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Manteca High administrator shows he can dance

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Manteca High administrator shows he can dance

Manteca High Assistant Principal Raul Mora was one of the stars of the Principal’s Lip Sync Exhibicion de Talento at Modesto High. Mora helped Manteca take first, earning $1,500 in scholarship money.

KRISTINA HACKER/The Bulletin


POSTED April 27, 2013 2:21 a.m.

MODESTO – Raul Mora lacks any formal training and admits to having two left feet.

“Oh, no,” chuckled Manteca High’s assistant principal. “I’m not a good dancer at all.”

Sure fooled the judges.

With Mora as its centerpiece, Manteca High’s M.E.Ch.A student group turned a carefully choreographed routine into scholarship money.

Manteca High captured the Principal’s Lip Sync Exhibicion de Talento at Modesto High last Saturday, emerging from a pool of schools from around the Central Valley.

The Buffaloes were the only school from Manteca Unified to compete.

“It was definitely an amazing experience, because the students put in a lot of hard work for weeks,” said advisor Maribel Rosendo Servin. “… They had a good experience and felt the support of the assistant principal.”

M.E.Ch.A stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or Chicano Student’s Movement of Aztlan. It is an organization that promotes higher education, culture and history for the Chicano and Chicana community.

The victory netted Manteca High $1,500 in scholarship money, which will be split among five seniors: Vanessa Arzate, Maria Zamarripa, Willians Custodio, Fabiola Escobar and Ricardo Marin.

The group worked for weeks to prepare Saturday’s showcase. Their performance culled together songs and dance steps from various regions in Mexico.

Students taking part in the presentation were: Edgar Aguilar, Priscilla Avila, Cindy Cortez, Jose Gonzales, Hector Patron, and Mariela and Maria Zamarripa, Arzate, Custodio, Escobar and Marin.

The principal member of the cast was, well, the assistant principal.

Servin said Mora’s performance and participation were largely responsible for Manteca’s victory.

“The majority of the points were based on (Mora), so that was key. That was one of the most important roles,” Servin said. “He allowed us to compete for scholarship money, which was great.”

Mora’s secret?

“You have to be animated,” he said. “Just smile and move.”

Mora enjoyed his time with the M.E.Ch.A students. They reveled in their accomplishment at a restaurant in Modesto following the contest, where Mora got to learn more about the students and their families.

“It’s always great to be able to work with the students,” he said. “Many of them are struggling to learn here. It’s a reminder of how hard and difficult it is to learn a different language.

“It’s also important for the administration to work with the good kids. We see the bad kids so much that it’s nice to work with the good ones and get to know them.”

The group’s next event is the Cinco de Mayo celebration on campus.

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