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Secretary of State at St. Anthonys campus today
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One good turn deserves another.

That’s the story behind today’s special visit of two top state officials to St. Anthony of Padua School.

California’s Director of the Department of Conservation, Marc Nechodom, and Secretary of State Debra Bowen, are stopping by in Manteca this morning to see the school’s fourth graders and to give a talk about what they do in their respective jobs, Principal Mary Lou Hoffman said in an e-mail to the Bulletin.

The top state officials will arrive at the school between 9 and 9:30 a.m., she said.

Fourth-grade class teacher Francine Simmons explained why her students are receiving this special honor.

“Mr. Nechodom wanted to meet the class and thank them for making Get Well cards after his surgery last month,” she said.

“We were going to the State capitol with a possible visit to the Secretary of State’s office. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State was not able to meet with us due to her husband’s surgery. So I encouraged the children to make him Get Well cards. We were offered an opportunity to go to the office and participate in an activity, although we did not meet her. During that visit, I dropped off the cards,” she explained.

A few days later, Nechodom himself “called the school to set up the visit. He was very grateful for the cards, prayers and well wishes the class and I sent,” Simmons said.

She added that Nechodom and the Secretary of State “will each speak to the kids about their particular role in government – he, being the Director of the Department of Conservation, and she, the  Secretary of State. They will each also facilitate an activity for the class.”

The state officials’ visits will serve as an added highlight to the school’s celebration of the annual Olympic Day “so they will both be able to observe some of those activities,” Simmons said.

They will be joined by local dignitary, Manteca City Councilman Vince Hernandez, who will be attending the Olympic Day celebration as well.