Academy of the Redwoods

AR Alumni Spotlight

AR Alumni Spotlight


       Cortney Kingery-Ragan  - Class of 2010


What recent accomplishment or achievement do you want to share? 

I now work as a 9th grade ELA teacher at an Early College High School here in Killeen, TX. We just had our inaugural class graduation in May 2019 and we were named an Honor Roll School by the Educational Results Partnership out of just 855 schools in Texas for the 2018-2019 school year. My husband Nathan and I also bought our first home in November of 2018.


How did AR prepare you for your current situation? Did a specific person or class have an impact on your education or career path?

My sophomore year, Mr. Steve Irwin was my English teacher. He is the reason I am an English teacher today. He showed me that English class was a place where students learn to think critically, ask hard questions, and communicate with peers intellectually about important topics. He didn't shy away from talking about propaganda, political corruption, civic duty, etc. with teens. He knew we were the future and he treated every class period like it mattered. Because it did. Thanks to him, and the environment of the AR model, I flourished academically but also as a person.



What advice, if any, would you give to a current  AR student about following their dreams or pursuing their passions?

My advice is that you can never plan enough. Having a specific plan, with the aspects of the SMART goal model (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) will always serve you well. At the same time, that plan needs to be flexible and fluid because life will send you curveballs. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to exploring your options and finding solutions.

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