Dr. Rebecca Rico Montan᷉o, Class of 1960
Educator, Community Leader, Philanthropist
Dr. Rebecca Rico Montan᷉o has had a distinguished career as an innovative educator in the Tucson Unified School District for 36 years, developing inspiring programs for teachers to improve learning opportunities for all students.
A member of the THS Class of 1960, Dr. Montan᷉o showed leadership abilities as an elementary teacher, reading/math tutor, Principal of a K-6 school, Director of K-3 programs, and Associate Superintendent for the divisions of teaching and learning. She completed her career as Deputy Superintendent for 63,000 students.
Dr. Montan᷉o was recognized for 36 years of distinguished service to Arizona youth by Governor Janet Napolitano. She has been awarded Women Who Lead by the Woman Studies Advisory Council, the National Educator Award presented by the League of United Latin American Citizens, Woman of the Year by the University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni, Ernest Thompson Seton Award presented by Camp Fire Girls. She was a renowned Fellow for the I.D.E.A program at Claremont University.
Dr. Montan᷉o has published six articles and books on teaching and learning. The articles are titled: Resiliency Characteristics of Women Leaders in Education, Leadership Seen Through Many Lenses, and Nursery Rhymes of Oral and Written Language Use. Her published books are Tapestry of Theme Study, Me Gustan Las Montan᷉as, and Que Susto Me Dio.
Dr. Montan᷉o found time to be active in many civic clubs. She has been a member of Tucson Airport Authority, Pima Arts Council, Urban League, YWCA, International Mariachi Conference, La Frontera Mental Health Clinic, Tucson Reading Council, Catholic Social Services, Merilac Board, and Camp Fire Girls.
She contributes her extraordinary career to her first teachers, Alfredo and Bertha Rico, who taught her to reach for the stars and work hard to make dreams come true. Her three life coaches were her brothers. Thanks to outstanding teachers at Davis, John Spring, and THS who expanded Becky’s curiosity to learn. Her dedicated professors at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University gave her direction to pursue her advanced degree.
Dr. Montan᷉o’s outstanding career would not have been possible without her supportive husband, Raul (THS 1954), her three loving daughters, and her two beautiful grandchildren.