Molly Orr, a third generation educator, brings skills and talents to PUSD’s Early College Program, which enables high school students to earn college credits

By Tara Fort • Photo by Trisha Shaffer

Director of Prescott Unified School District’s (PUSD) Early College Program, Molly Orr, has roots through her family’s three-generation heritage and contributions to the Prescott area education system. With a grandmother who was an educator in Arizona and California and a father who taught math at Prescott High School (PHS) from the 60s to the 90s, Molly said, “We don’t have buildings named after us, but my family has had a positive influence on this community since Arizona was just a territory!”

As Early College Program Director, Molly originally had the responsibility of creating a brand-new program for the pilot curriculum, coordinating between two school entities to provide a meaningful and successful experience for students. The program, located on the campus of Yavapai College, is designed for PHS seniors (and juniors starting the following year) to fulfill their graduation requirements by taking Yavapai College classes which earns them college credits toward their postsecondary degree plan.

Molly explained, “Currently, we have two high school students who will graduate with a community college associate degree. In this refreshing role, I blend my professional and personal skills by encouraging students to take on the challenge of college, plan course schedules to best benefit each student’s goals, and guide them through the college admission processes.”

That may sound like a full plate in itself, but Molly added, “My absolute favorite part of my job is when I do weekly check-ins with each student. I get to celebrate their successes and help them navigate areas that need attention. I have been called the Early College ‘Mom’ more than once, and that is a role I take to heart.”

An PUSD educator since 2002, Molly recognizes that the level of care and professionalism all employees from every department give to all students sets the district apart. “We all put our hearts and souls into ensuring the overall success of every student.”

Superintendent Joe Howard stated, “Molly Orr has been a vital part of PUSD since the days when she served as the PHS Badger Mascot!  She has contributed in many capacities including being one of the best math teachers in the district, a counselor, an English Language Teacher and more.  She has affected countless lives of students and adults over the years.  Her new role in our Yavapai College Early College program might be the very best fit yet. Molly deeply understands every step of the K-12 process and how it relates to moving students successfully into college and career. She is the perfect teacher, mentor, advisor for this group of kids, and she takes care of them as if they were her own children.”

For more information about Molly Orr and the Prescott Unified School District, visit