Richard L. Durham, Sr.


Dick Durham has influenced so many lives in a positive way during an illustrious career in education that spans over 50 years. This Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War received his college education after returning to civilian life in 1952. Armed with degrees from Oregon State University, Dick began his career in the Grant Union High School District in Sacramento in 1961. Nine years later, he came to Manteca, ending up as East Union High School’s principal. As a teacher, counselor and administrator, his philosophy was always “Let’s do what’s right for the kids.”

Dick Durham was an innovator, working to improve programs in all school disciplines, including academics, athletics, the arts and vocational training. Well aware of the value of students’ extra-curricular activities, he served four terms as president of the Valley Oak League interscholastic sports programs. Dick later spent another three years as Commissioner of the same league.

His leadership style allowed for professional growth in the careers of many colleagues. As a mentor, he saw three of his vice-principals go on to become principals.

A “complete” educator, Dick was also quite involved in the community. Active in his church as a board member and treasurer, member of Rotary International and serving as the local club’s recording secretary, he has always been community-minded.

His active life certainly qualifies Dick Durham for membership in the Hall of Fame.