For The Madera Tribune
Ushering in this year’s Madera South High School homecoming will be an educator who has dedicated his life to the community of Madera for the last 65 years. Carles Beckett has been chosen to be the grand marshall. “I have spent my last 65 years in Madera,” Becket said. “I graduated from Madera Union High School in 1963. Became a teacher in 1967 at Ripperdan Elementary School teaching fifth grade.
I was an administrator for many, many, many years. I was a student in the 50s, a teacher in the 60s, an administrator in the 70s, 80s, and 90s,” said Beckett. A few of Beckett’s principalships included being principal at Dixieland Elementary for 15 years and helping the building stages of Lincoln Elementary as the opening principal in 1994. “The students of Madera Unified mean the world to me,” said Beckett as he reviewed his roles in the district.
Beckett said it was the Madera South Satellite Campus that had led him to work at the district office, alongside Julie O’Kane.
“Julie came to me and said we needed to get this bond together so we could complete the Madera South campus.”
Beckett worked to put together what would come to be called the “Triple-A Plan.”
“That was the plan that would be miraculously passed for Madera South to get started,” he said.
He said it was a miracle, since bonds were not normally passed when put to voters at that time. The bond had failed on its first attempt but was passed on the second. “That is one of the major things I am most proud of in my 52 years. I have been involved in every bond since. Madera South has been what opened the doors to all of these new schools that are now able to be opened.” Beckett said he has a smile on his face every time he drives by a new school that has opened in the last few years. “Our kids need it, they deserve these new schools.”
Over the span of his career, Beckett has worked for every superintendent Madera Unified has ever had. He is currently “doing whatever they need me to.” The assignments may be anything from subbing for an administrator, to mentorship or using his decades of experience to navigate through a challenge. “I know we (Madera Unified) are on the right path,” Beckett said. “Not every student is going to college and we need to prepare them for those future jobs, we need to prepare them for life. We need to create productive citizens to create a better community.”
Madera South High’s 11th homecoming will be Sept. 27, with the parade beginning at 9 a.m. on Stadium Road. The Junior Varsity game will be later, beginning at 5 p.m. and the Varsity game is set to start at 7:30, at Memorial Stadium. The Stallions will face off against Mission Oak High School.