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Eva Raigoza Baca

2010 Inductee

Eva Raigoza Baca (1929-2007) believed in the potential of every child to succeed, and sought to share her love of learning everywhere she went. Baca’s example motivated Eastwood Heights, a neighborhood on the east side of Pueblo, to improve itself through books, education, and a thirst for knowledge. The child of two Mexican immigrants, Baca began her studies later than many other students. Widowed at 32, she turned to education to secure a brighter future for herself and her two young children. Baca’s tireless efforts earned her not only a college degree from Southern Colorado State, but also a master’s from Adams State College and a principal’s certification from the University of Wyoming.

She was appointed principal of Eastwood Elementary School in 1972. After being named principal, Baca did not waste any time making a name for herself in the community. She not only began improvements within her school but was influential in improving the overall quality of life in the Eastwood Heights neighborhood. Literacy was her primary vehicle for change, but close behind was her invaluable mentorship to students, parents, new teachers, and community members. Baca’s involvement in countless philanthropic efforts earned her recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, and a Latino Lifetime Achievement Award. But perhaps most significantly, Baca’s beloved Eastwood Elementary was renamed Eva R. Baca Elementary School, in honor of the woman whose legacy continues to live on in the people she inspired.