The History of Madera Captured on Video

The History of Madera Captured on Video

Madera Unified’s long journey of cultural differences, growth, and acceptance

Madera’s first school opened in 1877. 145 years later, Madera Unified now has 30 schools and over 20,000 students. Capturing Madera Unified history was no easy task. With the help of Historian William Coate, we were able to complete that task. 

The video consisted of two sessions with Coate telling the story of how Madera Unified came to be. Capturing the sessions on camera was only a piece of the whole project. Once the sessions were complete, it took 2 months of post production. That involved driving around the city for footage, connecting with district leaders, and researching through archive newspaper articles that date all the way back to the 1800s. Once all the pieces were in place, it was a matter of putting it all together. The process of editing this video together was challenging. It took plenty of rough drafts and revisions before it was ready. 

In the history video, Coate explains how Madera’s need for schools grew as the community grew. It’s a fascinating story to hear how Madera once had separate school districts that worked independently at one time. This video explains how all those districts came to form Madera Unified School District. Every school has its own story. Every school has its own journey before unification in 1966. This video doesn’t just show the viewer of when these schools were built, but it dives deeper into what made Madera Unified what it is today. It’s a story that touches on cultural differences, racism, and acceptance. There were many aspects of the story that helped shape what the district is and stands for today.

The history of Madera Unified was a project that was done with great passion by everyone involved. The video tells the story from 1877 to 2022, but the district’s story doesn’t end there. As Coate said, “We’re certain that with given the past of the district, the future just has to be bright.”

— Jose Romo, Videographer


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