Hello! My name is Marcus Ortiz. I am a school counselor and relocated from Colorado to Arizona. I have worked with youth in various capacities prior to becoming a school counselor. I was a program manager at Alamosa Boys and Girls Club; I worked as a restorative justice coordinator in a school setting; and I was the varsity head coach of the boys basketball team at my previous school. I have a passion for working with youth and teaching them skills to help them navigate the world better.

I became a school counselor because I love teaching kids the various skills needed to feel whole. As I reflect on my own childhood and upbringing, there was minimal emphasis on the skills needed to better assist with building friendships, getting through difficult situations, and becoming the best version of myself. I believe these under-taught skills along with skills such as conflict resolution and coping strategies are incredibly important. Building emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and empathy can be life changing.

I chose SVA because of their deep appreciation and celebration of diversity and inclusion and their clear focus on teaching and supporting the whole child. I am passionate about supporting and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am thrilled to be at SVA as it is evident we share these same passions.

I was born in Germany (military family), however, my roots are in North Carolina. My hobbies consist of anything sports related and/or competitive. Basketball is my first love, but over the course of the last few years I have grown a deep love for golf. I love being active and spending time with my fiancé and three beautiful kids.

These are some of my favorite quotes.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”-Maya Angelou

“Kids don’t do well if they want, they do well if they can.” -Dr. Ross W. Greene