2001 Inductee - Robert M. Mariano


2001 Inductee - Robert M. Mariano

Education/Community Service

Great teachers do great things. Robert Mariano was such a great teacher. He is being honored for his 39 years of being an educator and for “devotion to his church, commitment to his profession and service to his community.”

Robert started teaching in 1951, in Tracy. He taught grades 5, 6, 7, & 8. In his last 19 years of teaching he taught math and history at Monte Vista Middle School. He also coached 7th grade basketball and city league baseball teams. He has been a master teacher to two student teachers and a member of the Tracy district Math committee that developed Math standards and selected a district Math program.

While he was a union representative he helped develop plans for medical, dental and vision insurance coverage that hadn’t existed before. He was president of the Tracy Elementary Teachers Association for one term and served for six years on the salary and negotiations committee. He was also on the Affirmative Action Committee for three years.

“In addition to participating in various committees, he informally recruited young minority teachers, urging them to apply in the Tracy District and alerted the personnel director to their incoming application,” reads his nomination paper. He also helped Hispanics by teaching adult education evening classes in Math, History and Citizenship. He went beyond just being a teacher by assisting applicants in preparing their required paper work and occasionally taking them to Stockton for their final exam. He later worked in the amnesty program and gave help to those seeking green cards in order for them to work and obtain legal residence.

During summer months most teachers take vacations, not Robert. He was Principal of Migrant Summer School for six years. After school he transported children of farm labor families to health and dental clinics. He helped organize evening recreational activities at various labor camps. He was an advocate for the county sponsored farm labor housing because of the substandard housing conditions he saw.

Robert has been president of St. Bernard’s Dads’ Club and the Tracy Democratic Club. A highlight during his tenure was when then Governor Pat Brown was the main speaker before a dinner of 600 people. He also served as Treasurer and President of both the Tracy Latin Athletic Club and the St. Bernard’s Mexican-American committee. He was an original member of the Tracy Tomorrow Steering Committee and a facilitator of its environment.

His daughters went with him to the labor camps and political events. It was important to him that they lean how the democratic election process worked and the importance of individual participation was the reason for including them.