Second class inducted into Winters JUSD Hall of Fame

Winters Joint Unified School District recognized four inductees at its 2nd annual Hall of Fame ceremony.
Photo by Taylor Buley/Winters Express The 2019 Class of Winters JUSD Hall of Fame Inductees included Germaine Hupe, Gloria Lopez, Tom Pearse and Patty Rominger.

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The room was packed as family, friends and community members gathered to celebrate four individuals being recognized at the 2nd Annual Winters Joint Unified School District Hall of Fame ceremony on Thursday, April 26. The 2019 Class of Inductees included: Patty Rominger, Germaine Hupe, Gloria Lopez and Tom Pearse. Rominger was recognized as the Distinguished Service Inductee for her service and dedication on connecting local Yolo farms and agriculture to students in the Winters JUSD. Superintendent Todd Cutler recognized her work as the founding president and regular volunteer of Winters Farm to School, a weekly volunteer for Kids Farmers Market at Winters Elementary Schools, and her role in helping to educate the community about hunger and food insecurity in our community as a 2015 presenter at the Yolo Leaders Forum. Cutler also noted that Rominger took time to mentor two Winters High School seniors for their Seniors Capstone Projects with the WES school gardens. “She is an advocate of the school gardens at Waggoner Elementary and Rominger Intermediate campuses. Her leadership prompted Winters Farm to School to begin funding a Garden Coordinator,” said Cutler. “It is obvious that Patty Rominger is a tireless and dedicated volunteer for Winters JUSD students.” At the podium Rominger shared that as a young girl she loved to plant seeds, and humbly shared that there were many others who also brought passion and dedication to the table to help bring the program to fruition within the schools. “The school garden has grown beyond my wildest imagination,” Rominger said. Cutler recognized Hupe as the Hall of Fame Employee Inductee for her 29-year career as a Winters High School English teacher and involvement with the Academic Decathlon Team, California Scholarship Federation and American Field Service program. Hupe continued to make an impact on Winters youth after her retirement through her work with the Winters Theatre Company. “When I ask about the impact Germaine had on the school and community, everyone who knew of her work expressed how her energy was contagious, how committed she was to the students, and that everything was better because of her efforts,” said Cutler. Hupe delighted attendees as she shared about how she applied for an English teacher position at WHS after her and her husband Howard moved to Yolo County after his retirement from the military in 1972. “I planned to stay for two years, and something happened. I fell in love with the community, with the people , with the school, and especially with some fantastic students,” said Hupe. “I ended up staying 29 years. I loved every moment of it. I really mean that.” Hupe reminisced on her time working at WHS and shared about the experience of seeing students turn into colleagues as they graduated and found a journey in education. “Some of my students became my colleagues, half of my colleagues were my students near the end of my teaching career,” Hupe said. “The hardest part was getting them to call me Germain instead of Mrs. Hupe.” Gloria Lopez graduated from WHS in 1970 was recognized as an Alum Inductee. Cutler noted as a student Lopez was at the top of her class academically and involved in many activities. He called her an excellent addition to the Winters JUSD Hall of Fame for her dedication to serving the Winters Community through her many volunteer activities including serving as a school board Trustee and currently as President of Winters Farm to School board. “Gloria’s selfless commitment to Winters is seen through her endless service to many Winters organizations as a community volunteer,” said Cutler. Lopez shared that her family has been in Winters for about 100 years and that her family has set an example of volunteering giving time and service to the community. She continues to try to be a good role model for not only her family, but also others in the community. “You give back to our community. Our families have been here for almost 100 years. The community has been good to us so we give back to the community,” said Lopez. Tom Pearse graduated from WHS in 1953 and was recognized as the other Alum Inductee. Cutler noted Pearse had a stellar baseball career and upon graduation continued playing in college and worked as a scout for the Florida Marlins baseball team. “Tom has been inducted in the Junior College Coaches Hall of Fame and Berkeley High School Hall of Fame. This is his third Hall of Fame honor,” said Cutler. Pearse said the recognition was a tremendous honor, but admitted he felt a bit sheepish about the whole thing. He said there were many others who have contributed more to the community. “I have been lucky enough to be admitted into two Halls of Fame, but I’m telling you. This one is the most important to me because I’m from Winters,” said Pearse. “This one means the most because it’s from Winters.” Pearse shared what it was like to be born and raised in his generation, as well as what it was like to grow up in a town where everyone was your babysitter and would let your parents know if you got in trouble before you get home. He also shared about his local childhood heroes, loyalty of friends and sang a song with his daughter that he wrote in the 1930s. Afterwards Hupe added in that Winters educators were having an impact on its students. “We must be doing something very right at Winters High because I taught the President of your school board and your Mayor.” Cutler concluded the ceremony with words of praise for the Winters community and the Hall of Fame inductees. “Being a person who is not from Winters, working here every day, hearing the stories makes me realize this is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and thank the folks who work with us every day and make a difference and who come from Winters,” said Cutler. “Our Hall of Famers are our model of what all of us hope to be, and accomplish, and represent our community.”]]>

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