Sandra Tovar Medeiros Elementary School celebrated its 10th anniversary Monday with an emotional ceremony that celebrated the school’s namesake and looked back at the campus’ past decade.
“Mrs. Medeiros is smiling down on us today,” said Principal Jennifer Yacoub. “The students, the staff, that parents that walk on these campus grounds are truly stars and work hard each and every day to create a school of excellence.”
Medeiros Elementary first opened its doors on Feb. 22, 2006, and was named after the late Sandra Tovar Medeiros, who was a reading specialist and kindergarten teacher at Wakefield Elementary before losing a battle to cancer in 1998. In attendance at the ceremony were the Tovar and Medeiros family members, along with the school’s founding Principal Al Silveira.
“We’re really proud that this school is named after our Sandra,” said Scott Medeiros, Sandra’s husband. “Schools get named after people, and then after a while everyone forgets about those people. So, let me tell you about the real Sandra Tovar Medeiros.”
Medeiros was a Turlock native who had a passion for student excellence, especially when it came to reading. She was recruited to be a reading specialist in the Reading Recovery tutoring program and also started an after-school club for older girls at Wakefield, mentoring and befriending students.
Guests were serenaded in song by the Medeiros choir students, and the ceremony also honored the 13 staff members that have been at the school since its opening. One of those staff members was Sue Indermuehle, who reflected on fieldtrips to Yosemite, Turlock Christmas Parade floats, open houses and unique Fairy Tale Days that have defined the elementary school over the years.
Yacoub ended the ceremony with a gift to the Tovar and Medeiros families: an engraved stone bench and shade tree planted in Sandra Tovar Medeiros’ honor. The bench represents the spirit and light that Medeiros exuberated throughout her teaching career, said Yacoub. Medeiros’s family gathered around the bench and cut a large, red ribbon over the bench where students will sit for years to come.