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Manteca Unified district receives Patriot Award

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Ted Palise of the California Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, right, reads the inscription on the Patriot Award plaque presented to the Manteca Unified School District. Looking on, from l...


POSTED March 26, 2014 2:06 a.m.

The Manteca Unified School District is the recipient of a Patriot Award from the Department of Defense. A separate Patriot Award was also presented to Superintendent Jason Messer.

Ted Palise of the DOD’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve said the award is in recognition of Messer’s and the school district’s “extraordinary support of employees who serve in the California National Guard and Reserve.” He made the presentations during the recent school board meeting.

In presenting the district award, Palise noted Manteca Unified’s hiring of employees who serve in the California National Guard and Reserve.

“Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units,” Palise said, reading the language on the plaque which he then presented to Messer, board president Don Scholl and Trustee Nancy Teicheira as a smiling Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke looked on.

For the occasion and in honor of the nature of the award being presented, Burke attended the meeting in his military uniform. A veteran of the war in Iraq, he is currently a major in the National Guard and Reserve, and has graduated from multiple schools of military leadership.

Manteca Unified also has a military-friendly policy which applies to employees who, like Burke, are active in the National Guard and Reserve.

While it was not mentioned in either plaque, Burke noted the fact that Trustee Teicheira always closes each meeting before adjournment with a dedication to the people serving in the military, or a reminder about the courage, sacrifices and services of the men and women in the military, and to pray for these heroes who lay their lives for freedom and their country.

ESGR California Chair Andrew Wiktorowicz, in the note attached to the award, explained that “the Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who, like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve.”

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