It’s that time of year again when we celebrate and honor local folks who make our community a better place to live and work.
This is our 27th annual Locals special section, and we’re excited to share it with our readers. We are especially proud of our work this year, not only because of the people featured but because of our traditions honored.
Holly Noelle Chavez is the 2022 Valencia County News-Bulletin’s Citizen of the Year. She is a woman of great devotion and talent, giving of her time and vast amount of energy to our community. She’s a treasure trove of resources and her main focus is to share her knowledge and make our community better.
We are also honoring Unsung Heroes, people who give of themselves on a daily basis. This year, three of our Unsung Heroes are educators, people who are making a difference in the lives of our youth.
Jessica Chavez is a long-time teacher at La Promesa Elementary School. She is known for helping all of her studends, her fellow teachers and the community, even though she doesn’t live there.
Gwen Mosimann, the McKinney-Vento liaison for Belen Consolidated Schools and a former school teacher, is on a mission — finding housing for homeless students and their families.
Clair Toledo, the principal at Los Lunas Opportunity Schools, a combination of Century High School and Los Lunas Digital Academy, lives and breathes making a difference in her student’s lives.
Another Unsung Hero nominated and selected is Gary Jacobson, the manager of Mitchell Starlight Cinema in Los Lunas. Jacobson has opened the movie theater doors for the past 13 years to post-prom goers to ensure they are making better choices than underage drinking.
And then there’s the Keller family in Bosque Farms. For 23 years, this family has been donating their time to organize the annual Bosque Farms Fair Car Show. They handle all the logistics of the event and donate the proceeds to the village of Bosque Farms.
Jocelyn and Chris Padilla Hunter are the types of parents who will do anything they can to help their children, but what’s special about this couple is their commitment to other children as well. They volunteer their time helping with 4-H and FFA groups.
All of these people are what makes Valencia County a great place to live. If you see them on the street, in a school, at the movie theater, at the county fair or even at a car show, walk up to them, shake their hands and offer them a show of support and tell them, “Thank you!”
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.