Riley McCord attended Sedona Charter School during her Lower Elementary and Middle School years, graduating in 2010. From here she went on to Sedona Red Rock High School, where she was inducted into the National Honors Society and was very active in drama; she even starred in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
Most memorable for Riley was her senior year. “I had the amazing opportunity of being selected to study abroad with the Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program. It is a highly competitive, full-scholarship program funded by the U.S. State Department. Students are sent to countries with a high Islamic population with the intent of bridging the gap between the two cultures. I lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 10 months with a host family and attended school there.”
Riley says that living in Bosnia changed her perspective on her place in the world. “It was humbling and expansive and instilled in me a need to look for experiences outside my comfort zone because that is where the most growth and learning happens.”
Now, Riley is attending the University of Colorado at Boulder as a Psychology major—and she is on the Dean’s List every semester. She says she was drawn to psychology because “I am intrigued by the many ways people develop as individuals and how that affects the way they interact on a social level. However, I am mostly interested in personal development, which is why I want to become a life coach, and help guide people in creating reaching their goals.”
Of her time at SCS, Riley says “My favorite teacher has always been Bob. I love how he tells it like it is and doesn’t treat anyone differently because they are a kid. If you respect him, he respects you and that always made sense to me.
“One of my fondest memories of SCS was participating in the Montessori Model United Nations and traveling to New York City with my classmates and teachers. That program taught me discipline and broadened my perspective. I still think of it quite often. That and the Halloween Fair. The donut station was always my favorite! Those kinds of memories really show how much effort the staff at SCS puts into making it a well-rounded and enjoyable learning experience.
“I believe that during my time at Sedona Charter School I gained the ability to stay on task and to work well with others. One of the principle concepts in Montessori is learning from your peers as well as your teachers, and I have carried that approach through all of my schooling.”