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Golden West names gym after school’s first principal
Manteca Unified school board President Marie Freitas unveiled the dedication plaque of the gym to Lloyd Wofford, who was first-ever principal at Golden West Elementary School.

Lloyd Wofford turned 100 not too long ago.

That was one of many landmark moments for the local centenarian, former educator, and jack-of-all-trades, recalled family, friends, and former students on Wednesday.

They were all at Golden West Elementary School that evening for Wofford, whose was honored with naming of the multi-purpose facility.

Principal Tony Shah proudly proclaimed it “The Lloyd W. Wofford Gym” at the dedication ceremony.

Manteca Unified school board President Marie Freitas unveiled the dedication plaque to Wofford, who was touched by the moment.

The announcement was actually made back at the August school board meeting – a committee tasked with the naming of school facilities selected Wofford on his “incredible impact” on the school community.

For nearly three decades, Wofford served as principal on the MUSD campus on North Main Street. Kent Hinton, who was one of the guest speakers – he, Bob Wallace, and Norm Hixon were among the guest speakers / former administrators at the special event, trained by Wofford during their respective careers – remembered those early days when Golden West was “far remote and remote in the country at the time.”

Wofford was the first principal of the school that opened in 1961. Back then, John F. Kennedy was president, Spartacus was the No. 1 movie in the land, and the City of Manteca’s population was about 8,000, said Shah, who has been the Golden West principal for the past three years – he was amazed at Wofford’s longevity as principal.

Lloyd Wofford served in that role from 1961 to 1988, retiring at age 65. But he was far from done as far as work.

“He was always busy,” Hixon said.

Wofford was into real estate, did carpentry, and worked various agricultural jobs, just to name a few.

He was originally from Oklahoma. Wofford bravely served his country in World War II, and arrived at the school district in 1953 as a teacher at Lindburgh School.

It all came full circle recently with the naming of the Golden West gym in his honor.

“This is a special day to recognize Mr. Wofford,” Wallace said.