California Educator

November 2015

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Page 29 of 59

D D A N N Y D I A Z , a counselor at McFarland High School, drove by the campus on a recent Saturday morning and saw people standing in the parking lot staring at the school sign. He asked if they needed help. A woman burst into tears, exclaiming, "Oh my God, it's Danny Diaz!" Overcome with joy, she continued crying as he posed with her for a photo. "I hugged her, told her to calm down, and that I'm nobody special," says Diaz. Out-of-towners are drawn to McFarland these days. e agricultural town with a single stoplight may be an unlikely tourist destination, but recently a family from Argentina drove up in a rental car and asked if they could peek inside the school. Then there's the family from McFarland, USA tells the true story of unlikely winners By SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN Photography by SCOTT BUSCHMAN Hometown Heroes Johnny Samaniego, Coach Jim White and Danny Diaz in front of the McFarland High School gym's "champ" signs. White coached Samaniego, Diaz and other runners to the school's first cross-country championship in 1987. 28 F E A T U R E

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