Lourdes RiosLourdes Leticia “Letty” Davison-Rios, THMS Faculty

Educator, Magnet Coordinator, Disability Advocate

Lourdes, a native Tucsonan, began working at THMS in 1982 and spent 25 years working as a Special Education Job Developer. She worked with Learning Disabled, Mildly/Moderately Mentally handicapped, Visual and Hearing Impaired, and Emotionally disabled students providing them with concrete connections to their education and the world of work. She developed a comprehensive Employability Skills class that prepared her for students for the world of work. Lourdes was determined to provide these students at all levels with the same opportunities as regular education students.

As a young person she was inspired to later serve her community in administrative positions in the City of South Tucson/City of Tucson, CETA, and Nosotros working with the economically disadvantaged. At THMS, Lourdes used her prior experience with community-based agencies and employers to develop paid placements. She secured funding that provided on-campus paid placements and summer employment. Lourdes developed a very successful training program at the University of Arizona for her THMS students in the Community-Based Instruction Program. Over a 25-year period, approximately 750-800 students were placed in paid jobs.

As Transition Specialist, Lourdes was responsible for the transition plans for every Special Education senior. These included referrals to Vocational Rehabilitation, field trips to Pima/U of A, and parent conferences that would ensure that families had knowledge of programs that provided post-secondary services.

Lourdes served as THMS Magnet Coordinator for three years. She was responsible for recruiting and monitoring students that entered the Magnet programs. Lourdes was also responsible for coordinating the Magnet Endorsement program, Magnet Showcase, Get Sweet Night, AP testing, and the Gear-Up program.

Lourdes obtained a Masters in Special Education in 1999(NAU)magna cum laude, a Post Baccalaureate in Business in 1992(U of A) magna cum laude, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1975(U of A). Lourdes is a first-generation college graduate and the first in her family to graduate from college.

She was elected to the Badger Foundation Board in 2016 and has served as the Board’s Recording Secretary and Chair of the Scholarship Committee. Lourdes is married to Eddie Rios and has two daughters, Sarah and Leah, both proud THMS graduates.