During his 16 years on the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees, Manuel Medeiros often provided comic relief, even when discussions turned serious and complicated.
“You have entertained us for years,” frequent meeting attendee and often board critic Karen Pearsall said recalling those memorable Medeiros moments at the last board meeting when the lifelong farmer and board president Don Scholl were honored for their years of service to the school district and the community at large.
Both were unsuccessful in their bid for re-election on Nov. 4 – Scholl as trustee for Area 6, and Medeiros as representative of Area 4. They were defeated by two younger and largely unknown challengers – Ashley Drain for Area 2 and Alexander Bronson for Area 6. Both will be installed as the new trustees for those areas during the December meeting.
But even as Pearsall noted Medeiros’ deceptively lighthearted moments during past board meetings, she quickly qualified that underneath all those light comments was the longtime board member’s deep dedication to fiscal responsibility and common sense. She also noted Medeiros’ penchant for asking many questions, but he did that “not to make trouble but to learn,” adding, “I always respect someone who questions things.”
As for Scholl, Pearsall said what she found most impressive was the board president’s ability to “not just read but analyze reports.” She also praised Scholl for setting “the tone of mutual respect” during meetings, not just among the general public but also with district staff and employees. It’s the board president as the meeting preside who sets the tone for the meetings, Pearsall said.
She also recognized Scholl, who is head of Parks, Sports Fields & Trees Division for the City of Tracy, for being always calm and a respectful listener.
“I’ve not always agreed with you,” she said to both Scholl and Medeiros, but she acknowledged them for “doing the best of your ability with integrity. I want to thank you so much for your public service.”
Janet Dyk, a current member of the San Joaquin County of Education Board of Directors who is a frequent part of the audience at Manteca Unified board meetings, also commented to “publicly thank Manuel and Don for their service.”
She said both outgoing trustees have “always been very respectful.” She also praised Medeiros for always basing his decision and votes on fiscal responsibility.
“I hope the new board members will learn from Manuel,” Dyk said in her parting comments.
Both Scholl and Medeiros received certificates of appreciation from the district which were presented by Superintendent Jason Messer and Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke. The outgoing board members’ wives – Becky Scholl who is a Manteca Unified school teacher, and Bernice Medeiros – were also recognized and presented with bouquets of flowers.