ADAMS State has always been a teacher’s college, and continues to produce outstanding teachers and administrators. The university also recognizes the lifelong accomplishments of the teachers it produces through its Educators Hall of Fame, which can be found inside McDaniel Hall on campus.
The 10th Annual Adams State University Educators Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 was on June 7. Here is a list of the most recent inductees, including, posthumously, Dennis Lopez, Adams State Class of 1974 and 1978.
Tamara “Tami” Fassett received her bachelor’s degree from Adams State College in 1990. Tami taught middle school and one class of high school English at Center Schools, and also taught high school English and theater at Monte Vista High School. During her tenure at MVHS, she directed 40 productions and continued sponsoring and directing the plays for years following her retirement in 2008.
Bobby Jones earned an Adams State Bachelor of Arts in 1973 and served as an industrial arts educator at the secondary level for 29 years. His best memories are of students who had gone on in woodworking.
Patricia Langston graduated in 1964 from Adams State with a master’s degree and dedicated her professional career to teaching home economics, marriage and family living, and child care and development for 35 years. At Alamosa High School she sponsored the Future Homemakers of America (FHA) and several of her students became state and national officers. The FHA club ran the concession stand at football and basketball games, often selling treats made in class. She received her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Women’s College in 1951.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts from Adams State in 1977, Carey Sanchez later received a master’s from the University of Northern Colorado in1988, and a master’s from the University of Phoenix (Denver) in 1997. Sanchez treasures many wonderful memories in her 44-year career. Highlights include students who were inspired and excited about the books they read, the Bronco stats and geography that students worked on every Monday morning, classes listening to music (mostly the Beatles) playing in the background as they did their tasks, and field trips to Washington, DC.
For more than 31 years, Carol Sessums taught at Sangre de Cristo High School, earning many awards and honors including 1996 New Vocation Education Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association on Career & Technical Education (CACTE), 2004 Colorado Business Educator of the Year,; 2008 Sangre de Cristo’s Teacher of the Year and SLV Educators Outstanding Teacher, 2015 Mountain-Plains Business Education Association (M-PBEA) Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2008 Donald L. Moore Leadership Award from Colorado Business and Marketing Educators Association, 2019 M-PBEA Leadership Award, 2009 Colorado Adviser of the Year. She also was inducted into the 2011 National Future Business Leaders of America Adviser Wall of Fame. Sessums received her Adams State B.A. in 1983 and M.A. degree in 1991.
Over the course of his career, Kurt Cary was involved in education at all grade levels and coached baseball, football and wrestling. He earned his Adams State Bachelor of Arts in 1971 and Master of Arts in 1978. He dedicated more than 40 years to education.
In 1973, John Goss graduated with his Adams State bachelor’s degree and in 1989 received a master’s degree from Western State College. As an educator for 46 years, he earned several awards and honors including 1991 Creede Schools Outstanding Teacher Award, 2002 Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Award (Nominated by Boettcher Scholar), 2005 Adams State President’s Honor Society (Lifetime Membership), 2018 Demont Award (recognizing administrators in districts with fewer than 1500 students).
For several years, Dennis Lopez, Adams State Class of 1974 and 1978; was master of ceremonies for the Adams State Educators Hall of Fame. His unexpected passing in February 2022 was a great shock to his community. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame (posthumously). He had 27 years of educational service. He began his teaching career at Alamosa High School, became associate principal in 1993 and principal of AHS and the Open High School from 1998 through 2002. He was also the secondary principal at Sierra Grande School District. In his professional capacity as an educator, he was a member of the Alamosa Education Association and National Education Association. Lopez also earned a type D principal/administrator certificate from the University of Denver.
Matthew Mann (posthumous) dedicated his professional career to education. He earned an Adams State bachelor’s degree in 1994. He earned his M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from Texas A & M, Kingsville. Mann secured his first teaching position in the Sierra Grande School District. He continued as a public school teacher after moving to Texas. He later became an assistant principal and principal at Pleasanton High School before being named superintendent in 2015. Mann wrote his doctoral dissertation on the relationship between school district size and science performance. He presented at national and state level educational conferences and published four articles on educational topics.
Clinton Tucker spent 31 years in the field of education, 15 as an educator and 16 as an administrator. He graduated from Adams State with a bachelor’s degree in 1968 and master’s in 1974. Tucker started his educational career teaching and coaching for Sanford School District, as well as Alamosa High School and North Conejos School District. He served as the principal for the North Conejos School District for 16 consecutive years. He served on the committee for the Conejos County Child Protection Team for 16 years. He is most proud of his part in the construction and implementation of a curriculum and program for Centauri Middle School.
After earning his B.A. from Adams State in 1968, Melvin Yates returned to receive his M.A. degree in 1974. During his 43 years in education Yates was named District 1 Superintendent of the Year twice in Oklahoma. He was president of the Northwest Oklahoma School Administrators Association, and served on the Oklahoma Association School Administrators Board of Directors, the Oklahoma State School Board Association Board of Directors, the OCAS (OK Cost Accounting System) and the Oklahoma State Superintendent’s Advisory Council. He was a member of the Oklahoma School Administrators Association and Cooperative Council of School Administrators.
Edward Richmond (posthumous) graduated from the Chicago Conservatory in 1949 with his B.A. degree followed by his M.A. degree in 1954. He was an educator for 28 years. The admiration and appreciation of his students is evidenced by the establishment of the Adams State Richmond Memorial Scholarship for music students, established by donations from his former students, as well as the memorial concert his students organized and performed after his passing. Very early in his career he directed the Michigan State Men’s Glee Club. The Glee Club was one of the premier organizations of its kind in the country, appearing on both the Ed Sullivan show and the Dinah Shore show, and regularly touring nationally.
PHOTO: The latest class of educators inducted into the Adams State Educators Hall of Fame include, left to right, Melvin Yates, Kurt Cary, Clinton Tucker, Carey Sanchez; Sara Mann, accepting on behalf of her deceased husband, Matthew Mann; Tamara Fassett, Carol Sessums, John Goss; and Don Richmond, accepting on behalf of his deceased father, Edward Richmond. Not pictured, Bobby Jones and Dennis Lopez, posthumous.