Abe Rojas of Turlock will be chairman of the Yosemite Community College District board of trustees through November 2013. He has served on the board 17 years and represents the district's Area 3, which encompasses much of southern Stanislaus County, including Turlock, Denair and Hughson) and portions of Merced County. Rojas succeeds outgoing Chairman Mike Riley of Modesto.
Lynn Martin of Sonora will serve as vice chairwoman. She joined the board in 2010 and represents Area 1, which includes Tuolumne County, eastern Stanislaus County and areas in Calaveras County.
The Veterans Administration Home Base Primary Care Program receives from donors and distributes to home-bound veterans Christmas gifts of all kinds. This year, however, the veterans will enjoy more goodwill than in recent years, said Mary Ormonde, a registered nurse for the VA in Modesto.
Volunteers will hand out clothing, food, bags that can be used on the backs of wheelchairs or scooters, toiletries, etc. The agency also received three military-specific blankets that were made in Missouri and will go to home-bound World War II vets. So will a scarf blessed by a Catholic priest.
Contributors include Herald General Baptist Church of Modesto and St. Joseph's Catholic Church military support ministry, as well as employees from Stanislaus Regional 911, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Manteca Transit, Alameda County maintenance and the Modesto police.
Modesto City Schools announced its heroes for November:
Thomas Crocker, a special-education program manager new to the district. Fred Johnston, a teacher at Elliott Alternative Education Center, cited Crocker's poise, sense of humor and ability to run meetings efficiently and enjoyably.
Colleen Dias, principal's secretary at Fremont Elementary. She impressed Principal Susan Fisher with her organizational skills and familiarity with students and their families developed over 16 years at the school.
Nancy Miguel, a teacher at Enochs High School. Principal Deb Rowe cited Miguel's dedication to her job and students, and her ability to make learning fun.
Marshall Gould, a photographer from Modesto, has been honored by Black and White magazine, a worldwide publication, for his photo of a bronc rider taken at the Oakdale Saddle Club's annual rodeo last spring. Titled "Reaching for that Buckle," the photo is featured on Page 127 of the magazine, the latest edition of which came out Dec. 9.
Gould specializes in black-and-white photography of western ranchlands. Visit his website at http:// marshallgould.com.
CenCal Trucks, an organization of truck enthusiasts, partnered with the Ceres Fire Department to hold CenCal's first toy drive last week in Ceres. More than 300 people came to see the 145 trucks and cars on display, with participants combining to donate more than 170 toys, including bicycles, that will go to needy children. To see photos of the trucks and the event, visit CenCal's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CenCalTrucks.
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