The following is a brief look at just some of the contributions made to the community by the other nominees:
When Horvath came to the United States on a 14-day cross by boat just before the Hungarian revolution nearly 50 years ago, he made a promise to himself to devote whatever time he could to volunteer work to repay the gift he had been given of becoming an American citizen. He began doing so as a member of a volunteer fire rescue team in New Jersey and repainted fire trucks out of an auto body and paint shop he owned. Since coming to Marana in 1984 to work for Gates Learjet until forced to retire due to a stroke, he has served on the board of the Marana Health Center, as advisory board chairman at the Marana Senior Center, a fund-raiser for his church, the Marana Food Bank, rhinos at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo and the local Hungarian club where he's known to treat his fellow members to some unique egg dishes. "I've always believed in helping needy people," Horvath said, "because you never know when you'll need help," something he truly came to recognize when his regular attendance at Town Council meetings was interrupted by quadruple bypass surgery two years ago.
Mundell, assistant superintendent for financial services in the Marana Unified School District, has always preached the need for parents to be involved with kids. As a teacher he's had to put his preaching to practice in coaching his two sons in basketball, baseball and soccer. A founder of the Marana Foundation for Educational Excellence in 1988, principal at Tortolita Middle School from 1982 to 1986 and former superintendent for curriculum and instruction from 1986 to 2001, Mundell has overseen more than $80 million in new district construction over the past nine years, including new art, math and science classrooms, computer labs and athletic fields. "He wants and expects the best for his students and he takes a hands-on approach to make sure it happens," wrote one of the people recommending Mundell for the Man of the Year Award, adding "he's lain out the groundwork, established the foundation and helped us soar to new heights."
What makes Lt. Bradshaw, a 25-year veteran of the Marana Police Department and founder of the Marana Youth Group and Marana Boys Club stand out, said his boss, Chief Richard Vidaurri, is his outright dedication, a willingness to plug away through thick and thin, particularly as a leader in the department's Explorer program for youths interested in law enforcement careers.
Among the activities Bradshaw has these youths involved in are seeing to it needy families get food baskets from the Marana Food Bank, wrapping holiday presents for needy families and assisting with town carnivals and graduations. Bradshaw, a supervisor of instruction for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in Marana schools and the officer in charge of the department's technical services, communications, records and fiscal management, succeeds so well with kids because he doesn't come across as an authoritarian figure and the kids aren't intimidated, Vidaurri said. "It's more than having a uniform," Bradshaw said. "It's having an ear for what young people are saying and paying attention to them."
Contributions to the community made by Jackson, a Marana High School arts teacher since her arrival from the Chicago area in 1987, president and founding member of the Marana Arts Council board of directors and member of the town's Public Arts Committee, are reflected not only in the artwork done by her students that can be seen scattered throughout the community's parks and the sculpture in front of the Marana Town Hall, but also in the fact that all four women nominated for Woman of the Year have an involvement with the nonprofit Marana Arts Council. She is the mother of a 22-year-old son waiting to enter the Air Force and a 24-year-old daughter who also teaches in the district.
Among the accomplishments Jackson takes great pride in is her leadership role in getting training for more than 200 Marana Unified School District kindergarten through eighth grade teachers to incorporate art into their daily curriculum, a move that has had a major impact on more than 7,000 students. "I do the things I do because I like to and because it's good for our community," said Jackson, a teacher for more than 32 years who also instructs in extension courses at the University of Arizona and at Pima Community College. "I live in Marana, I teach in Marana, all my neighbors go to local schools and art has become so much a part of my life. I just do what I think is best for my community to improve the quality of life here. Getting to deal with people who have the same passion, it's just great fun."
Groseclose began her volunteer work as a community leader for the Marana Stockmen 4H Club, supervising programs in the raising of livestock 17 years ago as her two children were growing up. Her daughter is now a fourth-grade teacher at Roadrunner Elementary School and her son is a policeman in Sahuarita. She was also among the organizers of the Marana Youth Group, a program to keep kids busy with trips and other activities before the town's creation of a Parks and Recreation Department, served as volunteer substitute school bus driver and assisted as a civilian adviser in the formation of the Police Department's Explorers, a group aimed at youth interested in law enforcement careers. A former town clerk in Marana from 1990 to1999, as well as a former community programs and events manager for the town from 1999 to 2001, Groseclose now serves as an executive on loan to the Marana Arts Council and as the council's executive director. "Working with youth has been very rewarding," Groseclose said, "just to see the positive change in the kids that maybe you were instrumental in affecting, helping them to grow and make the right choices."
Truitt, principal at Marana High School since 1998 and vice president of the Marana Health Center board of directors, has been involved in the teaching of Marana's youth since 1978 when she joined the district as a fourth grade teacher at Butterfield Elementary School, then moved to the sixth grade at Ironwood Elementary School and on to associate principal at Mountain View High School in 1994. She is a former music major who at one time sought a career as a church organist. Last year Truitt, who also is treasurer of the Marana Rotary, started a Med-Start program with Northwest Medical Center in which high school seniors intern for on-the-job training, and is in the process of introducing the same curriculum at the Marana Health Center. Just this year she was selected to serve as a member of the Arizona Department of Education Solutions Team to assist underperforming schools. Her husband, Jim, is a teacher at Canyon del Oro High School where their daughter is a senior. Their son is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. "She exemplifies all that a 'Woman of the Year' should be, wrote one supporter, "a person devoted to family, church and community."