Rick Arucan — the man credited with establishing Sierra High’s standard for excellence — is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.
Other members of the Class of 2017 are Jack Devincenzi, athletics; Jerry Rose, at large; Rick Hammarstrom, art; Dr. Glenn Brown, health care; Jack Lewis, business; Scott Blevins, business; Bill Van Ryn, agriculture, Ken Hafer, special recognition ; and Tevani Liotard, community service.
Arucan is being inducted for education.
The 25th annual induction ceremonies and dinner takes place on Saturday, May 20, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Dinner is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60. They are available through the Boys & Girls Club by calling 239-KIDS.
Arucan was the first principal for Sierra High. It is a role he served in from 1993 when the third comprehensive high school opened in the Manteca Unified School District until his retirement in 2008.
“Rick drove Sierra to always strive to be the very best,” noted Greg Leland who nominated Arucan for the honor. “Rick’s thirst for learning and mentoring his young staff were inspirational to those around him and once again, his attention to detail, discipline, and work ethic rubbed off on both his students and staff.”
When Arucan opened Sierra High it was made up of 700 sophomores and freshmen. Students from that 10th grade class came from Manteca High and East Union High while the rest of the student body came from Manteca Unified feeder elementary schools at Nile Garden, Brock Elliott, Stella Brockman and Lathrop elementary.
A short list of his many accomplishments at Sierra High includes:
uIntroducing alternative scheduling that led to block scheduling now being used at every district high school.
uEstablishing strategic planning teams composed of students and staff that meet monthly to give them a voice in decision making.
uStarteding the Lobo Gold Rally tradition that recognizes and celebrates academic achievement.
During 20th anniversary ceremonies in 2014 when the Sierra High administration building was named in his honor, a number of speakers told of how Arucan was no nonsense, yet fair and was completely dedicated to the success of the school, students, and staff.
He spent 39 years as a teacher, coach and administrator, including the first 26 years at East Union. Arucan started as a Manteca Unified teacher at East Union High in 1969. Arucan ended up coaching both football and baseball for the Lancers. He served seven years as assistant principal at East Union before being picked to head up Sierra High.
He was the 1984 Manteca Unified School District Teacher of the Year and received regional and state honors as administrator of the year.
Arucan is in the Edison High Hall of Fame, the University of Pacific Hall of Fame, the Sierra High Hall of Fame, and the Stockton Mexican Sports Hall of Fame.
The 1965 graduate of Stockton’s Edison High completed degrees at the University of Redlands, University of the Pacific, LaVerne University and the California School Leadership Academy.
At Edison Arucan was an outstanding scholar-athlete earning most valuable player awards and all-league honors in baseball and all-league recognition for football. He earned an academic/athletic scholarship to Redlands and later transferred to UOP where he was a member of the Tigers’ 1968 championship baseball team.
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