William "Bill" Flores

Class of 1953
Teacher, Mayor, Community Activist

William "Bill" Flores was born in Peak, Arizona on May 10, 1935. He attended Red Rock, Picacho, Eloy and Coolidge elementary schools. Bill graduated in 1953 from Coolidge High School and attended Durham Business College in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1954-1957 Bill served in the Army Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile Operations & Intelligence as a sergeant. After his discharge he continued with his formal education at ASU, NAU and U of A.

Bill was an elementary teacher at Eleven Mile Corner from 1962-1964. In 1964 he was teaching Business Law and Industrial Tech at Coolidge High School due to a recommendation from former English Teacher, Principal Steck and Superintendent Jim Roth.

Mr. Flores was CHS Teacher of the Year in 1965, and Chamber of Commerce Coolidge Man of the year in 1966. He assisted Dr. Pence, the first Central Arizona College (CAC) president, in planning the future political action necessary for the continued success and expansion of Central Arizona College. In 1968, Bill became a dean of CAC as well as teaching math and Industrial Tech the inaugural year. He also purchased a restaurant from Mr. Rick Santoro that was later developed into a cocktail lounge. In 1996 he sold the business and, it is now a convenience store.

In 1973, Mr. Flores was elected City of Coolidge Mayor, after a recall election. Many “firsts” and expansions took place during his tenure. Among them were the engineering for the layout of the future Jet Port, 85 square miles, with 2-mile wide, future 15 minute Rapid Rail Corridors to Phoenix and Tucson; first city ambulance, new city sewer plant, use of federal grants for parks and recreation, IGA’s with school district, improvement of fire department, garbage pickup, and street repair and cross training of all public safety officers. From 1968-1985 Mr. Flores worked closely with four governors and was President of nonprofit corporations, such as AJC (Arizona Job College, Casa Grande). He assisted in the BHACA (Behavioral Health Agency Inc.); Pinal County Self Help Housing Inc.; CAHRA (Community Action and Human Resources of Gila and Pinal); and MOP State (Migrant Opportunity Program) Mr. Flores was appointed by Governor Jack Williams as Chairman, State Manpower Board. Bill was elected Chairman of the Council for Mayors, County Supervisors, and Tribal Governments. He became an officer of the League of Cities and Town and a member of the Governor’s Committee on Family Relations.

Before his retirement from CAC in 1991, Bill was Executive Dean for Educational Programs for 8 state prisons. He was a field worker for political redistricting and field supervisor for the 2000 census before traveling to Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Italy.

He truly believes one person can make the difference and he credits his success to his parents, wife, children, Mr. Steck, Mr. Roth, and teacher Jack Meeker, and Mr. Bill Platt for his legal counsel during his 8 years on the city council. Mr. Flores states that even though he has been honored many times, this honor comes from the public schools, and his experience as a student and as a Coolidge High School teacher developed his interest in helping people. Bill says, “My best experience was to devote all of my teaching time to my students.”

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