Dear Cortina Families,

    Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year!  I am so thrilled to continue serving the Cortina community as your principal.  With over 20 years experience, I have served in a variety of roles, from being a paraprofessional, a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, a dean, and an assistant principal.  Each role has provided me with the opportunity to grow and continue learning while challenging myself both personally and professionally.  Working at Cortina is such a joy, as I get to spend my days with the most kind-hearted and curious students, supportive parents, and an incredibly talented and dedicated staff. 
    I am confident that your child(ren)'s experience at Cortina will be nothing short of the best.  Our approach to working with you and your child will be based on collaboration and a focused commitment towards student growth and success.  When students enter our doors, they will be valued, encouraged, and engaged in meaningful learning that meets their individual needs. As a staff, we believe that high expectations, integrity, connections, and accountability for ourselves and for our students are what contribute to a successful school experience.  We are driven to support learning that creates confident, inquisitive learners who are empowered to think critically, solve problems, and who demonstrate compassion and kindness towards others.
    As an Arizona native, I appreciate the beauty that our state has to offer, but I also enjoy traveling and adventuring around to discover new places with my husband.  During my free time, I can be found exercising, gardening, playing the violin, trying new places to eat, traveling, reading, and relaxing with friends, family and our fur baby.

    My door is always open.  While we take pride in the work that we do, we continuously seek ways to improve. As a partner in this work, your input and feedback matter.  I sincerely welcome you to contact me about celebrations or concerns you may have at any point during the school year. When we work together and share open communication, your child's educational experience will be enhanced. 
    I look forward to being able to greet students and their families at Meet the Teacher on July 20, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  It is going to be an incredible school year!  Let's go, Tigers!!

    Kelly Papke


    Committed to being a positive, connected community that inspires, encourages, engages and empowers all learners.