Welcome, Jeanne Gilliard, to the Morgan Hill Unified School District board of trustees

The Leadership Morgan Hill class of 2019 gave with their project many colorful bike racks.
Photo courtesy Leadership Morgan Hill

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Congratulations go to all 13 members of the Leadership Morgan Hill class of 2019. At the graduation at Guglielmo Winery Sept. 16, class member Andrew Chafer described the class project called “Rack-and-Roll — 36 bike racks in 18 locations now add a splash of color to the city.

“Thinking back on the past nine months, this is about as close as I’ll personally get to being pregnant,” he said, to laughter and several “nopes” from the women in the audience.

He continued the analogy: “Just like a couple away on a weekend, we said, ‘Let’s have a baby!’ We went on a retreat in Menlo Park and said, ‘Let’s do some cool bike racks!’ And after some nervous weeks sorting through some great possibilities, the test came back positive and then it got real. We had to pick a name, figure out how to pay for everything, put ourselves on a budget, make an announcement, ask people for help. We kept checking with the (LMH) board just like a doctor to make sure what we were doing was OK. At some of the meetings and emails, we maybe learned some new breathing techniques, too. And now here we are, nine months later, with many hours of labor, and the results of that weekend away came out for all to see. And I couldn’t be more proud of what we delivered.”

Congratulations to the graduates: Nancy Acker, Chafer, Kim Gaxiola, Kathrin Hardie, Tammy Herlhy, Anne Kappmeyer, Elizabeth Mandel, David Mason, Marie Noriega, Janet Pocus, Jennie Tucker, Laura Uden, and Idalia Young.

Jeanne Gilliard

Welcome, Jeanne Gilliard, to the Morgan Hill Unified School District board of trustees. She was sworn in at the Sept. 17 meeting.

She fills the seat of Vanessa Sutter, who announced her resignation effective Aug. 15. The position in Trustee Area 5 expires in November 2020. Gilliard was the only candidate to submit an application.

“Public schools provide the backbone of education for children in the United States,” Gilliard wrote in her application. “All children are prepared to develop meaningful careers after high school graduation from our public schools.”

She is a retired elementary teacher after 32 years in the classroom. The past 21 years she taught in Hollister. Both of her children attended Morgan Hill public schools and her daughter is a public school teacher in Morgan Hill.  Best wishes, Jeanne.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Michael Vancil who showed me his 11 western novels penned by an author who shares the same name as our town. Author Morgan Hill’s paperbacks have titles such as “Last Stage to Eternity,” “The Last Bullet,” “Dead Man’s Noose,” and “Bandits in Blue.”

Michael moved to Morgan Hill 38 years ago. He believes he acquired the novels in mass from Prairie Book Store in Springfield, Ill. The author states the name “Morgan Hill” is one of his many pen names for some of the more than 100 western theme novels he has written. He makes his home near Littleton, Co.

“I’ve retired from 10 years as an engineer with U. S. Steel Corp. and 38 years in the motorcycle industry,” he said. “My hobby in addition to motorcycling is raising rescued wolves and/or wolf hybrids. Michael wants Morgan Hill Life readers to not be confused about the city namesake Mr. Hiram Morgan Hill.

“Just know that the author of these paperbacks writes a good western story in the same vein as Zane Grey, Luke Short and Louis L‘Amour,” he said. “There are sources still for these books through on-line companies such as Amazon.com, AbeBooks.com or Alibris.com.”

With our California Old West history, Morgan Hill (the town) might one day be the setting for a western novel written by Morgan Hill (the writer).

Congratulations to four Oakwood School students who were recently named National Merit Scholar semifinalists. Nolan Kornelsen, Jashan Pabla, Abhas Rajhans, and James Xu are among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue for some 7,600 National Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. Good luck in college!

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at editor@morganhilllife.com.
Robert Airoldi