K.R. Scott isn’t sure how much longer he will be teaching at Mountain Pointe. But you can be sure his legacy will live on long after he’s hung it up.
A more varied background would be hard to find. Scott, who teaches social studies and sponsors more than a few clubs and organizations on campus, is an expert on oil. He spent years in the Middle East during the Gulf War working with European, Asian, and African countries on oil negotiations. His title back then was petroleum management officer.
During that time, he said he drove all over the Middle East translating orders between countries in all different languages and quantitative specifications.
“As I said back then, I use to do a lot of ‘gas passing,’” said Scott, who was there when Mountain Pointe first opened its doors 21 years ago. “I spent six weeks where the Army trained me to be an engineer. If it involved gas, I knew about it.”
When his tour was completed, he was asked by his superiors what he wanted to do next. Originally from the Southwest, Scott wanted to return there and eventually took a job running the ROTC program at Arizona State University. He had been away from his wife and kids for years and wanted to be in a more permanent spot.
“One thing I learned was that you bond with students like the way you bond with soldiers,” Scott said. “I visited 40 Valley high schools working in ROTC and after I was done, I realized I wanted to move on and teach high school.”
He recently entered his 24th year of teaching. Before coming to Mountain Pointe when it opened, Scott was teaching at McClintock High School in Tempe. But since joining Mountain Pointe more than 20 years ago, when it was the only high school in Ahwatukee Foothills, he has created after-school programs and clubs designed to engage students and prepare them for the next level.
One of those is the gifted student organization, which now has 250 members.
“It’s exciting because these kids go off and do amazing things,” he said.
Students, the majority of which are seniors, can enroll in an internship course that places them with professionals in the field of work they want to get into. Scott said he has placed students in doctor offices, veterinary offices, with lawyers, and civil engineers.
“I’m excited by the variety of professionals who make themselves available,” he said.
Scott and his wife were early residents of Ahwatukee Foothills and still call it home today.
“When we first moved here, we sort of fell in love with it,” he said. “Things were smaller and slower compared to what it is today.”
As an Army veteran, longtime teacher, and former student of Roswell High School in New Mexico, Scott has seen things and been places all over the world that many other people can only dream about. And Mountain Pointe High School has definitely benefitted from his experiences.
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