Coman, Moffitt join Hall of Fame

Rob Coman and Jenny Lester Moffitt were honored as the Alumnus inductees for the Winters Joint Unified School District Hall of Fame Class of 2023. (Express file photo)

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The Express is sharing a two-part series in celebration of the five inductees of the Winters Joint Unified School District’s Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Winters Joint Unified School District honored Rob Coman and Jenny Lester Moffitt as alumni inductees in its Hall of Fame Class of 2023 at the end of April.

On April 27, the community gathered to honor five Winters notables for their efforts and contributions to the students and culture at Winters JUSD at the sixth annual Hall of Fame ceremony.

Hall of Fame recognizes Winters JUSD graduates, former employees, and exceptional community volunteers who have distinguished themselves by their individual contributions to scholarship, athletics, student activities, career, community service, or to the school community as a whole.

Rob Coman

Rob Coman (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

Coman graduated from Winters High School in the Class of 1969 and was the valedictorian. After high school, Coman graduated from the University of San Francisco with his bachelor’s degree in 1974.

Coman has been a key stakeholder in serving as a historian of Winters history. He has been a member of the Historical Society of Winters for many years and serves as a curator of the Winters Museum since its 2018 opening.

“He opens the museum every week, Thursday through Sunday in the afternoon, and enlightens visitors to the colorful history of Winters,” Superintendent Rody Boonchouy said.  “He is the most knowledgeable person in Winters when it comes to the founders of the town — many of who are his relatives.”

Coman was credited with his work with the Winters Participation Gallery’s historical mural projects. Each summer he works with participating youth in the program to provide them with the “invaluable historical perspective” that the young muralists use to design each mural.

Additionally, Coman was honored for his volunteer efforts and work to assist four local nonprofits during their Big Day of Giving campaigns.

Coman told attendees his volunteer efforts are “ways I can add value to the community.”

Boonchouy noted that Coman’s induction along with his wife  Elizabeth (Liz) Coman’s induction as an honored Employee in the Hall of Fame Class of 2021 was a milestone for Winters JUSD.

“Liz and Rob are the first duo inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Boonchouy said.

Jenny Lester Moffitt

Jenny Lester Moffitt (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

Lester Moffitt graduated from WHS in the Class of 1998 and was the salutatorian. After graduation, she attended Brown University where she studied economics and environmental public policy.

Lester Moffitt embarked on a career with the American Farmland Trust, where she worked to support farmland conversation programs and provided farmers with information on ways to sustain and preserve their land. She returned to Winters in 2005 to help run her family’s organic walnut farm, Dixon Ridge Farms. Under her leadership, Dixon Ridge Farms received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for its work with sustainable energy and agricultural practices.

Moffitt was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, while also serving as a board member for the Center for Land-Based Learning and the Organic Trade Association’s Policy Advisory Council. In 2015, Lester Moffitt was appointed to serve the California Department of Agriculture as Deputy Secretary. She was later promoted to Undersecretary and reappointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In 2021 she was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture and confirmed by the U.S. Senate

Lester Moffitt currently works with a team of 17,000 federal employees to strengthen markets for American agriculture and ensure animal and plant health.

Lester Moffitt credited the community for providing her with the opportunity, inspiration and confidence to pursue her vision.

“People in this town taught us to dream big,” Lester Moffitt said.

The other 2023 Class of Winters JUSD Hall of Fame Inductees included:

Distinguished Service inductee: Billie Bishop

Employee inductees: Pam Scheeline and John Kammerer (In Memoriam)

All five of the inductees’ names were added to the Hall of Fame plaque that hangs in the board room at the Winters JUSD office building.

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