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Ex-principals names grace pool & breezeway at MHS
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If you are a visitor looking for the cafeteria at Manteca High, chances are you would be directed to go to Dawson Center. And if you are there to watch a softball game, your destination would be the Pennebaker Field.

Nearly a dozen areas on the Buffalo campus have names that honor individuals who have left their mark in the school’s historical psyche. Two other school areas that were officially given names which the Manteca Unified Board of Trustee unanimously approved were the swimming pool and the breezeway. The school’s swimming site is now called the R. Stephen Winter Pool in honor of the Buffaloes’ former principal who retired three years ago, who also served the school as assistant principal as well as dean of students and Social Studies teacher. McCreath Breezeway is in honor of the school’s principal who succeeded Winter in that position. Doug McCreath left his old post last year to become Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Like Winter, he also held other positions at Manteca High prior to his elevation as school principal.

Below is a complete list of other Manteca High areas and facilities and the people for whom each one is named:

• Walker Vick Field House – named after the school’s longtime athletic director and coach.

• Dawson Center which refers to the quad area and the school cafeteria – named after Paul Dawson who served as the Dean of Boys in the 1960s to 1970s and was described as “very well liked.”

• Guss Schmiedt Field – the school’s football stadium named in honor of the former longtime member of the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees.

• Dorothy Mulvihill Performing Arts Theatre – previously known as Manteca High’s Speech Arts Building, it officially was named after the longtime drama and English teacher when she retired.

•Addie Hall – refers to the Band Room and honors the memory of the daughter of Frances Darling and her late husband Leroy Darling who was Manteca High’s beloved band director for many years. Under his leadership, the Buffalo Band put not just their school but Manteca on the map with major out-of-town award-winning performances that included such venues as the traditional and popular Macy’s Parade. Their daughter, Addie, was a student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she was a top majorette and was known as “the Golden Girl” when she died.

• Brasmer Library – named after Ed Brasmer who served as principal of the school for many years.

• Winter Gym – not to be confused with the newly named R. Stephen Winter, Dr. Robert Winter who volunteered many of his hours as a medical doctor for the school’s football players is the person being honored in the naming of the school gym.

• Sam Ousley Conference Room – located in the Ed Brasmer Library honors Manteca High’s longtime librarian.

• Pennebaker Field – the school’s softball field, is in honor of the owners of the Pennebaker Apartments in Manteca.

School district policy spells out naming process for school areas

The naming process of various facilities and sites at Manteca High, and any elementary or high school campus in the district for that matter, starts with the formation of a committee which gets the blessing from the Board of Education. The naming committee’s task is to receive suggestions or nominees for the specific school area that needs to be christened. The committee members then hold discussion meetings based on established Board policy and administrative regulation. After that, committee members make a couple of recommendations which are then presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration and action.

The other nominee recommended for the naming of Manteca High’s pool was John Robert (JR) Gibson, 15, who passed away on Sept. 27, 2009 at Oakland Children’s Hospital during his sophomore year.

The other name recommended for the breezeway was Buffalo Way. The McCreath Breezeway was already announced last year during a surprise celebration at the school in honor of the principal just before he took the helm at the county Office of Education. The recent vote by the Board of Trustees gave that action the official seal of approval.

A Manteca High staff said the official dedication of R. Stephen Winter Pool and the McCreath Way will be held sometime in the 2012-2013 school year.