Manteca farmer Manuel Medeiros is like the Energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going.
One can draw that analogy when it comes to his tenure as a member of the Manteca Unified School Board and in his stint on the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District board of directors. He has 20 years as a fire board member, “so far,” he said. “When I finish, it’ll be 24.” As a school district trustee, it’s “16 years today, and 20 if I win again,” he said chuckling during a telephone interview on Tuesday.
The day before, the immigrant from the Azores – he was born in Faial Island – filed the necessary candidate’s papers at the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office in Stockton for the general elections in November. He represents Manteca Unified’s Area 2.
When asked for his reasons in seeking another four-year term, the jolly trustee joked, “Because I’m indispensable,” and broke into a guffaw.
“I don’t know,” he continued, still chuckling. But he finally became serious and said, “I like it. I like doing what I do. I like to do what I’m doing. I enjoy it; it’s enjoyable. I’ve been there for so many years. I think people like what I do.”
He added matter-of-factly, “I think I’ve accomplished something” on the board.
But he wants to see more things accomplished for the students in the district, he said, expanding on his reasons for wanting to put in another four years as a member of the Board of Education.
He would like more vocational programs included in be.tech – the vocational charter school formerly known as MUVA, or Manteca Unified Vocational Academy. The program is something very close to Medeiros because he has been talking about such education and skill-development opportunities for high school students who “don’t belong to college” but have skills that they can develop to become employable. The two-year vocational academy graduated its first batch of high school students in May of this year.
be.tech now has two other programs to offer besides the Culinary Arts – an industrial program where students learn welding and other skills, and First Responders which will start at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year in August.
The first board member, whose term expires at the end of the year, to file candidate’s papers is board vice president Evelyn Moore of Area 5. The two others ending their terms this year are board president Don Scholl of Area 5 and Trustee Nancy Teicheira who represents Area 4. A phone call to Scholl was not immediately returned. Techeira remains undecided.