Dr. Cort Monroe takes position of superintendent


Cait Bunkers, Spotlight editor

After a six month search, the CCUSD Governing Board announced that Dr. Cort Monroe will be taking over as Superintendent for Dr. Debbi Burdick when she retires in January. Cort was one of three finalists for the job.

“I’m really excited to come see all the schools and stop by classrooms and get started… you guys really do inspire excellence,” said Monroe.

Cort comes from Queen Creek Unified School District, where he was most recently the Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning.

Monroe grew up in Southern California, attended Ocean Beach High School and then earned his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University. Additionally, he holds a Master’s and Doctorate degree from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, respectively.

As one of a few finalists, Cort was unsure whether or not he would get the job.

“I was out at lunch with my wife, and said, ‘I don’t know if it’s going to happen,’ and as soon as I left, Kathryn Hill [Governing Board President] called me and told me, ‘you know, we enjoyed our time with you,’ [and that’s] when I found out I got the job,” Monroe said.

The Superintendent’s roles range from implementing the governing board’s decisions to hiring staff members. While students do not often interact regularly with the Superintendent, the direction taken has a big impact on their lives.

“I’m hoping Dr. Monroe pays attention to what’s going on in the schools, someone who visits them… what Debbi Burdick already did,” said Adeline Schottel, a junior.

Community involvement is vital to the Superintendent. In past years, Burdick was very visible to students, and has regularly attended Rock the District, various charity events, and spelling bees. The community has become used to seeing the superintendent at school events, and many look forward to the new superintendent continuing this tradition.

“[I hope the new superintendent will] pay attention to all the sports… and get along with everyone,” said Sierra LaBuwi, a sophomore basketball player.

Monroe has attended a Governing Board meeting and a Superintendent’s Student Cadre/Community Council joint meeting to get a feel for the way those work. He plans to continue leading the Student Cadre and Community Council, two groups led by the Superintendent as a way to receive direct feedback from the community.

“Your leadership as students is inspirational and I look forward to working with and learning from you,” Monroe said.

Taking on a new job in the middle of a pandemic presents some unique challenges. He has experience developing COVID-19 protocols for Queen Creek Schools, meaning it will not be the first time he has to do it.

“I’m really proud of our response at Queen Creek… as the first school to reopen I think we came up with some really good protocols,” Monroe said.

Overall, he looks forward to beginning the new job and getting involved in the community.