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Cyrus "Cy" James Henry was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma on June 4, 1923, the youngest of 10 children, growing up on a farm which gave him the roots for his love of agriculture.
While serving in the United States Army in 1943, Cy met the love of his life, Violet Faye Luke whom he married in Champagne, Illinois. He sent Violet to Tucson, Arizona to live with his family until his service was complete. Cy joined Violet and his family in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona. Before he graduated, he and Violet would have 4 children.
Soon after graduation, the Henry’s moved to their forever home in Valley Farms, Arizona where Cy began his prolific educational career first working a semester at Casa Grande Union High School, then Coolidge High School where he taught for 32 years. During this period, Cy and Violet completed their family of 8 children: Joyce, Cy Jr., Edward, Mike, Pat, Susan, Rusty, and Donald.
Cy brought his children up with great morals and values and one of the ways to demonstrate these standards and principles was through agriculture. He started a topical fishery and game bird farm at his home but also used it as a teaching tool for his high school students.
From 1952—1984, Mr. Henry supervised an outstanding agriculture department that was the envy of many throughout the state of Arizona. He spent hours developing top-notch public speaking and parliamentary procedure teams that were recognized both state-wide and nationally. Many of his student leaders were district and state officers as well as successful business people.
Mr. Henry was most interested in having women in the agriculture classroom and FFA before it was even considered nationally. He was focused on all students’ success regardless of gender and was a pioneer in the championship of women.
Many of Coolidge High School alumni were placed, through Mr. Henry's connections with influential faculty at the University of Arizona and he personally procured thousands of dollars of scholarship money for his students.
Mr. Henry had an impeccable reputation among his peers and professors trusted his wisdom and knew ag students from CHS were the top in the state.
Mr. Henry was a man of inspiration, compassion, honor, decency, and integrity. He worked tirelessly for students, including nights and weekends and his impact and legacy lives on. Mr. Henry passed away in January of 2001, leaving his legacy for those behind. Cy truly believed in the future of agriculture, "with a faith born not of words but of deeds," hoping his achievements would be instilled upon the present generation of agriculturalists. They were.
Years after Mr. Henry’s retirement, his legacy was solidified by dedicating the Coolidge High School Vocational and Technical Wing in Cyrus Henry’s name.
Sherry Ulmer was born in Pittsburgh, Kansas, and moved to Coolidge, Arizona in 1959 with her parents Milton (Bud) and Betty Hooper. Bud Hooper taught in Coolidge for 13 years. Dr. Ulmer attended Coolidge High School, graduating in 1962. While attending CHS, she was a cheerleader, the editor of the yearbook, the first recipient from Coolidge to receive the State Degree of the Future Homemakers of America, and a member of several other clubs. Dr. Ulmer received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988 from the University of Phoenix and completed her Master of Arts degree in 1991 and her Doctorate degree in 1996 from the Nova Southeastern University, specializing in business and education.
Dr. Ulmer is responsible for the development of the non-profit Pinal Gila Community Child Services, Inc. in 1973, serving Head Start, state-funded and special needs children and families throughout Pinal and Gila counties. While CEO, she also initiated the transportation program that provided over 800 rides per month to work, doctor appointments, and CAC in the communities of Coolidge, Florence, Eloy, Arizona City, and Casa Grande. Dr. Ulmer retired from PGCCS in 2005 after 36 years. She then went to work at the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce as Executive Director until 2008 and returned as Membership Administrator in 2014.
Along with several national and state professional organizations, Dr. Ulmer has been active in Coolidge, serving as a member of the Coolidge Unified School District Governing Board (1977-1988) as President and Clerk, a member of the Coolidge Rotary Club (President 2001 and 2005), Rotarian of the Year 1999-2000 and she initiated the first All School Reunion in 1986 and several school reunions since. She is a member of the Coolidge Historical Museum and was selected as the Beth McDonald Woman of the year for 2006 by KEZ 99.9 Radio. Sherry was recently honored by the Arizona Leader and National Fatherhood Association for her role in having the state of Arizona fund programs for fathers.
Dr. Ulmer is married to Glenn Ulmer and they have two children, Kerry Lara and Kaylin Decker, three grandsons and one great-grandson. She is also an active member at the Coolidge Church of the Nazarene.
Kenneth’s family moved to Coolidge in the early 1950s. He was born to Jack and Anna Lee in 1956. The family-owned a small grocery store on Main Street called Foodland Market. Business was good and a few years later Jack and Anna purchased a larger store that was renamed Lee’s Foodland. Kenneth and his siblings, Connie and Monty, grew up working in the stores. Anna closed the smaller store in the late 1960s. The larger store remained open until Jack’s death in 2002. The family sold the store and it continues to operate with the name Lee’s Foodland.
