Winters Joint Unified School District
Special to the Express
Winters Joint Unified School District announced the selections for the 2022 Winters JUSD Hall of Fame. The individuals were selected from a sizable group of nominees in the following categories: alumni, former employees and distinguished service.
For the alumni category, William E. “Bill” Duncan (In Memoriam) and Floyd Shimomura have been selected for this honor.
William E. “Bill” Duncan, from the Winters High School Class of 1935, was Valedictorian and Youth Day Mayor. During high school he participated in basketball, track and Dramatics Team; was the assistant editor of Poppy (yearbook); and was the junior class President. After high school Duncan joined the Army Air Corps during WWII becoming a B-17 pilot instructor and then a B-29 pilot.
After the war he and his wife began a successful farm operation in the Winters area for over 40 years. Duncan served on the Winters City Council, Winters Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge, Winters/Esparto Masonic Lodge, and was a past president of the Yolo County Chamber of Commerce. Duncan was active in local politics as a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 1962, representing Winters and Davis, and served four terms, ending in 1978.
During this time he was instrumental in the establishment of the Putah Creek Access Area that preserved land along Putah Creek and opened it to the public for recreational use. He was actively involved in the development of the Indian Valley Reservoir providing agricultural water for Yolo County and also the construction of the new Davis Library after he and his wife moved to Davis in the early 1970s. Post-retirement, Duncan traveled extensively and especially enjoyed his two trips to Africa. He became a member of the Sacramento Zoological Society and served as a zoo docent leading local school children through educational tours of the zoo.
Floyd Shimomura grew up in Winters, attended Winters schools, and graduated from Winters High School as the Class of 1966 Valedictorian. Shimomura also served as Youth Day Mayor. After graduation, Shimomura received his law degree from University of California, Davis where he was an editor of its law review.
He returned to teach contracts and administrative law at UC Davis in the 1980s. He served as the President of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association from 2006 to 2008. Shimomura spent his professional career as an attorney for the State of California in Sacramento. He served in senior positions with the State Attorney General’s Office, State Personnel Board, and State Department of Finance. He also served as an administrative law judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Shimomura is a past National President of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and served when the historic Redress legislation was introduced in Congress in 1983. He met with the Reagan White House and Prime Minister Nakasone to enlist their support. In 2016, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., placed Shimomura’s Redress papers into its permanent archives. In 1997 the Cal Aggie Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work.
Shimomura most recently helped the Historical Society of Winters create an exhibit titled “The Lost Japanese Community of Winters.” He also spoke about the pre-war Japanese community to students at Winters High School. Shimomura continues to be active in various JACL projects.
For the Employee category, Joe Aguiar has been selected for this honor, in memoriam.
Aguiar retired from Winters JUSD in 1988 after 31 years as a Vocational Agriculture teacher at WHS. During his tenure, Aguiar was also the head boys’ basketball coach, and was an honored FFA Advisor at the local, state, and national levels. Aguiar was instrumental in the successful school bond, which built the current high school agricultural center, a unique facility for vocational agriculture classes. The bond was the only one passed in California that year and provided a facility like no other in the state at the time. He mentored numerous high achieving students for state and national recognition.
Aguiar was a strong and positive influence to countless students during his career in the Winters JUSD. Post-retirement, Aguiar continued his commitment to education by serving as a Winters JUSD School Board Trustee. He was a founding member of the Winters Senior Advisory Committee and a member/benefactor of St. Anthony Community Parish in Winters.
For the Distinguished Service category, Mary Jo Rodolfa was selected for this honor.
Rodolfa served on the Winters JUSD Board of Trustees for over 13 years. She was elected in November 1996 and resigned in March 2020, after serving four terms as the Board Clerk and four terms as the Board President. Her dedication to the school district was such that she continued to serve for several years after her two children graduated from WHS.
During her tenure, Rodolfa was instrumental in forming a partnership with Yolo County and the City of Winters to build the beautiful state of the art Winters Community Library. Rodolfa currently serves the school community as a member of the Board of Winters Education Foundation (WEF). She is the “keeper of the records” and also the organization’s website. Her contributions to the group are numerous and essential. Rodolfa always does what is best for students, demonstrated through her time and dedication as a former school board trustee and current WEF board member. She is the “super glue” that binds the WEF Board, the Winters school district and the Winters community.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to honor the 2022 Class will be held on Wednesday, May 25. For more information, contact the Winters JUSD office at 530-795-6100.