MONTE VISTA— “I’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Jose Ortega, who was recently hired as the new Monte Vista High School principal. “Scott [Wiedeman] was here for a long time and he did a lot of good things. Hopefully we can continue to grow academically and maintain the positive school culture that’s here.”
Monte Vista schools and its positive culture is one of the reasons Ortega wanted to work here as their principal. “I think Monte Vista schools are a great place to work. Especially with the new administration coming forward it’s going to be a really great place to work.” Ortega said.
Ortega grew up in the Valley and went to school at Alamosa for kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduating high school he went to the University of Colorado and then finished his college career at Adams State. “I never wanted to be a teacher,” Ortega said. He was going to Adams State to get his masters in health physical education and recreation when a job at the Ortega Middle School opened up for a health teacher. He applied and got the job.
His first day of teaching was his first time ever being in a classroom as a teacher. “After that I caught the teaching bug.” Ortega remembered. He started teaching special education and ESL (English as a second language) and became the special education teacher for Ortega Middle School. He taught there for four years. After that he went to Center where he taught special education for a year. Then he went back to Alamosa High School as a special education teacher. During his time there he also became the football coach and PE teacher. While he was the PE teacher he also became the athletic director for the middle school.
That’s when his teaching career ended and he got his start in administration. He went on to become the dean of students at Alamosa Elementary School for five years. He left in 2017. For the last year he’s been in business helping to run Woody’s Q Shack.
When asked what he hoped to achieve in his new role as principal, Ortega said, “I think we can expand on some things. I’d really like to add more concurrent enrollment and more dual enrollment classes so Monte Vista kids have more opportunities academically and vocationally.” Ortega feels that this next school year is going to be a good year. “The team that’s built, they’re going to make it a great year for us.”
As he goes into this first year as principal of Monte Vista High School Ortega said, “I’m here to help. I’m definitely looking to build onto what’s already a great structure.”