RSD No. 66 Saddened by the Passing of Rep. Ed Pastor
Roosevelt School District No. 66 is deeply saddened by the passing of Rep. Ed Pastor. His memory and legacy will live on in our district through the Ed & Verma Pastor Elementary School named in his and his wife’s honor. A school he deeply cared about and had a profound impact on at RSD No. 66. Our deepest condolences are with his family at this time.
Former U.S. Rep., Ed Pastor, passed away Wednesday at the age of 75.
As a proponent for education and prominent Latino figure in Arizona and in the nation, the Roosevelt School District No. 66 governing board suggested his name for the namesake of one of the school campuses.
At the time, Pastor was honored, but had one adamant request. If the school were to carry his name, he wanted it to also bear the name of his wife, Verma Pastor.
Honoring that request, Roosevelt School District No. 66 opened Ed & Verma Pastor Elementary School officially in December of 1999.
“It was so important to him to have her name next to his on our school, and I think that was one of the many reasons this school meant so much to him. Because it was named for the both of them,” Yvette Guerrero, Administrative Assistant at Ed and Verma Pastor Elementary School, explained, “Even if he had just met you he would make sure you knew about the school and answer any questions that you had about the school.”
For Pastor’s school staff, his name is not just a name that they see every day walking into work, but a familiar face that would visit the campus often.
Many of the staff remember Pastor visiting at least once a year to their campus to ensure the school was maintained, had all the resources it needed, to visit with students and that check in with the school staff.
“He was always very kind, extremely welcoming, and very funny when he would visit,” recounted Aldie Lopez who has been the band director at Pastor since 2007. “He would come spend time with the kids and even read stories to the younger grades. It was just such a shock this morning when I heard the news [of his passing].”
Pastor truly cared about the school, the staff, the students and the well-being of the campus that bears his and his wife’s name.
Stephanie Acosta, Principal at Pastor, stated that he was extremely generous to the school donating whenever he heard there was a need, and even when there was not.
She remembers a time shortly after she took on her role as principal when the school was having trouble getting uniforms for their school programs. When Pastor got wind of the situation, he instantly donated enough money to Acosta and the school received uniforms shortly after.
Pastor’s impact and pride in the school will live on through the pride that those who walk the halls of Ed & Verma Pastor Elementary School carry with them daily.
“I know he has done a lot for the community and the school and I am proud to be working at a school that has Mr. Pastor’s name,” said Marecela Sepulveda, a third-grade teacher who has been an employee of the school for twelve years.
Ed & Verma Pastor Elementary School staff and students already have plans to honor Pastor at their upcoming Winter Festival which will not only be played in his honor, but the band director has chosen a selection of songs dedicated to Pastor.