2006 Inductees

 

Elias Huerta
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Spanish and Foreign Language teacher 1959-1999. Developed high school Spanish language curriculum. Initiated functional language labrotory. Increased student enrollment in Spanish courses with the addition of bi-lingual and non-bilingual sections. Initiated first Advanced Placement Class at Holtville High School. Attended Miami High School in Arizona. As a high school basketball player was a member of the undefeated Arizona State Champions in 1951. Graduated from Northern Arizona University. Earned his Master’s degree at Arizona State. Attended United States Army Counter-Intelligence School and served as a field agent in Germany and the Bavarian Alps.
In 2003, with other team members of his high school basketball champions, was inducted into Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame for the state of Arizona.

Emmett S. Finley
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville Unified School District Superintendent and Principal 1945-1958. One of the framers of the Holtville Unified School District’s administrative structure and district organizational plan. Initiated the construction of five modern facilities for Holtville High School: 1) The speech and arts building (auditorium), 2) Music building, 3) A state-of-the-art science laboratory, 4) Two classroom buildings, and 5) One of the most luxurious gymnasiums of its time. Graduated from State Normal School, Illinois and earned a Master’s degree at Missouri University. Represented Monroe County, Missouri, in the General Assembly State Legislature. Served as Superintendent of Schools in both Ohio and Missouri before coming to Holtville in 1945. Honored by the community of Holtville in May of 1958, renaming Holtville Elementary School to Finley Elementary School.

Harold Burnworth
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Counselor, Director of Guidance and Special Education, School Psychologist and later consultant for Special Education to the Holtville Unified School District 1966-1997. As Director of the Special Education Program at Holtville High School, supervised the overall state mandated guidelines and curriculum. Conducted testing to determine program eligibility and special curricular needs for students. Graduated from Northern Illinois State Teachers College and received a Master’s Degree from New Mexico Highlands University. Earned counseling certificate at University of New Mexico and New Mexico State Counseling and Guidance Institute. Was Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the Trinidad Public Schools in Colorado 1947-1951. Counselor and Music Director at Wagon Mound Public School, New Mexico 1951-1966. Honored in Imperial Valley by the Attention Deficit Disorder Parent Support Group and the SDSU Department of School Psychology.

Herman ‘Red’ Sperber
Educator/Community Member
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Agriculture Teacher and Coach 1942-1943. Established the first wrestling program at Holtville High School. Long-time community supporter of high school. Became successful Holtville rancher and businessman after 1943 and sponsored Holtville graduates in college, providing summer jobs. Attended Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo where he graduated in 1942. Represented Holtville as a two-term member of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. Appointed by Governor Ronald Regan to an 8 year term on the California Midwinter Fair Board. Honored by Imperial County with the naming of Sperber Road and a show-arena at the fairgrounds. Honored by the Imperial Irrigation District by dedicating a local reservoir on his behalf.

Jim Birger Jr.
Alumnus/Community Member
Inducted November 2006

Board Member and President of the Holtville Unified School District 1980-1999. Spent countless hours of personal time and expense renovating athletic fields and providing needed equipment. He built, operated, and stocked high school concession stands for baseball, basketball, and football. Photographed athletic events making copies available for local media and players. Founded and stocked the Viking Student Store on the high school campus. Volunteered the transportation of school teams to events. Granduated from Holtville High School in 1958 and attended Cal State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Was a long-time Rancher and successful businessman in Holtville. Founded the Holtville Taco Shop as a local business in 1990 and created the ‘Viking Mea Deal’ which he awarded to athletes of the week. Was honored and recognized many times by the community of Holtville as Citizen of the Year, Grand Marshall, and Director of the Holtville Chamber of Commerce, and honored by the high school when naming the Jim and Linda Birger Athletic Complex.

John Allen Kirchenbauer
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Teacher, Coach and Administrator 1968-1979, 1990-1995 and 2001-2004. Served as teacher of American History, Physical Education and Special Education. Coached the Holtville High School wrestling team for more than a decade, producing individual and team champions. Coached the High School’s boys and girls golf teams. Served as high school Vice Principal 1990-1995 and Athletic Director, 1992-1995. Was principal of the Junior High, 1987-1990, and Pine School, 1995-1998 and 2000-2001. Graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1965 and earned his Master’s degree in education from Oklahoma State University in 1974. Was a four-year letterman and scholarship wrestler for Oklahoma State. Served in the Vietnam war as a helicopter pilot. Honored by the community in 2006 by naming the new high school sports edifice, the John A. Kirchenbauer Sports Complex.

