big-O Tires of Cortez


New Mancos superintendent Todd Cordrey has big plans for the small school district he leads. You're watching the local news network brought to you by Keesee Motors and Big O Tires. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. You might say it's all his daughter's fault. Mancos superintendent Todd Cordrey had been a finance and real estate professional when his daughter enrolled in first grade and he decided to volunteer at her school. He was hooked serving first on the school accountability committee then as a member of the Brighton Colorado Board of Education for eight years. He decided to switch careers after those experiences. And he spent the past 17 years as a teacher and adjunct professor teaching educational leadership. And executive director of a charter school and as a superintendent. Cordrey says, "Moving to Mancos is like moving back home."

Wow, this is a great place. It feels like home. The people are really nice and they there's just a sense of familiarity. I was born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico. So the, the Mancos Cortez Durango area felt very familiar to me. We used to come up to Purgatory for our family ski trips or to Monarch Ski Valley for our Christmas family ski trip. And so we are very, it felt very right.

The Mancos school board, administrators and teachers agreed two years ago to adopt a strategic educational plan built entirely on project based learning. A commitment that aligns with Cordrey's own ideas about teaching and learning.

We're going to prepare our kids to be successful once they leave us. We want to deliver them successfully to that next place in their life. You know, we want to actually make sure they get to that job that's their dream job. And we can do that by actively engaging them in meaningful rigorous projects that fulfill all the state standards, but also give them a love for learning and a passion for learning and something that's dynamic and fun for them to do.

Cordrey hopes to involve more community members this year to help develop real life learning projects for students. Toward that end, he's hired Meagan Higinbotham as the new Project Based Learning Outreach Coordinator to develop community school partnerships. She will work with Project Based Learning Director, Ed Whritner, who coordinates curriculum design and professional development for teachers and administrators. Already a high-performing district, Mancos had a graduation rate of 94% in spring 2021, but Cordrey and the school board want even more for their students.

One of the goals we're talking about is that a hundred percent of our seniors graduate with a scholarship, a hundred percent of our seniors graduate a hundred percent of our seniors graduate with either concurrent enrollment credits or a certificate program. So those are the targets we have for our students. Yeah. And those are great. And we just are excited about that.

Mancos schools enrolled just over 450 students. If you'd like to learn more about the educational goals or project-based learning in Mancos Schools, visit Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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