It is my pleasure and deep honor to officially announce the name of School 16. On August 5, 2019, Litchfield Elementary School District will officially open its doors to Belen Soto Elementary School.
Thank you to the staff, community, and Governing Board for sharing ideas and feedback about potential names. After considering many ideas for geographical and legacy names, the Governing Board decided last night to name our new school in honor of the first Mexican-American person from the Southwest Valley to graduate college.
Belen Soto’s father was an irrigation foreman and she grew up in Camp 54 of Goodyear Farms, near the current location of her future namesake school in Goodyear’s master-planned community called Sedella. She was the 1954 valedictorian at Litchfield High School. (Lattie Coor, who went on to become the president of ASU, was the salutatorian). Thanks to the encouragement of her teacher and mentor, Belen Soto gained the support of her reluctant parents and moved north to pursue her education. She graduated with a teaching degree from Arizona State College at Flagstaff. Belen Soto married Rudy Moreno, her first grade sweetheart from Litchfield Elementary School. Mr. and Mrs. Moreno will celebrate 60 years of marriage next summer.
The Moreno’s and much of their family still live in our community. One of their three daughters is a teacher in Flagstaff. Their son, Manny, played basketball at Litchfield Elementary School.
The family is deeply honored by this opportunity, and they are eager to be involved at the school and with the students.
As for the current progress of Belen Soto Elementary School, we are moving right along as scheduled. We are looking at furniture and interiors now. We hope the attendance boundaries will be determined on December 11 so that staffing decisions may begin after the New Year. Please follow the progress of Belen Soto Elementary School on our Facebook page.
Sincerely and Excitedly,
Belen Soto Elementary School