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Calla synonymous with education since 1901
Calla High is at the corner of Austin Road and East Highway 120. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin
Calla is a name that’s been associated with Manteca education for the past 109 consecutive years.

The Calla High campus on the southeast corner of Highway 120 and Austin Road can trace its roots back to 1901.

That’s when the first school of the 20th century was built in San Joaquin County. Back then, there were 35,452 residents in the entire county. Today, Manteca alone has 69,000 residents.

Ten residents in the Calla area petitioned the county for a school. An election was conducted in 1900 approving the formation of the district and the issuance of a bond for $1,600 at 6 percent interest payable over 18 years.

The original one-room structure is the forerunner of today’s Calla campus that houses Manteca Unified School District’s original continuation high school. Part of the campus also houses the Manteca Community Action Programs for handicapped adults.

Emma Fink Goodwin was one of the first teachers. She was paid in 1901 with $90 a month in gold and boarded at the B.A. Goodwin residence for $25 a month and later married the trustee’s son.

The following year, she returned her $10 a month raise so the district could buy sliding doors to divide the school into two classrooms.

The one-room school house was replaced in 1918 when voters approved a bond to purchase two more acres to build a new school at a cost of $13,000. The measure passed 33-22. The old school was sold to Alfred Goodwin for use as a barn for $250.

The second Calla School burned to the ground on Jan. 19, 1934.

The replacement structure includes portions of the current school building and was built at a cost of $21,000.