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MCSD Office of the Superintendent

Welcome to the Montezuma-Cortez School District
Office of the Superintendent

You can contact us at (970) 565-7522


The Superintendent is the only employee hired directly by the school board. The superintendent is not a member of the board itself but functions as the CEO with general supervision of the school system. Hired as the professional educational advisor on policy development and other aspects of education, the superintendent implements the policies the board adopts, while assuring that all decisions are made with the best interests of students in mind.

  • Develops long-range strategic plans
  • Determines the overall needs of the district including instructional programs and operations
  • Maintains a continuous study of current problems/concerns and develops plans to provide continuous improvement
  • Prepares the annual budget for board consideration
  • Prepares and submits all state and federal applications and reports
  • Ensures that professional development opportunities are available for district employees
  • Recommends the appointment and termination of all personnel
  • Develops a public relations program in order to facilitate optimal community communication and support
  • Determines emergency discontinuance of schools
  • Prepares the agenda for each meeting including the superintendent report of the district


Dr. Risha VanderWey


Learn more about Superintendent VANDERWEY

Hello Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Staff and Faculty:

Welcome to the start of the 2021-2022 school year.  I want to thank you for being a part of the Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 family!  My name is Risha VanderWey, and I am your new superintendent.  I am looking forward to meeting you in your school and/or building as the year progresses. I have recently moved to the community from Arizona.  I have been a superintendent for a little over seven years.  Prior to that, I was a teacher, principal and instructional coach.  I am excited to share my experiences and expertise with you all.   Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 has updated the Citizens Guide to re-opening.  The original Citizen’s Guide was developed in coordination with Governor Polis’s Office, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Department of Public Health, CHSAA and Montezuma County Department of Public Health.  On behalf of the Board of Educators and the Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 the Citizen’s Guide has been revised for the 2021-2022 school year with the primary goal to provide a healthy and safe environment for in person instruction for our staff and students.  The Citizen’s Guide, which can be found on the website, has been adapted and modified as needed based off of public health recommendations.  Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 highly recommends the use of multiple and varied strategies in order to combat Coronavirus-19 variants.  Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 recommends masking, constant use of sanitizer, social distancing and frequent hand washing.  The positive Coronavirus-19 cases have dramatically declined due to personal safety precautions and vaccinations.  Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 is excited to open our doors to our staff, students, parents and community members with the Citizens Guide as a document to serve as a framework for our operational procedures for re-opening our schools.  

As we adjust to the new year and as we open our doors to our students I want to thank you for your hard work, professionalism and compassion for the families that we serve.  I look forward to meeting with you and working with you. Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Healthy!

Thank you, 

Dr. Risha VanderWey 
Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 

There is an elected member (also called a Director) representing each of the 7 districts in Montezuma Cortez RE-1 district. They hire and oversee the superintendent and work to provide for & maintain our schools.
The superintendent is hired by the school board to manage overall operations, legal requirements and other functions as described below for the school district.

Principals report to the Superintendent, manage staff and the student body as well as day-today operations of the school. 

Teachers report to the principal. They are the backbone of our educational system and the first point of contact for parents to address questions or concerns.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.