The lady Ripon High students affectionately call “Mother Mary” — Mary Machado — is retiring from the school’s front office after 29 years working in the Ripon Unified School District.
She is experiencing mixed emotions, realizing how much she will miss her kids, but she has recognized the importance of spending valuable time with her husband Henry who retired two years ago.
“I love my Ripon family,” she said. “What I really wanted was here in Ripon and I never went abroad to follow early aspirations.”
Machado joined the Ripon school district in 1988 working as an aide at Weston School until then district Superintendent Joseph O’Leary moved her to the district office in 1993 and later former Superintendent Leo Zuber transferred her to the Ripon High post as office manager.
During her tenure at Ripon High, she has worked with five different principals while keeping students and staff happy and organized.
She noted that the school had gone through remodeling several times since she first signed onto the staff.
Mary said she had majored in Foreign Language in college and wanted to be an interpreter in Switzerland to make use of her skills. But, falling in love, she said she married her husband and realized what she really wanted was to remain in Ripon and raise their family of three daughters: Sabrina, April and Tanya.
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