In high school, Kenneth was very active. He competed in debate for three years. He was Salutatorian, Senior Class President, Boys State Alternate, and selected as “Most Likely to Succeed” by his class. Kenneth belonged to the following: NHS, FBLA, FTA, Science, Ecology, Speech, Latin, and Youth for Democracy clubs. He was a member of the National Forensic League, with a Degree of Distinction. He participated in Model United Nations and the International Court of Justice. In addition, he was a member of the Student Council, Yearbook staff and represented Coolidge in the Congressional Scholars Program in Washington D.C. He graduated in 1974. At times his parents suspected he was so active to avoid working in the store.
He went to the University of Arizona where he obtained his B.S. in Business Administration in 1978. In 1981, he received his J.D. from the University of Arizona. Kenneth began his legal career with the firm of Davis and Eppstein. In 1988, he joined the firm of Haralson, Kinerk, and Morey. This firm specialized in complex civil cases like medical malpractice, product liability, highway design, and flood litigation. In addition, the firm had an in-house sports agency that represented a number of players coming from the University of Arizona and going into the NFL and NBA. Kenneth is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th and 10th Circuits), the U.S. District Court of Arizona, and the Arizona State Courts.
In 1997 Kenneth was appointed by Governor Fife Symington to the Pima County Superior Court. For over 20 years he has been on the Court with rotations on Civil, Criminal, and Family Law. He has served four terms as the Associate Presiding Judge and two terms as the Civil Presiding Judge. Also, he was Secretary of the Arizona Judges Association. While on the bench he has been a mentor to University of Arizona law students in its clinical and bridge programs. Kenneth has served on the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Superior Courts and the Arizona State Bar Committees for Civil Jury Instructions and Civil Practice and Procedure. He has taught at New Judge Orientation, the Judicial Conference, and various continuing legal education programs for the State Bar, Pima County Bar, Arizona Minority Bar Association, College of Trial Lawyers, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, and State Bar Leadership Institute.
Kenneth has also been active in community organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors for several community organizations including; the Tucson Boys and Girls Club (Associate Board), Tucson Chinese Association, and University of Arizona Asian American Faculty Staff and Alumni Association (AAFSA). In addition, he was a member of the University of Arizona President’s Asian Pacific Advisory Council. He has mentored college and high school students in the Image, Courts-R-Us, and APEX programs. In 1998 he received the Community Service Award from AAFSA.
Kenneth remains busy on the Bench and with his family including his wife, Roseanne, and two sons, Jonathon and Michael.
Orietta Verdugo graduated from Coolidge High School (CHS) with the Class of 2000. During her tenure at CHS, she was an exceptional academic scholar and star athlete, graduating with a 3.98 GPA and receiving various academic distinctions. She obtained 10 varsity letters for her athleticism in volleyball, basketball, softball, and tennis. Always one to push the boundaries and break the proverbial “glass ceiling” Orietta, was the first woman to wrestle for CHS and received a varsity letter in the sport. As a true renaissance woman, Orietta’s interest was not limited solely to academics and sports, she was First Chair Percussionist in both Marching and Symphonic Band as a snare drummer. Moreover, her leadership skills blossomed as an active student government member at CHS, culminating in her election as student body president. As an active member of her community, she served at Saint James Catholic Church in the Altar Server Society.
As a result of her stellar academic accomplishments, Orietta received a highly competitive scholarship to attend Arizona State University, whereupon she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Her love for knowledge continued as she attended graduate school at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, remarkably receiving two degrees a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s of Science in Engineering Systems.
Ms. Verdugo has worked in various industries across the United States, Mexico, and Spain. Her expertise lies within the business, supply chain, and operations. She has worked for General Electric Energy, Inditex Zara, and currently for Intel Corporation.
Ms. Verdugo is active within the Latino community and enjoys promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She has served as the Vice-Chair of the board for Si Se Puede Foundation and was the alumna advisor for Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. at Arizona State University. She is a recipient of the Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and was named one of the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 by Univision Radio – Phoenix and Valle del Sol. Both awards honor Hispanic individuals who demonstrate their passion for the community through their efforts of service and leadership.
An Arizona native, Orietta was born in the small town of Ajo and moved to Coolidge in sixth grade. Her hobbies include traveling the world, hiking, yoga, and being with her loved ones.