Richard R. Richina began teaching at Manteca High School in the fall of 1953. As a new instructor in the Agriculture Department he had many fresh ideas. In his first year of teaching his Milk Judging Teams won the State Milking Judging Team Contest with teams placing 1st and 2nd. His 1st place team went on to compete in the National Milk Judging Team Contest in Iowa. He also coached other judging teams including meat, vegetables, parliamentary procedure, and livestock judging in beef, sheep, swine and dairy.
In 1954 he started the Young Farmer Program where he participated on Saturdays with his students and local young farmers in the building of trailers and other farm implements. They would in turn help teach Manteca High School Ag students farming skills which could not be taught in the classroom. He encouraged local tractor dealers to donate equipment to help students learn to operate and maintain. To help raise money for his department his students would hold concessions at football games, and he initiated the FFA Cioppino Dinner, a successful fundraiser for many years at MHS.
In 1957 he started the recreational programs of FFA Barn Dance, which included an FFA Sweetheart, FFFA-FHA Barbecue, FFA-FHA Potluck, skating parties, snow trips, Donkey Basketball, and the Parent-Son Banquet every year in May. Rick realized the importance of not only the academic and agriculture achievements, but the all-around personal growth as well. Other endeavors included many fair booths at the San Joaquin County Fairs, writing the grant for the MUSD School Farm, plans and construction for the MHS greenhouse. He had many students that were selected as State FFA Officers and many others who went on to become very successful in many fields, especially agriculture.
It is very evident that Richard Richina has had a dramatic effect upon numerous students who have in turn had a great impact upon the community of Manteca.