MADERA RANCHER KEITH DAULTON DIES — Longtime Madera County rancher and historian Keith C. Daulton died Monday at his home. He was 73. He was a native and lifetime resident of Madera. His great-grandfather, Henry Clay Daulton, helped found Madera County. Daulton attended the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena and the University of California at Davis. Daulton was an avid local historian with a special interest in Indian lore. He was raised on the family ranch and was in partnership with his father, Henry Clay Daulton II and his son, Henry Clay Daulton III in the cattle business, raising purebred Herefords. He is survived by one son, Henry Clay Daulton III of Madera; one daughter, Candace Khanna of Berkeley; and four grandchildren.
PRINCIPAL REASSIGNED TO CLASSROOM — Ripperdan Principal Jean Belanger Chaffee will not return to her post next fall despite protests from parents and some teachers at the rural Madera school. The Madera Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to reassign her to the classroom. Superintendent Tom Riley said Wednesday that he was unsure of where she would be reassigned but called it “unlikely” that she would remain at Ripperdan. Chaffee has served at Ripperdan principal since 1980. A rift among teachers at Ripperdan initially began as an argument over the firing of kindergarten teacher Barbara Smith by Chaffee and has since widened. Word of Chaffee’s dismissal leaked out soon after the first of the year.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GAINS SLOW AT MUSD — It is a slow, often frustrating process, but Madera Unified is making progress in minority hiring, according to assistant superintendent for personnel John Cruz. Delores Olmos, a counselor at Madera High School and a member of the Affirmative Action Committee said she has seen some progress, but a great deal remains to be done. “Our question is, ‘Is the district making an honest effort?’” Olmos asked. Minorities represent 60 percent of all MUSD students. There are no minorities serving as principal or vice principal in the district. In 1988, two new principals were assigned, both white men. Both Cruz and Olmos stressed the need to maintain high standards while searching for qualified candidates. Minorities make up 23 percent of the MUSD faculty.
MADERA HIGH HOLDS HANDICAP AWARENESS WEEK — Handicap Awareness Week was celebrated at Madera High School this past week. Hundreds of students attended a forum of classes entitled “Breaking the Barriers,” informing them of special needs of handicapped students. About 180 students with learning disabilities attend MHS. Most participate in the regular schedule of courses with some outside help provided by the county. Kathryne Snyder, an MHS learning specialist, said the awareness level of Coyote students has been very low, but it has been rising since the creation of The Lunch Club, a group dedicated to help mainstream handicapped students. Historically, handicapped students have been an afterthought of society, Snyder said. “They are often kept behind closed doors or granted only the minimal attention required by the law.” ...