2009 Hall of Fame Inductees
James W. Billings Jr. ('71)
After Jim graduated from South, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Colorado (now CSU-Pueblo) and master's degrees from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (Public Administration) and the University of Colorado-Denver (Criminal Justice). He was Pueblo's police chief from 1998 to 2010. Jim is a graduate of the FBI National Academy,and was a Colorado representative of the United States delegation to the International Association of the Chiefs of Police (IACP). Jim served on the mountain states region of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Committee of the IACP. He is the recipient of the Robert Hawkins Award from the Mental Health Association of Pueblo, past president of the Pueblo Rotary Club ,and served on many non-profit boards, including the YMCA and United Way. He also volunteered and served in many capacities with the Boy Scouts. He and his wife June have been married nearly 45 years.
Patrick S. Mara ('66)
After South, Pat went on to receive his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He has taught nearly 50 years, with more than a quarter-century at South High. Pat is a true teacher, having authored and co-authored many mathematics textbooks. He also has hosted KTSC-TV's Homework Hotline and served as a TV tutor for kids struggling with homework. Pat even takes calls at home from students needing help. He has helped design curriculum and teacher-education programs and traveled to Japan to see how those youngsters learn math. He also spent a summer as a fellowship student at Princeton University. A noted master teacher, Mara has received numerous awards, including the Raytheon Corporation's Math Hero Award in 2008, the International Academy of Science Mathematics Teacher of the Year in 2001, the Colorado Math Teacher Award of Excellence in 1997, and the President's Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics Teaching in 1989. Pat also was chosen by The Pueblo Chieftain as "Best Teacher in Pueblo." Pat has been married to Sally Ann, also a 1966 graduate of South, for 50 years.
Steven C. Moore ('71)
Steve continued his education after South High days and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado in 1975 and 1979. From there he accepted a Vista Volunteer post representing Indian tribes and individual Indian people in northern Idaho, working for Idaho Legal Services. In 1981, he began working for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana. In 1983, he returned to Boulder and joined the Native American Rights Fund, the largest and oldest non-profit law firm in the United States representing Indian tribes. A senior staff attorney, much of his practice there has focused on natural resource issues. Steve has represented Indian tribes in complex litigation involving oil and gas royalties, treaty fishing rights, and federal Indian reserved water rights. His other work includes protection of sacred lands, repatriation of human remains and protection of unmarked Native graves, the religious use of peyote by members of the Native American Church, and religious rights of Native prisoners. He is admitted to practice law in several federal and state courts, federal courts of appeals, the United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court. His volunteer work includes service as a member of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, the Advisory Committee to the Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School, and the Steering Committee of the National Association of Indian Legal Services. He is married to Martha Griffin, and they have three children, Lindsay, Andrew and Rio Moore.
Daniel J. Predovich ('65)
Following his high school graduation, Dan earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Colorado. He is Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and is certified in Financial Forensics. He also is president of Predovich and Company. He is past president of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Early in his career he worked for the Colorado State Attorney General as Senior Criminal Investigator, a field agent for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and a senior investigator for the Denver district attorney. Dan is a lecturer and instructor to business groups, professional organizations and law enforcement agencies on topics including accounting, taxation, litigation support services, and fraud investigations. He currently serves on the board and chaired the audit committee of RE/MAX International and is the co-founder of the Colorado Law Enforcement Instructor's Association, where he is a member of the board and was treasurer. Dan is past president of the PorterCare Foundation and a member of the board of the Children's Advocacy and Family Resources Foundation. He has also been on the board of directors of the Webb-Waring Foundation. In addition, he has served as training coordinator and secretary for the Colorado Attorney Council Investigator's Association.
