Sahuarita USD Names 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Sahuarita Unified School District names 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Sahuarita, AZ— Sahuarita Unified School District announces the 2016 inductees into the SUSD Hall of Fame. This is the second year that the District will honor and give public recognition to individuals and/or organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the district and whose involvement has served as a stimulus to programs within the schools.

The inductees will be honored at the Hall of Fame Ceremony on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The program will begin at 4:30 PM in front of the District Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

More information about the Sahuarita Unified School District Hall of Fame can be found on the District website and following the link in “Community”. The nomination form is available on this site at

The 2016 inductees are as follows:

Farmers Investment Co. (FICO)

ficoLogoFooter-2The Farmers Investment Company (FICO), which is based in Sahuarita, is the world’s largest grower and processor of pecans. The farm operations cover more than 7,000 acres! Dick Walden is Chairman, President and CEO of Farmers Investment Co (FICO). Mr. Walden grew up on the company’s Continental Farm, in what is now Green Valley, AZ. His wife, Nan Stockholm Walden, serves as Vice President and Counsel at (FICO). The Walden family are long-standing community members that have been very active in Sahuarita and the surrounding area.

Farmers Investment Co (FICO) has supported the educational mission in Sahuarita for many years. Working in partnership with the Sahuarita Unified School District, FICO has helped to support teacher training, provide classroom resources, and expand quality education programs. After donating the land for Walden Grove High School, they initiated a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the District, in which they have voluntarily placed requirements upon the development of their land specifically requiring more sites for future schools. They have also placed an educational roof top enhancement fee for every household that will be built, to support the future of the Sahuarita Unified School District.

The Walden’s are recipients of numerous awards, including the University of Arizona’s Distinguished Citizen Award, the Pecan Statesman Award given by the National Pecan Growers Council, and Director’s Award from First Interstate Bank of Arizona, and are now the recipient of SUSD’s Hall of Fame recognition.


Nancie Kondrat

Kondrat, Nancie SHSNancie Kondrat began her 43-year career in 1973. She taught 18 years at Sahuarita Unified School District’s (SUSD) high school & middle school in a wide array of subject areas and 26 years as a high school librarian.

Nancie has been a dedicated teacher and a life-long learner. She has written curriculum for the Social Studies Department, and has fostered the development of many student and school related programs.

Nancie Kondrat has played an active role in the community and in the lives of her students. She has involved herself with the Faculty/Staff Spirit Committees, Superintendent’s Advisory Council, Technology Committee, Positive Incentive Program, Beep Beep Committee, Government Club, Spirit Club, Do Something Club, and various other campus committees. She has empowered students, colleagues, and former students to be successful, self-directed, and take pride in their accomplishments. Nancie has influenced students and colleagues alike.

Over the past two years, she has coordinated approximately 36 fundraisers through the Do Something Club. Nancie inspires other with her continued drive, dedication, and passion. She teaches her students through her works of kindness, civility, and humility.

Nancie has made an impact in countless lives both young and old. Nancie Kondrat truly exemplifies the meaning of a Sahuarita Hall of Fame nominee.


James (Jim) Walker III

Walker 2James Walker’s amazing career with the Sahuarita Unified School District started back on July 7, 1968 in little red brick “house”. He was hired in the Facilities Department and performed maintenance on the heating and cooling systems, and took care of all electrical, plumbing and irrigation needs.

Mr. Walker retired from the District in 1998, but still could not break the bond with the Sahuarita USD. He returned to the District in July 1999 as a bus driver. He is still driving a bus 17 years later! He takes pride in working with his colleagues and is one of the leaders in our training department for bus driver trainees.

He is a hardworking and dedicated employee to the District, who rarely has a negative word to say. Other drivers seek Mr. Walker’s advice due to his years of experience and knowledge. Mr. Walker’s leadership skills and commitment to his profession is always seen in his “there are no bad questions attitude.”

With over 45 years of service to the students of Sahuarita Unified School District, his energy and commitment has been unmatched.

Rancho Sahuarita Company

Logo - Transparent 1 (1)As a family-oriented master planned community, Rancho Sahuarita has worked closely with the Sahuarita Unified School District (“SUSD”) to ensure we have adequate facilities and has continually supported our staff and students. Rancho Sahuarita has donated over 66 acres of land for new schools and has supported all school overrides and bond initiatives from the beginning of the project. Recently, SUSD and the Rancho Sahuarita Company completed a public, private partnership consisting of an Early Childhood Center, a K-5 elementary school, a state of the art aquatic center and a $1.8 million extension of “Main Street” within the Sahuarita Town Center. In addition, Rancho Sahuarita has actively promoted a pro-education agenda. It has assisted SUSD in implementing innovative programs and educational offerings such as the highly successful National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), teacher engagement, and student internships.

At its foundation, The Rancho Sahuarita Company has always recognized the value of supporting and investing in education. This visionary philosophy and a collaborative relationship has benefited both organizations and the community as a whole. James Rouse, renowned developer and urban planner once stated, “The most successful community would be that which contributed the most by its physical form, its institutions and its operations to the growth of the people.” With this in mind it is not surprising that Rancho Sahuarita was recently awarded “Project of the Decade” by the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, and contributing to Money Magazine selecting the Town of Sahuarita, the 29th best community in the United States to live in. Thank you to the Rancho Sahuarita Company!