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2023 Celebrating Excellence in Education winner

Cortney Woodruff is a 2000 Maize High School graduate and believes Maize is her home. When she began to teach for Maize USD 266 15 years ago, she was excited to come back and pour into the music program that shaped who she is today. “Being part of the vocal program as a student launched me into my music major,” she said. “Doris Prater and Karen Sims took me under my wing when I started at Maize, and I will be forever grateful.”

Inside her music room, she enjoys watching her students come together for a common goal, whether that is performing on stage or in their Holiday Tours, which makes her heart full. For her, music and choir ignite and forge relationships that create growth year-round.  

Maize Middle School Principal Marney Hay said, “She’s a passionate educator who puts her heart and soul into teaching the choir program at Maize Middle School. “She nurtures the whole student body, building a community of students who care about music, which has paid off through achievements and honors.” 

Cortney hopes her students always remember they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to. “I love being part of their journey, musically and in life,” she said. “It’s the little moments, like when students become comfortable in performing, creating friendships, and giving back to the community that make me excited for the opportunity to be part of this program.”