Educators inducted into Hall of Fame


group photo of all recognized

Adams State University Educator's Hall of Fame Class of 2015 includes (left to right) back row: Pete Ortega (representing Isaac P. Ortega), John Marvel (accepting for Dr. John Marvel), Dr. Kay O. Watkins, Sharon Turpin, Manny Wasinger, Norman Roberts (accepting for Dr. Joe I. Vigil), Lloyd M. Garcia, Don Stegman, Dr. Arnold Chavez, Celina Espinoza, and Joshua M. Ortega (accepting for Isaac P. Ortega): front row: Eric Ortega (representing Isaac P. Ortega), Susanna Atencio, Kathleen McGinty, Hazel Petty (accepting for Luther Bean) Dr. Kenneth Bean (accepting for Dr. Ira Richardson) and Amos Bernal.

The Adams State University Fourth Annual Educator Hall of Fame Celebration hosted outstanding individuals whose chosen profession created opportunities for students to achieve academic and professional success.

The ceremony, held May 6 in the Student Union Building banquet rooms, recognized Amos Bernal, Kathleen McGinty, Clea Espinosa (posthumous), Sharon Turpin; Secondary Educators: Lloyd M. Garcia, Manny Wasinger, Celina Espinoza, Susanna K. Atencio; Post-Secondary Educators: Don Stegman, Dr. Joe I. Vigil, Dr. Kay O. Watkins; Luther Bean (posthumous); Administrators: Dr. Ira Richardson (posthumous), Isaac P. Ortega (posthumous), Dr. Arnold Chavez, and Dr. John Marvel.

The master of ceremonies Dennis Lopez spoke on the importance of honoring educators in all categories. Each recipient was introduced by a friend or family member. The bios below reflect a few of the accomplishments of those honored.

Elementary Educators

Bernal earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He dedicated over 30 years as a teacher at Centennial School District. He received the San Luis Valley Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and was named into the Who's Who among Teachers.

Espinosa received her bachelor's degree from Adams State. She began her teaching career at the age of 18, with a provisional normal teaching certificate, and taught for 47 years. Her son, Howard B. Espinosa established an Adams State scholarship in her memory.

McGinty received her bachelor's degree from Adams State and a master's equivalent from the New Jersey State Department of Education. The state of New Jersey Teacher Recognition Program recognized her achievements as a New Jersey public school teacher.

Turpin received her bachelor's and master's from Adams State. She spent her entire career in the Alamosa School District. Turpin received many awards including Teacher of the Month, Teacher of the Year, Outstanding teacher Award and Who's Who among America's Teachers. She also coached track, basketball and volleyball. She implemented the girls' volleyball program.

Secondary Educators

Atencio received her bachelor's and master's from Adams State. She was the special education teacher for Del Norte School District for over 29 years. She was an expert reading teacher and used different strategies to help students learn. She coached cheerleading and tutored students.

Espinoza received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State and is working on earning a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. She has received many honors and awards including Outstanding Counselor, Tennessee School to Work Initiative, Regional Cluster Appreciation Award, Boettcher Foundation Counselor Appreciation, Colorado Annual Hispanic Salute Outstanding Adult Volunteer, and two Colorado School Counselor of the Year. Her career as a secondary education counselor spanned over 33 years in the San Luis Valley.

Garcia received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He taught at various capacities for the Center Consolidated School District for 36 years. He was principal for BOCES Migrant Summer School. He coached Center's baseball team and the Board of Education of the Center Consolidated School District named the baseball field at the Center Community Park the Lloyd M. Garcia Field.

Wasinger received a vocational credit from Colorado State University and his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He taught and coached football in Alamosa and Monte Vista Public Schools, and was an assistant football coach at Adams State. He helped many students receive scholarships to institutions of higher education.

Post-Secondary Educator

Bean received his AB from Epworth University and his master's degree from Colorado Agricultural College. He taught in several rural schools and became the Costilla County Superintendent in 1914. He was director of the San Luis Institute of Arts and Crafts, and in 1925 President Ira Richardson hired him to teach at Adams State. He became the head of the Education Department and organized and directed the Outing Club. He researched SLV history and wrote two books about the valley.

Stegman, emeritus professor of English, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He received the Billy Adams Award in 2011 for his commitment to Adams State. He taught English grammar and history of the English language. He most enjoyed teaching expository writing and working with theatre productions. He helped many alumni go on to successful careers.

Vigil received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado College and his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He taught and coached at the high school level in Alamosa before starting his post-secondary career at Adams State. An authority in exercise physiology, his passion for excellence carried him to the pinnacle of his professional career. He wrote a book on training distance runners and his career includes coaching track and field at the Pan American Games, World Championships, and the Olympic Games.

Watkins received his bachelor's degree from Adams State and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He returned to Adams State where he spent his career, including 14 years as the chairman/dean of Science, Mathematics and Technology Department. He believed students at Adams State deserved the same opportunities as those at large institutions. He wrote successful grants for updating instrumentation and for the personal computer laboratory. He established an Adams State scholarship for chemistry majors.


Chavez received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State; a M.Ed. from Antioch University and his Ed.D. from the University of Northern Colorado. He began his career as the director of the Colorado Migrant Council, and was an elementary teacher in Dulce, N.M. He is a founder of the Hispanic Community Affairs Council and is currently the coordinator for the Alameda County Public Health Department. He teaches parenting classes in Spanish to Latino inmates at San Quentin Prison.

Marvel, emeritus president, received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, his master's degree from the University of Denver, and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Education. He became the fourth president of Adams State where he presided for 12 years and then was appointed president of the Consortium of State College of Colorado. He served as president of American Association of State Colleges and Universities. During his tenure, Adams State received a grant from the Kellogg Foundation to increase the Hispanic population on campus.

Ortega received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State. He served the Alamosa School District for over 40 years as a teacher, administrator, coach and volunteer. He managed a local Boy's Youth Center, which served as a recreational outlet for the underprivileged youth of Alamosa. The Alamosa School District named its middle school Isaac P. Ortega Middle School (OMS).

Richardson, emeritus president, received a Master of Arts from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Central College. In 1923, he became the first president of Adams State, a position he held for 25 years. After hiring professors and arranging the program, a very successful summer session was held. A hostile legislature refused to pass a bill to fund the school. All but three teachers were let go until the funding passed. Richardson and his three faculty members struggled through the first year. He had a good rapport with many local citizens and many contributed to help the school financially. He was president through the changes from Adams State Normal School to Adams State Teacher's College, and when accredited, to Adams State College.