Marcia Stjernholm Smith ('63)
Marcia was valedictorian of her class. She founded a company now known as Evercare and served as president and chief executive officer. Evercare is a company that coordinates, provides, and pays for medical care for those living in nursing homes, those living in the community who have special health care needs because of chronic disease, and/or those who have advanced illness or disability. These are mostly frail elderly. Evercare started as a demonstration project for the federal government and proved so successful that legislation was enacted to make it a permanent part of Medicare. The National Health Service (NHS) of England heard about Evercare and engaged a team -- led by Marcia -- as its leader, to embed the Evercare model of care in nine communities in England. The hospitals in England have no available beds and long waits for care, so they wanted to use the model to reduce hospital admissions. The end result was the creation of a new and advanced grade-level position for nurses in England whose job is to care for high-risk populations. Marcia started working outside the home at age 40 with a Peak Health in Denver/Colorado Springs/Pueblo and became the executive director of that organization. Marcia has always been active in her church, directing the choir, coordinating worship and teaching Sunday School. While moving 10 times during her husband's military career Marcia was active in community and military base charitable endeavors. Marcia is the mother of three grown children and the grandmother of 12.
Frances Marie Vallejo ('83)
Fran was co-valedictorian of her class and a Boettcher Scholarship recipient to the Colorado School of Mines, where she graduated in 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in mineral engineering mathematics (emphasis in geophysics). She earned an MBA in finance and international management in 1996 from Rice University. She joined Phillips Petroleum, subsequently ConocoPhillps in Houston, TX, as a geophysicist and later moved into several corporate roles. When she was inducted into South's Hall of Fame, she was vice president and treasurer of ConocoPhillips. As a senior at Mines, Fran was designated as E-Day outstanding senior in mathematics and outstanding graduate of the McBride Honors Program. At Rice University she was recognized as the outstanding woman candidate for her MBA class of 1996. She was a member of the corporate team that directed the merger of Phillips Petroleum and Conoco Petroleum. In addition, Fran was a member of the corporate team that brought about the partnership of ConocoPhillips with the second largest Russian oil conglomerate, Lukoil. While at South, Fran was active in student government, a member of South's concert choir, and president of the National Honor Society. Since then, Fran has exhibited leaderships skills learned at South High and at the Colorado School of Mines by being involved in community activities through her children's schools, church and Phillips 66 Federal Credit Union, where she served as board chairperson and as a director for many years. She also is a graduate of the Center for Houston's Future Leadership Forum. In 2004, the Pueblo School District 60 Education Foundation recognized Fran as an outstanding D-60 graduate. She diligently worked to acquire ConocoPhillips support (financially and physically) for Rice University's Money and Business 10'l class, which takes the best applicants from 10 different underprivileged Houston independent high schools and educates them in analyzing stocks and other financial skills, ConocoPhillips gives a day-long tour educating the students in the business of energy, all the different careers involved in running a large company like COP and the kind of an education you would need for these careers. She's also involved with Rice University's Elementary Model Science Lab. Recently Fran was named Outstanding Female Executive of the year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She also was appointed to the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees in 2010.
Kenneth W. West ('68)
Ken attended SCSC for two years after graduating from South High, then transferred to CSU-Fort Collins. He earned a degree in Construction Management in 1972. Ken returned to Pueblo and went to work for the Transportation Test Facility where he worked until 1977. From there, Ken went to work for H. W. Houston Construction. He bought out the company in 1992. He was associated with H.W. Houston for 32 years when he was inducted. The firm built the Pueblo City-County Library, the new Pueblo YMCA, the forensic unit at the CHMIP, and the bed-tower expansion at St. Mary Corwin Hospital and the new Pueblo County Judicial Plaza. H.W. Houston builds commercial structures throughout Colorado. Ken has served on many community boards, including the YMCA for 20-plus years and is a past president, HARP Foundation and is a past president, Southern Colorado Community Foundation, Mahlon Thatcher White Foundation, the 100 Club and is a past president. Also, Mr. West has served on the board of directors of Minnequa Bank and the board of the Community Banks of Colorado. Ken has contributed personally and corporately to various projects in Pueblo, including the YMCA, CSU-P, HARP, Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center, St. Mary Corwin Foundation and Parkview Hospital Foundation. Ken and his wife Sandy have been married for 37 years and have one daughter, Chelsea.