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Sierra, Manteca welcome parents
Manteca High English teacher and activities director Stephanie Hjelmstad, right, talks with parents and students during Manteca Highs Back to School Night Wednesday. - photo by HIME RMERO/The Bulletin

 As the new vice principal, Andrew Lee enjoyed his first-ever Back to School function at Sierra High on Wednesday.
It’s a familiar place for the 29-year-old local product.
The 2006 graduate of SHS was previously at Manteca High, which also had its Back to School night on Wednesday.
Lee taught Chemistry at MHS before following in his parents’ educational footsteps.
His father is Bob Lee, a former principal and Manteca Unified School District administrator.
His mother, Bonnie Bennett, just retired as the MUSD Human Resource Director. Before that, she was principal at Joshua Cowell Elementary School.
His sister, Amanda, is a local teacher.
Andrew Lee is adjusting to his role as vice principal.
“It’s been two weeks at work and I’ve met with tons of people,” he said.
No surprise that many of his colleagues were his old teachers. When Lee was a student at SHS, Principal Steve Clark was his VP.
Earlier, Clark, Lee and others at school were introduced to those attending the Back to School function at the large gym.
 Lee estimates the early enrollment figures as somewhere between 1,400 to 1,500.
“They cycled through the class schedule (of the student), going from classroom to classroom and meeting with parents,” he said.
Refreshments and food were sold as fundraisers for Future Farmers of America and Leadership.
At Manteca High, FFA sold out quickly on the Back to School barbecue.
Early enrollment there is close to 1,600, Principal Frank Gonzales said.
Back to School was more of an open house as parents, students and even siblings dropped in to meet with the teachers.
Cyndi Esenwein appeared OK with that arrangement. She’s the Advanced Art, AP Art and 3-D Art teacher.
“(Parents) get to see the work we’ve been doing,” said Esenwein, who has been at MHS for the past three years and was previously at Franklin High in Stockton.
Sophomore Yasmeen Ramirez dropped in to show her brother, Israel, an eighth grader at Shasta Elementary School, her pine cone sketch in Advanced Art.
She took the Intro to Art class last year and is looking forward to doing even more art pieces this school year.
“I enjoy drawing cartoon characters,” Ramirez said.
With block scheduling, MHS and Sierra can look forward to another Back to School in January.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail