Before a crowd of more than 400, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Feb. 11 for the nearly $14 million Dr. Sally L. Frazier Instructional Support Center in Madera. The center houses the Madera County Office of Education.
Frazier, who retired as the Madera County Superintendent of Schools in 2010 after serving in that position for 24 years, was honored at the ceremony. Frazier was the first female county superintendent elected president of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.
Assemblyman Mike Villiness of Fresno named Frazier the 2010 Woman of the Year for the 29th Assembly District for being a tireless advocate for the students in the region.
The two-story, 48,000 square foot center, located at 1105 South Madera Ave., houses about 100 Madera County Office of Education employees.
The employees work in a variety of departments including educational services, regional services, educational resources services, student programs, technology services, alternative educational services, human resources and payroll.
Dr. Cecillia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools, served as master of ceremonies for the event that was attended by members of the Madera County Board of Education, representatives from local, state and federal offices, county school superintendents, trustees, staff members, family and members of the community.
Glenn Reid, superintendent of Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District, attended the ceremony.
Cadets of the Madera County Office of Education Honor Guard, presented the colors and Christina Bustos, a student at Madera South High School and daughter of Madera Unified School District board member Cathie Bustos, sang America the Beautiful.
Madera County Board of Education members in attendance were Sara Wilkins, president, Cathie Bustos, Al Galvez, Ron Manfredo, Grant Sturm, Bobby Thatcher and Maxine Yocum.
Wilkins, of Coarsegold, has served nearly 40 years as an advocate for students, schools and families. She served on the Coarsegold Elementary School District Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1979, the Yosemite High School board 1979 to 1987 and has been a member of the Madera County Board of Education since 1989.
She served as chairperson of the Yosemite High School Scholarship Foundation from 1979 to 1990 and is a past president of the California County Boards of Education. She is the recipient of the Madera Chamber of Commerce Educational Leadership Award and has been recognized for her efforts by both Senator Dick Monteith and Assemblyman George House.
Sturm, former superintendent of North Fork School District, is a nearly 20 year member of the county board of education. He represents Bass Lake, Yosemite, Chawanakee school districts and portions of the Golden Valley district.
Massetti recognized those in the audience who had served or are currently serving in the armed forces along with Commander Bob McCracken and members of VFW post 1981.
"The men and women have made sure that we enjoy the freedoms of liberty that we do today," Massetti said. "Your courage and dedication gives us the right to educate our children in a true democracy."
In addition of Frazier, other retired county superintendents attending the ceremony included Dr. Duane Furman, Dr. Julie O'Kane and Dr. Ron Moore are hanging out with us today.
"Your imprints on the history of education are honored here today," Massetti told them.