Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 1:18 pm | Fair 68º


Most Valuable Parent: Ann Manzo, Bishop Diego High

This football mom gives 110 percent in support of the Cardinals.

Article Image
Ann Manzo is more than a standard-bearer of parent involvement on behalf of Bishop Diego High. (Manzo family photo)

If you’ve attended one of Bishop Diego High’s football games at La Playa Stadium, you might have been impressed with the way the team works: the way it communicates, the way the players read the field, their opponents and each other.

Even more impressive were the behind-the-scenes calls and plays made by Ann Manzo, who for 11 years has been coordinating everything that makes the Cardinals’ games the festive community events they are.

“I couldn’t do it without all the other parent volunteers,” said Manzo, whose job is to head up a team of 15 to 20 parents who show up at each game to do things from selling tickets and fund raising to program sales and security.

For Manzo, volunteering with Bishop began in 1996, when her son, the oldest of five siblings, started high school there.

“The lady who was running the football program had a daughter who was graduating, and so she was going to leave,” Manzo said.

Manzo, along with several other parent volunteers, stepped in to take some of the load. The system worked so well that it became a given that Manzo and her team eventually would be running the football program’s support organization.

At the height of football season, Manzo and her crew can spend 20 hours a week or more in their efforts on behalf of the team. The work is intense, she said, but eagerly done. In fact, she said, many Bishop parents, who are required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours a year, often go way above and beyond, giving up to 200 hours a year in support of the school.

And, while the vast majority of the time there are more than enough people, there have been times when the parent volunteer team has to really step up and show what it’s made of.

“We’ve run a football game on seven people and that’s really, really slim,” Manzo noted. During these times she’ll be pitching in, moving and moving from place to place, in the hopes that everything is running smoothly.

You can’t help but hear the sincerity in her voice when she tells you why she does all this work. “It’s all for the school,” she said.

For Manzo, a 1974 Bishop alumna, it truly is a family affair: she and her siblings went to Bishop, and her children and their cousins have all gone to Bishop. She has one daughter, a junior, who is the last in her end of the family to attend the Catholic high school.

“The teachers are right there for the kids,” Manzo said. Even during challenging times, like when school enrollment dipped frighteningly low in the late 1980s and ‘90s, the teachers and administration did not let up on their involvement with Bishop students, she said.

In return, she wants to do her part to help out the school. Even when her youngest daughter graduates in 2010, she has no plans to stop volunteering at Bishop.

“I think when the parents volunteer, it shows the kids that we take pride in the school ... there’s a real community spirit; we all feel like we’re working toward the same goal.”

MVP: Ann Manzo

School: Bishop Diego High, independent Catholic co-ed school, 287 students

Location: 400 La Colina Road

Write to [email protected]

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >