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Move to rename street Timberwolf Drive leads to reaffirming Jim Thomas’ impacts
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Those in attendance at the Jim Thomas Street dedication ceremony at Sierra High followed safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic such as social distancing and wearing of face masks

Last May, Manteca Councilman Gary Singh first came up with the plan to re-name Thomas Street in front of Sierra High to that of Timberwolf Drive in recognition back then of the school’s 25th year anniversary.

After all, Lathrop High already had Spartan Way, East Union High had Spartan Drive and a section of Garfield Avenue south of where the Manteca High campus is being extended into is being rechristened Buffalo Way has a nice ring to it.

"I'm the guy who started all of this. It was my bright idea," said Singh at Wednesday's street dedication of Jim Thomas Street.

His "bright idea" was before Singh, who is a 2000 graduate of SHS, became aware of the story behind Thomas Street.

Needless to say, he was enlightened on the street by none other than  Jim Thomas, who is the son of the longtime local educator and one time superintendent of the Manteca Unified School District, receiving the complete history.

“I’ll never make that same mistake again,”he said.

Sierra High Principal Steve Clark thought on the contrary. “I don’t think it was a mistake but rather a tremendous opportunity,” he added.

Renaming the street was not a simple process, according to Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu.

"We were not allowed to just change the name," he said, noting the time constraints and complications involving the various agencies.

Cantu credited his young staff for finding a solution. That was to create another sign.

The honorary sign reads "Jim Thomas Street."

"According to GPS and Google, it's still Thomas Street. From a Manteca standpoint, it's Jim Thomas Street," Cantu added.