School 16 Named - Belen Soto Elementary School

picture of Courtney Frasier, Belen Soto, and Jodi Gunning

Planning Principal Courtney Frazier, Mrs. Belen Soto Moreno, and Superintendent Jodi Gunning

New School in Litchfield Elementary School District

to be named


The Litchfield Elementary School District Governing Board has approved the name of its new school that is currently under construction. Belen Soto Elementary School is named in honor of the first Mexican-American person from the Southwest Valley to graduate college.

Belen Soto’s father was a migrant worker and she grew up in Camp 54 of Goodyear Farms, near the current location of her future namesake school in the Goodyear master-planned community of 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, Dr. Francis Amabisca, Belen Soto gained the support of her reluctant parents and moved north for college. 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 Morenos and much of their family still live locally. One of their four children is a teacher in Flagstaff. The family is deeply honored by this opportunity, and they are eager to be involved at the school and with the students.

Meet Mrs. Belen Soto Moreno


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