Remembering former superintendent and D60 Education Foundation founder, Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo

posted Jul 9, 2020, 9:17 AM by
Current and former superintendents of Pueblo School District 60 (L-R): Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo, Charlotte Macaluso, and Dr. Henry Roman, in 2019. Vallejo passed away at the age of 90 on July 7, 2020. (District 60 Communications).

Former Pueblo School District 60 superintendent, Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo, passed away July 7, 2020 at the age of 90. Dr. Vallejo was D60 Superintendent from 1985-91, which closed out a 36-year career as an educator in Pueblo.

Current D60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso said: “As an education leader in our community, I am humbled to say that I stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before. One of those giants is Dr. Vallejo. Dr. Vallejo leaves a legacy with a very deep reach. It is a legacy of love and service to D60 and the Pueblo community. There is no greater reward, no greater legacy, than to positively change the trajectory of countless lives. Dr. Vallejo is the epitome of a life well lived….a life of purpose and impact.”

Dr. Vallejo was born in Kansas City, Mo. on Sept. 10, 1929, but lived his developing years at St. Joseph's Foundling Home and Mt. St. Vincent Home, a Catholic orphanage in Denver, until 1943. He graduated from St. Mary High School in Walsenburg in 1947 before working toward his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History/Political Science from Adams State College in 1955. He would attain his Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology and Guidance from the University of Northern Colorado in 1958, and his Ph.D. in education from Kansas State University in 1975. He also did postdoctoral work at Teachers’ College, Columbia University in New York City in 1982.

In addition to his education, Dr. Vallejo was also very proud of his service in the United States Navy during the Korean War as a photographer.  

Dr. Vallejo served his entire 36-year career in education in Pueblo School District 60. He was an English teacher, part-time school counselor, reading specialist, junior high and middle school principal, and associate superintendent for instructional services before being named superintendent of schools in 1985. 

After his retirement in 1991, Dr. Vallejo served as a volunteer mentor and tutor to at-risk children, most of them high school dropouts. Dr. Vallejo was so passionate about supporting students that he established the Pueblo School District 60 Education Foundation in 1990. Dr. Vallejo was the longest standing trustee of the board, having served each year since its inception. Under his leadership and guidance, the Foundation developed partnerships with major organizations that allowed D60 to resurface the track and field at Dutch Clark Stadium, award numerous college scholarships to deserving students, and grant thousands of dollars to D60 teachers on an annual basis to enrich and improve the overall quality of education in our school district. 

Macaluso said her career in education was informed by her interactions with Dr. Vallejo, and that he touched her life in immeasurable ways.

“My first introduction and encounter with Dr. Vallejo, was when I was a student at East High School and Dr. Vallejo was serving as D60 Superintendent,” Macaluso said. “As a young and impressionable student, Dr. Vallejo served as an important Latino role model and motivational figure for me, who stressed the importance of education. My last and most recent encounter with Dr. Vallejo was sitting next to him in a D60 Education Foundation board meeting. I remember distinctly, taking the time to be truly present in the moment and reflect upon my gratitude for his positive influence in my life and my career choice.”

Vallejo was the 11th individual, and the first Hispanic to serve as superintendent since D60 was consolidated from Districts 1 and 20 in 1946. Upon his retirement in 1991, he was the longest-serving superintendent D60 has had since consolidation.

“We will continue to honor his legacy, as it serves as a catalyst for action to continually work toward improving educational outcomes for all students and to advance the work of the D60 Education Foundation,” Macaluso said.