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Gary Girard was born in Delano in 1936.
He lived in Bakersfield and attended Roosevelt Elementary School, and shortly moved back to Delano in 1945. He was enrolled at Cecil Avenue Elementary and Delano High Schools.
In 1955, he began his college career on the first floor of Bakersfield High as a Bakersfield College freshman. In 1956, his sophomore year, he started attending classes at the new Panorama campus.
For the two years he attended Bakersfield College, he rode the bus from Delano, stopping in McFarland, and finally arriving in Bakersfield.
He was a Journalism major and assistant editor for the Renegade Rip. When he became the Rip editor, he attended a leadership camp in Greenhorn and was mentored by the late Dean Gay.
He had the pleasure of interviewing the BC Cross Country coach, John Collins, who later became Bakersfield College President and long time BC Supporter.
He transferred to Fresno State to continue in Journalism, but later decided to get a teaching credential. In 1959, he began a teaching career and taught seventh grade at Cecil Avenue School.
In that year, he was drafted in the Army and served with the Army Missile Battalion Headquarters Battery, Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany.
He was hired in 1962 as a Delano High School Journalism instructor and became the advisor for the Delano High Live Wire. About 20 years ago, he was coaxed into signing a paper that allowed cheerleaders to attend cheer camp.
The day he signed that paper started a couple decades of voluntary support for the Delano High Cheerleaders that continues to this day.
This support comes naturally for Delano High's undisputed number one fan. Gary Girard has not missed a game, home or away, for over 41 years.
In his time at Delano High, he has received numerous awards and recognitions to include: multiple teacher of the month and year; and Grand Marshal of Philippine Weekend, Harvest Holidays, Cinco de Mayo and Delano High Homecomings. Gary is the founder of the Delano Youth Foundation - a foundation to support active youth; he is a writer, journalist and contributor to several Central Valley newspapers, and held the distinction as the Delano High School's 2012 Centennial Celebration Grand Marshall.
Gary Girard's lifetime of dedication and commitment to developing young minds and support of our community makes him a deserving of recognition as a BC Centennial Star.