Fifty years ago there were eight school districts that served students in Manteca, Lathrop and French Camp.
It only made to sense to bring them all together in order to provide the best opportunity for students in those communities and to facilitate the growth that the region would experience in the coming years.
On Tuesday Manteca Unified School District, which is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, paid tribute to that decision in a brief ceremony before the start of their August meeting of the Board of Education by welcoming back former teachers, administrators and classified staff that have helped steer the district towards where it is today.
There were more than a few accolades to go around reaching the milestone – which unified longtime independent schools like French Camp, which has been continuously operating as a school for more than 150 years, with the community at large – as elected officials and their representatives from Manteca, San Joaquin County, the California State Senate and even the United States House of Representatives were on hand to congratulate the district for the achievement and recognize their dedication to ensuring that quality education is something that students will continue to have over the course of the next five decades.
“To have 50 years is amazing – it’s something to build on and to build from,” Manteca Vice Mayor Rich Silverman said – noting that the district is taking big steps towards preparing students for their future through programs like be.Tech which readies them not just for college, but careers that can serve them as well. “But I’m looking forward to the next 50 years because they’re going to be very exciting.”
And at one point the Manteca Unified offices were actually operated out of a building at the Spreckels Sugar plant while the district was preparing to construct its Louise Avenue complex that is still in operation today – albeit with a new building.
For Superintendent Jason Messer, who is preparing for the first time in his career to move his family into the boundaries of Manteca Unified, the district’s dedication to their task is something that he feels is good enough for his grandchildren to be a part of.
“I’ve come to value what this community holds dear,” said Messer – who until recently lived in Stockton. “And those values are what are going to prepare my grandchildren.”