|By Erin O'Connor |
WESTFIELD Westfield State College (WSC) recognized Martha Rios of Westfield as 'Alumnus of the Year' at the Westfield Day parade at the Big E on Sept. 28.
"It is a great honor," Rios said to Reminder Publications.
"Martha is being recognized for her efforts to find and re-connect with every classmate from 1961,"Kim Trudeau, coordinator of alumni relations said. "Her diligence and persistence paid off and has helped set a standard for other reunion efforts."
Rios, a 1961 graduate from WSC, said the school was Westfield State Teachers College when she attended.
"All students were in education," she said.
Rios taught grades seven through 12 in the Gateway Regional School District for 25 years. She taught four years as a substitute professor in Westfield State's Mathematics Department. Rios has retired from teaching, but still volunteers in the Westfield School System.
Formerly Martha Stone she was married to Dr. Alfred Rios, who also earned both a bachelor's and master's degrees at Westfield State. She was previously married to John Stadnicki, also a 1961 graduate.
Stadnicki was on the Westfield State faculty from 1963 until his death in 1981. He was a standout on the college baseball team and went on to a brief professional baseball career.
The Alumnus of the Year Award is an earlier Westfield State tradition that the Division Advancement of College Relations revived this year.