No one really leaves McParland School.
So says Principal Dale Borgeson at the 25th anniversary of the Manteca Unified campus on Monday.
Deena Crowe is proof of that. She was Deena Dunn back then.
In 1987, she was a fifth-grade student when the doors first opened at McParland. Her mother, Betsy Dunn, was a first-grade teacher. Clare Green also taught there.
Delmer Derrick was the first-ever principal of the school named in honor of educator and American hero George McParland.
“We knew George McParland,” said Crowe, who, for the past 10 years, has been an educator for the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s one.program. Prior to that, she was at Golden West School.
Today, Crowe’s son, Tristan, is at McParland as a first-grade student.
Of the original group of teachers, Green still remains.
“It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at the same school for 25 years,” she said.”I’ve had children (as my students) from those who I taught back when they were junior high students.”
Green also worked at Sequoia School for a few years.
The 25th anniversary celebration was a reunion consisting of teachers and staff, both present and past, as well as former parents and students held in the courtyard.
Gary Dei Rossi, who recently retired as deputy superintendent of SJCOE, reminisced about McParland, the person.
McParland not only served his country during World War II but was also the principal at Lindbergh School and principal / superintendent at French Camp School.
“He often passed out candies to children for good behavior,” said Dei Rossi of McParland’s time at French Camp. “He asked students who brought lunch to school to share with those less fortunate.
“He also told tall tales of bones buried beneath the school.”
During the outdoor event, McParland students performed both renditions of the school song.
In addition, a reception was held in the school cafeteria for both past and present teachers and staffers. Included was a slide show presentation featuring the 1987 opening of the school along with various events from past 25 years.
For Crowe, McParland School is her past, present and future.