Lee Cortez is the newest Pahrump Valley High School Booster Club president who will be taking over for Denise Arceo. Arceo ran the club for two years and said she left the boosters to travel more with her family.
Cortez and her husband Ray have been in the town for about eight years. Her husband Ray is a union carpenter and helps run Hero Bail Bonds with his wife. Lee also has been heavily involved with helping Ray with Tiny Mites football and Pahrump Valley Junior Trojans Wrestling club.
Lee loves the opportunity athletics gives kids in their teens. She believes sports is a way to keep kids out of trouble. All four of her kids have played one kind of sport or another. She believes having extracurricular activities is good for the kids.
“It has been proven that kids who have this and have parents involved in their high school and middle school years are more confident and carry themselves differently. The graduation rates are higher and the kids are more apt to go to college. It’s like a 60-percent increase when you see the parents and the community involved with these kids,” the president said.
She would like the club to be used as a tool to help get kids through high school and said if sports is the way that kids have chosen to get through school then let it work.
Lee would like to bring some change to the boosters starting mainly in the fall. She said the PVHS has a unique booster club because it works hand-in-hand with the athletic department and the athletic director.
According to Athletic Administrator Chris Brockman, the job of the booster club is to get the community support and to raise funds to be used in different facets of the PVHS Athletic Department.
“At most high schools that is not the way it works, it’s kind of its own entity. I and the Trojans Athletic Department would like to see more community involvement in the sports we have out here to have more parents seen at the games,” Lee said.
Lee wants to make the club more of a club.
“I want to model it after my old school where there was more parental involvement. So, I am changing it now to get the parents involved. I think it is important for the parents to be in involved,” Lee said. She hopes to have meetings in the fall for parents who want to give some input to the school.
Right now the booster club is being run on the old model where it’s just Lee and the athletic director. Lee said she graduated from Indian Springs, which is a small high school and their booster club was a big influence. She is hoping the Trojans Booster Club can be too.
“Everybody was involved in it and everybody knew everybody. I think the bigger schools lose that. I want to make sure that these kids that are out there, whether they are academically phenomenal or are student athletes, are recognized. It’s sad that we see cutbacks in the schools everywhere, whether it is secretaries or teachers. So, the fact that we can be there to help out is huge to me. I love being part of something like that. I want to help them expand the booster club and to have these kids see their parents’ faces more often,” she explained.
Lee has a big vision for the booster club. She has it doing so much more than just running the concessions.
“We might want to have members pay a fee and you would get a T-shirt and you will have something unique to you that separates you from the other parents. You will have a sense of belonging,” Lee said.
The new president wants parents to have a voice.
“If you do come to a booster club meeting and tell me that boys basketball needs new uniforms, but the athletic department says there is no money, you can approach me about this,” she said.
If you would like to help the boosters in the fall, contact Lee through the athletic department at the high school.