HCISD’s Person of the Week: Cortez puts others first for HCISD

Rachel Cortez strives every day to help others. Whether it’s her children or teachers she is always on the look on how to make difference.

Cortez, the Director of Employee Benefits and Risk Management, and her department are charged with helping HCISD employees with a range of issues related to their benefits. She helps promote health awareness, and is heavily involved with the Wellness Committee. With her work, she coordinates events and initiatives that keep administrators, teachers and staff healthy for the classroom.

“We try to keep a fun perspective, and have everyone enjoy each other’s company,” Cortez said. “Depending on the event, it’s also a time when campuses can come together.”

There’s never a dull moment, but it’s all worth it when she sees that she has helped someone in any way, she said. She enjoys being able to interact with almost everyone across the district.

Cortez has been with HCISD for 20 years, and throughout that time she has continued with her education to receive her bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She is currently working towards continuing her passion for mathematics by perusing a master’s degree in the subject at the University of Texas – Brownsville.  Prior to her current position, she worked in the payroll department. She tries to bring mathematical knowledge to any job she does, she said.

“Nothing is impossible,” Cortez said. “It’s never too late to follow your dreams.”

With her actions everyday, she hopes to be a positive role model to her daughter, she said. During her spare time, she balances her family life with her assignments for the mathematics program. Like she encourages others to remain active, she stays busy by gardening.

“It’s a stress reliever for me,” Cortez said. “Everybody has their own method of relaxing. For me, it’s getting out there to plant flowers and repot plants.”

Cortez hopes to keep helping people in whatever she does, and looks forward to what each day will bring.

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