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Cultural Educators

In honor of individuals who have directed

cultural music and folklorico dance performing groups

in schools in California


The following individuals have either organized or directed high school performing groups including,

but not limited to, folkloric dance groups, marimba bands, mariachi, estudiantinas, rondallas, etc.

In some cases they are formal classes during the school day,

but many are extracurricular activities or teacher projects.

Steve Alcala, Pat Arvizu, Diana Astorga-Gainey, Jeff Bowman, Dennis Conner, Vicky Filgas, Ricardo Gabaldon, Pat Gutierrez, Stanley Lucero, Jaime Morales, Carmencristina Moreno,

Rose Pantoja, Cecilia Rios, Denise Valdez


The above individuals worked at the following schools:

Central High [Central]; Clovis East High [Clovis]; Clovis High [Clovis]; Clovis West High [Clovis]; Eastin Arcola Elementary [Madera]; Madera High [Madera]; McLane High [Fresno]; Mt. Whitney High [Visalia]; Porterville High [Porterville] Righetti High [Santa Maria]; Roosevelt High [Fresno]; Sanger HIgh [Sanger]; Sunnyside [Fresno]; Thomas Jefferson Junior High [Madera]; Tulare County Department of Education Title VII Consortium [Visalia]; Washington Union [?]; Woodlake HIgh [Woodlake];

Honored Individuals

Steve Alcala

Three Two Music Publishing

Steve Alcala has been teaching at Roosevelt High School in Fresno, CA since 1982.  He organized and directed the following groups.

Marimba Band [1982]

Steel Drum Ensemble [1983]

Latin Jazz Ensemble [1983]

Mariachi [1989]



Pat Arvizu


Pat Arvizu was the band director at Jefferson Jr. High, Madera High, and Arvin High.  He later became the ESL teacher for Arvin High.  He organized and directed the following groups with the  help of Stanley A. Lucero.

Jefferson Jr. High Marimba Band [Madera - 1988]

Madera High Marimba Band [Madera- 1990]


Adriana Astorga-Gainey



Ms. Astorga-Gainey is currently teaching at an elementary school in Los Angeles School District.  Ms. Gainey has been the recipient of the 2003 and 2005 DanceMaker Grant as well as being honored by the City of Los Angeles and the Mexican Culrual Institute.

Ballet Folkorico del Pacifico

Pacifico Dance Company [1992]



Jeff Bowman


Jeff Bowman teaches at Roosevelt High School as the film director.  He also works with the

Steel Drum Ensemble


Dennis Conner


Dennis Conner was a Spanish teacher at Woodlake High School in Woodlake, CA.  He organized a folkloric dance group and with the help of Stanley Lucero organized a marimba band.  What is interesting is that Mr. Conner was neither a dancer nor a musician but was an individual deeply committed to promoting cultural performing groups.


Vicky Filgas


Vicky Filgas was a Spanish teacher at Sanger High School in Sanger, CA.  She organized a folklorico dance group and marimba band.


Ricardo Gabaldon



Ricardo Gabaldon works for the Bilingual-Bicultural Program at Righetti High School in Santa Maria, CA. He organized the following group.

Rishetti High School Marimba Band & Ballet Folklorico [1975]


Pat Gutierrez



Pat Gutierrez taught Spanish at Clovis High School in Clovis, CA since 1966.  He organized and directed the following groups.

Mexican Folklorico Group [1970]

Marimba Band [1976]


Stanley A. Lucero

Marimba Lucero


Stanley A. Lucero taught in the San Joaquin Valley for 30 years as a bilingual teacher.  He directed the following school groups.

Estudiantina Ninos de Sol [Visalia - 1977]

Mt. Whitney High Marimba Band [Visalia - 1979]

Woodlake High Marimba Band [Woodlake - 1980]

Jefferson Jr. High Marimba Band [Madera - 1988]

Madera High Marimba Band [Madera- 1990]

Ballet Folklorico y Marimba de Fresno [Fresno - 1990]

Eastin Arcola Marimba Band [Madera - 1992]



Carmencristina Moreno


Carmencristina has been "conducting workshops and performing her songs of labor and life in the Central Valley.  Through a teaching program, she created Parallel Histories of the United States and Mexico through Music and has conducted classes in schools throughout the region."


Cecilia Rios


Cecilia Rios

Mrs. Rios has worked in various postions with Migrant Education in the Madera areas.  She has taught at least 100 students folkloric dancing for many years on her own time with and without the support of the schools.  She is currently the director of"

Ballet Folklorico Alta California


Page updated November 17, 2013