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Shasta multi dedicated in honor of Mello, as well as Pinto
Shasta School’s first principal Bill Pinto, left, sits with his family during Thursday’s dedication event for the Pinto-Mello Multipurpose Room at Shasta School. The name honors two former principals, Pinto along with the late Rick Mello. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Audrey Greene is the third principal in the history of Shasta School.

Her roots go much deeper.

As a youngster, she attended the Manteca Unified site back in the days when the school was under the helm of its first-ever principal, Bill Pinto.

He opened the school back in 1966.

The City of Manteca back then was half the size of the current MUSD enrollment, according to Keith Jackson, who is a former student and now a parent of a Shasta student.

As for Greene, she later worked under Rick Mello, who served as principal there for 22 years until his untimely passing nearly two years ago.

“Mr. Pinto taught me to dream,” she said Thursday at the dedication ceremony of the multi-purpose room. “Mr. Mello taught me to plan for that dream.”

The facility was made possible by various funding sources including the voter-approved Measure M. The name came from the efforts of an appointed committee consisting of Rosemarie Craighead (parent), Helen Hankal-Jackson (parent), Stephen Ruble (student representative), Cindy Rundell (city representative), Cindy Wofford (teacher) and Greene.

The dedication event was a homecoming of sort for the Pintos and Mellos.

“This is a beautiful building,” said Anna Mello, wife of the late principal. “Our whole family is happy that it shares Rick’s name.”

Superintendent Jason Messer had the pleasure of unveiling the dedication plaque, reading, Mello / Pinto Multi-Purpose Building.

“Informally, it’s known as the Hornets’ Nest,” he added.

Lloyd Wofford found it rather appropriate that the newest building on campus bear the name of the two educators.

“They were both successful,” said Wofford, who served over 30 years as principal at Lindbergh School. “They had a vision and a plan of what they wanted to accomplish.”

He was a contemporary of Pinto and mentor to Mello.

“Rick didn’t wait for things to happen, he made things happen,” Wofford said.

He recalled Pinto as being “very meticulous and organized right to a tee.”

Wofford and Jackson served as speakers for the special event.

Jackson also remembered when the school only went up to fifth grade.

“Back then, we ruled the school (as fifth-grade students),” he said.

Because of that, Jackson and his classmates were known to occasionally cause mischief.

Pinto, however, found a way for them to channel that energy.

“He had us play softball,” Jackson said. “We had teams and we would look forward to playing.”

Cindy Wofford, who is the daughter of Lloyd Wofford, is a teacher at the school. She, too, attended Shasta.

“This is a very special place,” said Cindy Wofford, who thanked those in attendance.

Included was Bill Pinto, who was accompanied by his wife, Carolyn, their son, Mark, and daughters, Jill and Gina, and several grandchildren.

Anna Mello was joined by her daughter, Allison; Rick’s mom, Margaret Mello, and siblings, Kathleen and Frank Mello, Jr., who came all the way from Kentucky for the special occasion honoring his late brother.