Dr. John A.
‘Buck’ DePaoli
Alumnus/Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Student/Athlete, 1948-1952. Was Senior Class President in 1952. Named All Imperial Valley in football, 1951-1952, and baseball 1952. Played in the North/South All-Star Breitbard Football Game, 1952. Inducted into the Imperial Valley Football Hall of Fame, 2001. Graduated from UCLA in 1974 with a Master’s degree in Education. Played freshman football and rugby at UCLA. Taught at Venice High School in Las Angeles for 8 years. Was teacher and administrator at Imperial Valley College, 1965-1982. President of Imperial Valley College, 1982-1995. As president of IVC, passed the first bond measure in the state for a community college. Supervised the growth of IVC from an enrollment of 2,500 to 7,200 with additional satellite campuses established in Brawley, Calexico and El Centro.

Jan Marilyn Anderson
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School teacher and coach, 1964-1992. She was the girls’ physical education teacher for 28 years. Advisor and coach of the award-winning Holtville High Vikette Drill Team for more than a decade. Coached Holtville High School’s girls basketball team. Her 1983-84 basketball team won the San Diego Section Division III Championship at the San Diego Sports Arena. Became the high school Athletic Director in 1985, the first female athletic director in the Imperial Valley. Graduated from Southwestern College in Weatherford, Oklahoma, where she was an outstanding athlete. After college she played basketball for the Flying Queens of Texas, traveling with the team both across the country and internationally.

G.O. ‘Nate’ Beaman
Educator
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Principal, 1963-1984. Served as the school leader in both principalship and Athletic Director for his 21 years. Oversaw the renovation and completion of six different high school facilities: 1) new science and math wing, 2) new agriculture complex, 3) a wrestling and weight room annex, 4) a new library, 5) renovated band facility, 6) a new continuation school. Past president of Secondary Administrator of Imperial Valley and the Holtville Rotary Club. Granduated from Pittsburg University in Kansas, 1950. Outstanding athlete in football, baseketball and track. Earned his Master’s Degree at Northern Arizona University, 1962. In 2005, was admitted to the Pittsburg University Hall of Fame for his athletic endeavors and into the Fortscott Community College Hall of Fame in 2006. Under his supervision as Athletic Director, Holtville High School won the CIF championship in football, 1968, 1984 and baseball and girls basketball in 1983-84.

Paul Serna
Alumnus/Athlete of the Decade
Inducted November 2006

Holtville High School Student/Athlete from 1973-1976. Was a three sport letterman for the Vikings in baseball, football and wrestling. Attended Imperial Valley College and played baseball for 2 years where he was a two-time All-State Player and Most Valuable Player for the league. Awarded full athletic scholarship to Azusa Pacific University for baseball, was two-time All-Conference 2nd basman and two-time NAIA College All-American. Signed to play professional baseball by the Seattle Mariners in 1980 and was selected for the first year Rookie League All-Star Team. Made his major league debut in 1981 with Seattle and got his first start at Boston’s Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Graduated from Azusa Pacific Unversity in 1980 and earned his Master’s degree in Physical Education. After professional baseball, was baseball coach and teacher at Azusa Pacific and Head Baseball coach at Nazarene College of Idaho. Entered the Police Academy at Goldenwest College and served as Police Officer in the city of Seal Beach, California.

Walt Williams
Alumnus/Community Member
Inducted November 2006

Holtville Unified School District Board Member, and President, 1954-1977. Became the Holtville Unified School District’s first board president. Long-time community supporter of Holtville’s schools. Established and fully funded the Walt and Muriel Williams revolving four-year scholarship endowment through the Holtville Education Foundation in 2006, awarded to the most promising agricultural student. Graduated from Holtville High School, 1933. Founded both the Imperial Valley Milling Company, 1946, and the Keithly Williams Seed Company in 1981. Served on the University of California Extension Services Advisory Committee. Continued to support Holtville’s schools, school activities and programs through his Rotary Club membership.

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