By Cassie Bingham, Communications Specialist
Vicki Mori, former Executive Director of Guadalupe School, has left an incredible legacy of hope, positivity, and empowerment through education in the Salt Lake community. As she prepares to retire from the Guadalupe School Advisory Board, we celebrate her example of strong leadership and community care.
Vicki’s passion for programs that facilitate pathways out of poverty started from a young age. Soon after graduating from high school, she worked as a physical education teacher at Guadalupe School and was inspired by Father Jerald Merrill and his vision of making a difference by collaborating with community partners. At that time, Guadalupe’s programs were housed in a tiny facility on Goshen Street. Little did Vicki know, years in the future she would be key in helping Guadalupe School open a beautiful new location with the capacity to help even more students.
In 2005 Vicki Mori was named the Community Impact Partner of the Year by United Way of Salt Lake. She had recently become the Executive Director of Guadalupe School, and was already making a huge difference through her excellent leadership based on sincere love for her community and a strong track record of administrative experience and success. Before transitioning to Guadalupe, Vicki worked as the Executive Director at Neighborhood House beginning in 1976.
In 2014 Vicki led out in the fundraising and planning of a new facility. Guadalupe School moved from a 13,000 square foot building to a Rose Park campus of 50,000 square feet. The number of people served by its programs more than doubled.
Vicki has consistently proven her devotion to underprivileged community members through her admirable industriousness and concern. She has not only directed administrative affairs in her positions as an Executive Director, but has acted as an eloquent spokesperson, talented coordinator, and valuable mentor to individuals and boards alike.
In 2015, Vicki retired, and was able to attend a fundraising gala in her honor, where proceeds were funneled into Guadalupe School Early Learning and Adult Education programs. She was also honored by the Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who praised her work in providing education and opportunity for close to four decades, and named June 11, 2016 “Vicki Mori Day.”
Since then, Vicki has graciously continued to impart her assistance and wisdom as a part of the Guadalupe School Advisory Board. Board members have truly appreciated her incredible input, and now wish her all the best as she moves forward. Echoing the sentiment of all those who have interacted with Vicki over the years, Jack Elizondo, the Advisory Board president, expressed his deep appreciation by saying, “We are so very grateful to her for her tireless leadership, her service and commitment to Guadalupe School. Her compassion for others and her positive energy are contagious and inspired the community and all those around her. Her relentless energy and vision brought our school to new heights no one would have imagined or believed possible. She led an incredibly successful capital campaign to fund our beautiful building and nearly doubled our student body. Her retirement from our board will leave a large void and she will be dearly missed. Vicki, thank you for transforming lives through education!”