Nearly 100 students from the special needs programs from throughout San Joaquin County were thrilled Wednesday to take part in the annual Happy Valentine’s Dance held at Manteca High.
For the first time in 12 years, the event was made available to students from the likes of Tracy, Escalon, Sierra, Weston Ranch, and the Manteca Transition Program.
“We were able to attend the dance for the first time since (MHS) scheduled it during the day rather than after school,” said Weston Ranch High teacher Corinna Guerrero.
The Happy Valentine’s Dance was moved from the MHS campus, going from the cafeteria to the small gym.
Among the highlights was the crowning of Olivia Olivera and Berron King as queen and king. Olivera is a student of Brad Stone’s class at MHS while King’s instructor is Guerrero.
Music was provided by Tim Wilson of Tim2 DJ Service.
“Everyone had fun socializing and dancing,” said Hall.
Organizers were also thankful for the many donors. Included was Kathy Hill, who once again managed to collect the toys from the local Target Store that served as prizes.
“So many of the kids received toys this year,” Hill said.
Principal Doug McCreath, in addition, thanked those who supported the dance – the MHS student store, Safeway, Save Mart, TJ Maxx, KFC, Ghirardelli, Staples, Fashion Health Care, Frito Lay, and Monogram Magic, to name a few.
Tristyn Silva of the MHS Floriculture class made possible the corsages.
Led by special education teacher Lindy Carrington, the Valentine’s Dance at MHS kicked off in 1999. Three years later, Connie Blankenship took over as organizer.
Since 2006, Stone has been in charge of the Valentine’s Dance, with this year’s event being the biggest one by far.