Reps. Bandy and Montoya with representatives from Aztec School District. Courtesy photo
SANTA FE — This morning, the House of Representatives honored Aztec High School employees Emery Hill and Kathleen “Katie” Potter for their brave actions to protect students after a disturbed shooter entered the school and began firing a weapon.
Hill and Potter were formally recognized in House Memorial 98 sponsored by Rep. Paul Bandy (R-Aztec), Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), Rep. James Strickler (R-Farmington), and Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage (R-Kirtland).
Hill, a custodian at Aztec High School, sent an active shooter radio alert to administrators, teachers, and students, notifying them of the danger and prompting them to quickly lock down the school.
Potter, a substitute teacher, gathered 17 students in a small office next to the school’s computer lab and barricaded the door with a sofa. The shooter entered the computer lab and began firing at the walls, but thanks to Ms. Potter’s quick actions, no one was hit.
“We owe Emery Hill and Katie Potter a huge debt of gratitude for their quick thinking to alert the school to the situation and guide students to safety,” Rep. Bandy said. “When our kids were in danger, they acted to save lives. The State of New Mexico thanks them for their bravery and courage.”
The superintendent for the Aztec Municipal School District, Kirk Carpenter, as well as Aztec School Board members Wayne Ritter, Roger Collins, Ryan Lane, Frank Dobey, and Jimmy Dusenbery attended today’s ceremony on the House floor. Mr. Hill’s parents, Vern and Jerilyn Hill, were also present.
Last night, the House of Representatives unanimously approved Rep. Bandy’s House Bill 130 to set aside $25 million over the next five years for schools to use on security projects and upgrades. The bill is awaiting Senate action.