New Milpitas School Named for Mabel Mattos

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017 the Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to name three educational sites for historic Milpitas residents.

Mabel MattosThey voted to name the future elementary school on McCandless Drive for Mabel Mattos (1923-2013), one of the earliest and most contributory members of the Milpitas Historical Society. Mabel joined the Society as soon as it was formed in 1980 and contributed her great knowledge of local history to many of its projects. Her kindness and interest in sharing all of her knowledge is remembered by all who knew her.

Jim MattosIn addition to Mabel’s son, Jim, shown at right, Harriett McGuire, longtime member and officer of the Society and Mabel’s niece, Margaret Rodrigues, also spoke in admiration of Mabel Mattos and in gratitude to the Board for choosing to honor her in this way.

The Board also voted to name the location of the Milpitas Unified School District and the San Jose-Evergreen College District extension buildings for former Milpitas Mayor Ben Gross, a civil rights and union activist, who became Milpitas’ first black city councilman, and in 1966, California’s first black mayor of a sizeable city. He was also instrumental in the development of the Sunnyhills housing development, the first successful integrated housing development in California.

A third site, the Family Resource Center at the Robert Randall Elementary School, was voted to be named for Josephine Guerrero (1920-2016), a local businesswoman and strong supporter of the Milpitas Library, who was the first assistant postmaster of Milpitas, served on the Planning Commission, was president of the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce, and founded the Milpitas Business and Professional Woman’s Club.

mhs June 2017