1993 Inductee - Dr. Gracie R. Madrid

1993 Inductee - Dr. Gracie R. Madrid

Education/community involvement

Gracie was awarded her Doctorate Degree in Curriculum and Administration at the University of the Pacific in May 1993. This represented the attainment of a major goal in her 38 year career in the field of Education. Gracie has always demonstrated her ability to set and to achieve goals. She was born and raised in Deming, New Mexico and received her BA degree from Western New Mexico University in Silver City, and her Master of Arts degree from the University of California at Sacramento.

Her teaching career began as a classroom teacher in Santa Rita, New Mexico in 1965. Upon her arrival in Stockton in 1968, she taught sixth grade and a year later became Team Leader for the Teacher Corp Program through The University of the Pacific. She supervised minority students interested in becoming teachers. In 1973 she became the first Hispanic female Principal for the Stockton Unified School District. In 1976 Gracie pioneered the highly successful Commodore Stockton Skills School establishing the school as one of the best in the District. She also served as Principal for 18 years at Martin Luther King Elementary School where she established a health center on campus, and contracted for a health van to come to campus twice a week to provide health services to parents and students who did not have health insurance or money. “Students cannot learn if they come to school sick or with a tooth ache because they do not have the money to take care of their illness,” Madrid states. As an educator, Gracie’s goals have been high academic expectations for all students, and increased parent participation. She provided the resources necessary to help students learn. She made certain that all of the students received a free breakfast and lunch so that they could do better in school. “If this is going to get students to come to school and learn, than this is what we need to do,” she would say.

Recognition of Gracie’s contributions to the community include the Susan B. Anthony “Women of Achievement Award” in 1981 from the San Joaquin Commission of the Status of Women, the PTA Teacher of the Year Award in 1987, a service award from the University of the Pacific chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity where she was one of several women to be allowed to join the fraternity and pave the way for other women to join. She also served as President of Phi Delta Kappa and continues her membership in the fraternity.

Dr. Madrid has received recognition awards from the Board of Supervisors for County Service (1980); recognition and resolutions (1981) from Assemblyman Patrick Johnston, Senator John Garamendi, and Assemblyman Norman Waters for work in the area of Affirmative Action. In 1998, she received the “Every Day Hero” award from Stockton Unified School District and in 2006 she received the “Amiga de la Comunidad” award from the Hispanics for Political Action, along with certificates of recognition from Assembly member Barbara Mathews, and Congressmen Dennis Cardoza and Richard Pombo. These achievements along with her involvement in political and community activities are what make Gracie’s life rich and challenging. She has utilized her abilities as a San Joaquin County Grand Jury member and as a San Joaquin County Civil Service Commission member and chairperson. In 2002 she was selected as Grand Marshall for the Cinco de Mayo parade.

Gracie became an active community member from the time she arrived in Stockton in 1968. The first organization she joined and became active in was the Association of Mexican American Educators. Under her leadership as President, the Association ran a highly successful summer camp for Hispanic students, along with Cinco de Mayo programs throughout Stockton Unified School District. Other organizations she has been involved in include, Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), Hispanics for Political Action (HPA), was a founding member of The Coalition of Mexican American Organizations (COMA) and continues to be a member, Community Service Organization (CSO), and the Mexican Heritage Center where she has served as treasurer. Her involvement in the 1970 Vietnam Moratorium march in Los Angeles, which ended with riots, caused her to experience the burning of tear gas while running away from the turmoil.

Gracie continues to work diligently in many campaigns to elect Hispanic candidates. Many elected Hispanics have been recipients of her support and assistance. Gracie retired in 2003 and enjoys traveling. She is married to Art and has one daughter, Sylvia Ann.