Mrs. Genevieve González (EPISD)
Throughout her career as a teacher, Mrs. Genevieve González was well-known and beloved by her students. Born in 1927 in El Paso, Texas the only child of two loving parents, who encouraged their daughter to enjoy school and to plan on going to college. In 1944, Genevieve graduated from El Paso High School and continued her educational journey.
During this time, few women would have pursued a Bachelor's degree much less a Master's degree. However, Genevieve gained both at the College of Mines and Metallurgy (now The University of Texas at El Paso).
In 1948, Genevieve began her teaching career at San Jacinto Elementary. In 1955, Burges High School opened and she decided to accept a position to teach Spanish. As one of the first teachers at Burges High school, Mrs. González not only taught Spanish but helped sponsor and establish a Spanish club. She encouraged all her students to compete in modern language competitions and during the summer to consider studying abroad in places like Saltillo, Coahuila. This helped students hone their Spanish language skills and gain more knowledge of the language and culture. In 1958, the Spanish club became the Spanish National Honor Society.
From 1955 to 1975, she taught at Burges High School. During her time as a teacher, Mrs. González was awarded a summer fellowship at The University of Arizona with sponsorship from the National Defense Education Act. There she gained new experiences and learned much from fellow teachers who represented other states.
In 1975, after twenty years at Burges High School, Genevieve was promoted to the position of Northeast Area Modern Language Consultant. She served as the central office elementary Spanish Consultant and later as Curriculum Consultant. In 1981, she was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Texas to serve on the state's Bilingual Education Committee. There, she helped create the state mandate for bilingual education.
Long after retirement, Mrs. Genevieve González was remembered by her students as a caring teacher who deeply valued learning the importance of bilingualism and awareness of her diverse local culture. Genevieve loved her time teaching and enjoyed being an important contributor to her students’ lives. She resides in El Paso with her husband of 64 years, Alfonso, and they have three children, five grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
Lucian Robert (Lou) Robustelli (EPISD)
Lucian Robert (Lou) Robustelli was born May 23, 1922 in Stamford, Connecticut. He graduated from Stamford High School in 1939, receiving a full football scholarship to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. At the start of World War II, Mr. Robustelli enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in various campaigns in Europe as a platoon commander. There he met future wife, Helen Fowler, a native Texan. They were married in Washington, D.C. in 1948. Mr. Robustelli graduated from Georgetown University in 1948 with a B.A. degree and received his Master’s degree in 1958. In 1950, he and his wife moved to El Paso, where he coached high school football at Cathedral. In 1951, he was recalled to the Korean War, training young troops for combat duty. When discharged, he remained in the Army Reserve and was assigned to the Army Intelligence Corps, retiring with the rank of Major. From 1955 to 1959, Mr. Robustelli coached football and taught History and Government at Bowie High School. In 1959, he became the head coach of the Burges High School football team, leading them from a no-win record to 8-1 in four years. After 14 years in El Paso, Lou moved his family back to Stamford. There he scouted football for the San Diego Chargers as well as working their draft for 26 years. For several years, he was active in the Boys and Girls Club and was inducted in the Stamford Old Timers Association in 1988. Mr. Robustelli passed away on February 11, 2010.
Mr. Robustelli is remembered fondly by many of his former students. He had a great impact on everyone who met him, and always went out of his way to help his students and players achieve their goals. According to the donor of the scholarship fund established in his honor, Mr. Robustelli “was the consummate gentleman and a superb teacher of academics and athletics.”
Mr. Ronnie Parks (YISD)
Mr. Ronnie Parks was born in 1942 in Pampa, Texas. He graduated from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Secondary Education with teaching fields in English, Speech and Theatre.
During college he met the love of his life, Diane Rogers, a native El Pasoan and proud graduate of Ysleta High School, whom he married in 1964.
Mr. Parks began his teaching career in White Deer, Texas, where he taught English, Speech and Theatre. While at White Deer High School, Mr. Parks was successful at leading a team of thespians in a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that earned them Top Honors at the University Interscholastic League State Competition.
In 1965, he joined the armed forces where he served until 1969. During this time, their daughter, Melissa, was born. Upon retiring from military duty, he returned to El Paso and joined the faculty at Bel Air High School where he taught speech and theater courses. In 1972, Mr. and Mrs. Parks welcomed their second daughter, Pamela. Mr. Parks transferred to Eastwood High School and after several years of teaching theater, he decided to pursue a graduate degree so that he could become a school counselor. He completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology in 1975 at The University of Texas at El Paso. Following his graduation, he returned to Bel Air High School and served as a counselor later transferring to Hanks High School where he remained until his retirement in 2002.
Mr. Parks reports that he loved being a school counselor: “Counseling gave me the opportunity to be a student advocate and help children reach their full potential. I loved all aspects of it. Helping them get into their college of choice, finding them scholarships and financial aid was always very satisfying,” he says, “however, I especially enjoyed helping them sort through the rough emotional paths that teenagers experience.”
Mr. Park’s students remember him as an inspiring theater teacher, always helping students discover the magic of the stage. He was also a caring and compassionate counselor who was able to develop a strong rapport with students of all backgrounds and with various interests.
Mrs. Ann Putnam Yerby (EPISD)
Mrs. Ann Putnam Yerby was an elementary school teacher at Beall and Hughey Elementary Schools, where she taught third and fourth grade students. During the summers, she conducted reading clinics and taught math, speech, and phonetics. Mrs. Yerby loved the profession of teaching and was always willing to work outside the scheduled classroom hours to help students who needed extra time. She encouraged her young students to assume responsibility and seek out positions of leadership. Mrs. Yerby taught for 30 years and passed away on May 19, 1977 at age 69.