Dr. Rebecca Rico Montaño, Class of 1960 - Educator, Community Leader, Philanthropist
Dr. Rebecca Rico Montaño has had a distinguished career as an innovative educator in the Tucson Unified School District for 36 years, developing inspiring programs for teachers to improve learning opportunities for all students.
A member of the THS Class of 1960, Dr. Montaño showed leadership abilities as an elementary teacher, reading/math tutor, Principal of a K-6 school, Director of K-3 programs, and Associate Superintendent for the divisions of teaching and learning. She completed her career as Deputy Superintendent for 63,000 students.
Dr. Montaño was recognized for 36 years of distinguished service to Arizona youth by Governor Janet Napolitano. She has been awarded Women Who Lead by the Woman Studies Advisory Council, the National Educator Award presented by the League of United Latin American Citizens, Woman of the Year by the University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni, Ernest Thompson Seton Award presented by Camp Fire Girls. She was a renowned Fellow for the I.D.E.A program at Claremont University.
Dr. Montaño has published six articles and books on teaching and learning. The articles are titled: Resiliency Characteristics of Women Leaders in Education, Leadership Seen Through Many Lenses, and Nursery Rhymes of Oral and Written Language Use. Her published books are Tapestry of Theme Study, Me Gustan Las Monta᷉ñas, and Que Susto Me Dio.
Dr. Montaño found time to be active in many civic clubs. She has been a member of Tucson Airport Authority, Pima Arts Council, Urban League, YWCA, International Mariachi Conference, La Frontera Mental Health Clinic, Tucson Reading Council, Catholic Social Services, Merilac Board, and Camp Fire Girls.
She contributes her extraordinary career to her first teachers, Alfredo and Bertha Rico, who taught her to reach for the stars and work hard to make dreams come true. Her three life coaches were her brothers. Thanks to outstanding teachers at Davis, John Spring, and THS who expanded Becky’s curiosity to learn. Her dedicated professors at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University gave her direction to pursue her advanced degree.
Dr. Montaño’s outstanding career would not have been possible without her supportive husband, Raul (THS 1954), her three loving daughters, and her two beautiful grandchildren.
October 15, 2011
Paul Strasburg was inducted into the Badger Hall of Fame in a ceremony conducted at the Viscount Hotel in Tucson. He is the first person from the class of 1960 to be inducted.
Paul was nominated by Fran Tegarden Johnson.
"Paul Strasburg, a Tucson native, was an outstanding student at THS. As a junior, he was an exchange student to Germany. He was elected to the National Honor Society, attended Boys State, and was a Business Manager for the Senior Class.
Paul graduated Magna Cum Laude in History from Stanford University receiving the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding contribution to undergraduate education and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, Paul spent two years in the Peace Corps in Thailand . Upon his return, he attended the Yale Law School and went on to Princeton University, receiving his MPA in 1969.
The Ford Foundation in NYC hired Paul as a Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean where he monitored grants in education, agriculture and rural development, developing the Foundation's first program of grants in human nutrition.
From 1974-79, Paul worked with the Vera Institute of Justice in NYC, establishing a job development program for ex-addicts and ex-offenders. He also directed Vera's Paris office, conducting research in conjunction with the French Ministry of Justice and was awarded the Medaille Penitentiare by the Ministry.
As Assistant to the Mayor of New York, he created the City's Department of Juvenile Justice, responsible for detention of arrested juveniles through disposition of their cases and served as its first Commissioner.
In the 1980's and 90's, as Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Volunteers in Asia, Paul developed the first American volunteer program in Vietnam following the war. Paul was the Founder/Board Chairman of the nonprofit organization, International Development Exchange, which provides support to local community development projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Recently he was Board Chair for International Rivers in Berkeley, CA, which protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them.
Paul is a Founding Member of the Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative, dedicated to protecting the forest environment and supporting local economy.
Paul has two children and two grandchildren and is married to Terry Saracino. He retired and lives in both western Massachusetts and Denver."