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High school seniors eagerly anticipating class trips, prom, commencement and so much more in the busy final weeks of their time at Orestimba and Gustine high schools last week found themselves facing the new reality that those special moments may never be experienced.

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The Gustine Unified School District has launched a free meal program to serve youth under the age of 18 through the closure of local schools. Above, workers distributed meals Friday at Gustine Elementary School. See A2 for story.

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In light of the uncertainty about whether schools will re-open before the end of the school year, a number of seniors at Orestimba High took matters into their own hands last Wednesday by holding their own impromptu graduation ceremony. Wearing caps and gowns left over from their Yolo Middle…

Army recruiters visiting the Orestimba High campus recently made their presence known with an impressive truck parked in the school quad. 

On March 7, UC Davis held the first field day in California for the FFA judging teams. Gustine FFA had multiple teams attend the competition, including food science, floral judging, livestock judging, dairy judging and meat judging.

Orestimba High recently held a preview day for visiting Yolo Middle School eighth-graders. OHS senior Robert Shull conducted a demonstration in the school’s welding shop. . 

GUSTINE - School board members last week gave the Gustine Unified School District’s financial advisor the green light to explore the feasibility of a November bond measure to fund additional school facilities.

Gustine Elementary School students took part in a number of activities last week to celebrate Read Across America. A buddy reading session, in which first-graders read to fourth-graders, brought the week to a close Friday.


Gustine FFA’s 93rd annual stock show was held Feb. 29. This tradition is a great practice for our FFA and Westside 4-H Club members to prepare for both the Spring Fair and the Merced County Fair.

Bonita School fourth-grade student Reese Valentine was honored Monday, March 9, before the Newman-Crows Landing school board for exemplifying the spirit of the “Choose Civility” initiative. She is pictured with her teacher, Nancy Caton, left, and Bonita Principal Brandi Petersen.

Hunt Elementary School hosted a family fun night with a literary theme in keeping with Read Across America last Thursday. Nearly 150 people attended. The event featured a number of classroom activities, each based on a different book. Hunt hosts three family nights a year, which are designed…


NEWMAN - Voters in the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District rejected a $35 million school bond measure, according to unofficial results from the March 3 election.


The Gustine Unified School District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 25, for the newly-completed multi-purpose room/gymnasium at Gustine Middle School. On hand to cut the ribbon were, from left, school board members Pat Rocha, Loretta Rose, Kevin Cordeiro (board president) and Ke…

Gustine Rotary recently hosted the area level Rotary speech contest. From left are Gustine Rotary Club President Jennifer Villalobos, first-place finisher Emma van Loben Sels from Los Banos High, second-place finisher Taylor Eckstein from Orestimba, and third-place finisher Sujey Salazar fro…

It may be the start of the new year for most, but for the members of the Gustine FFA chapter, this is just the start of the club’s busiest season. Plenty of competitions are upcoming, and each of the ag teachers is taking on one or more competitions to lead.

Yolo Middle School student Ramiro Beltran Pelayo, center, was recently honored before the Newman-Crows Landing school board for exemplifying the traits of the Choose Civility initiative. He is pictured with his parents at left, Ramiro Beltran and Imelda Pelayo, Yolo Principal Eva Luna and hi…

Project competition is a local and section event that allows students with exceptional Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in their project area. Students are judged based on a rubric by members of the local community. The winners are c…

The 2019-20 Gustine FFA officer team includes, from left, Aubrie Hazan, vice president; Megan Azevedo, treasurer; Amanda Oliveira, sentinel; Nicholas Alamo, reporter; Patrick Broderick, president; Stacy Oliveira, historian; and Madison Woods, secretary.

The 2019-20 Newman FFA officer team includes, from left, Justis Lopez, historian; Lia Tristan, reporter; Jazmin Rodriguez, secretary; Doreen Dyt, president; Riley Marroquin, vice president; Natalie Velasquez, treasurer; and Matthew Grimaldo, sentinel. 

NEWMAN - Orestimba High student Joshua Fernandez brought an interest in welding to campus as a freshman, and in two short years has seen his skills in the shop blossom.

NEWMAN - Doreen Dyt arrived at Orestimba High as a freshman with plans to be involved in FFA and test the waters of what the organization had to offer.

A host of FFA week activities are under way this week at Orestimba High School. On Tuesday, the chapter set up Jenga, cornhole and horseshoe games for students to enjoy at lunch break. 

GUSTINE - School trustees last week gave the green light to move forward with the planned renovation of the Gustine High gym on a lease-leaseback format.


GUSTINE - The Gustine Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into a culinary competition arena Thursday, when five students vied for top honors in a “Future Chefs” event sponsored by Sodexo,  Gustine Unified’s food service management firm.


NEWMAN - Clarence Johnson III had every reason to throw in the towel and give up on his education.

Future Gustine High students were special guests at the Reds’ basketball games against visiting Waterford Friday evening when they participated in Lil’ Reds Night. 

The sparkling new Gustine Middle School gym hosted its first basketball games last week. Above, GMS played Turlock Christian last Wednesday afternoon in the new facility. Gustine hosted Yolo last Tuesday to open the new facility.

Students in Mary Van Dyke’s second-grade class at Hurd Barrington Elementary School were recently treated to a cake and ice cream party for being overall champions in a recent reading contest which used the Footsteps2Brilliance digital literacy platform. The party was sponsored by Footsteps2…