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Weston Ranch welcomes new principal
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The Weston Ranch High athletic boosters presented former principal Clara Schmiedt with a parting gift.
WESTON RANCH – A high school and a community came together Wednesday to pay tribute to one principal and welcome another.

Jose Fregoso was hired late in the summer as principal at Weston Ranch High, filling a spot left vacant when Clara Schmiedt became director of secondary education at Manteca Unified.

It was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. “But I also felt I wasn’t quite ready to leave Weston Ranch High,” Schmiedt said.

She became attached to the school along with the southwest Stockton community and, in turn, helped change the image of WRHS, according to Stephanie Teczon, chairperson of the Safe and Sober Grad Night Committee.

“She wasn’t just a principal, she was our friend,” Teczon added.

Schmiedt, who was on the interviewing panel for her replacement, was impressed by Fregoso early on.

“He’s someone who gets it,” she said, recalling her first impression.

Fregoso is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara. He also earned a master’s degree in both Pupil Personnel Services and School Counseling from the University of La Verne, and was previously an assistant principal Lindhurst High of the Marysville Joint Union School District.

“But more importantly, he’s a person with a lot of integrity,” Schmiedt said. “He has a love of students.”
Fregoso agreed.

“I do care a lot about your kids,” he said to those parents attending the mixer held in the school cafeteria. “But it’s you who are their first teachers.”

Fregoso, in particular, is about academics and building character in each student.

“Academics are very important,” he said. “And character is what you do when no one is looking.”

Rick Arucan served as interim principal prior to Fregoso’s arrival.

“He’s been a valuable role model for me,” Fregoso said of the retired Sierra High principal.

Fregoso was accompanied by his wife, Amy, and their four children.

Pat King, the athletic director, and ASB treasurer Valerie Kelter acknowledged those attending this special function.

Ralph Dominguez, president of the WRHS Athletic Boosters, provided Fregoso and Schmiedt with their own booster shirts.

Anita Bautista, the Stockton chapter president of the Filipino American Historical Society, welcomed Fregoso and his family to the community.

Fregoso, meanwhile, is hoping to make Weston Ranch High the best school in both the district and Stockton.