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About Ann Soldo

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About Our Namesake


 

Ann Matiasevich Soldo Biography

Written by Cathy Love
2nd Grade Teacher at Ann Soldo Elementary

 

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Ann M. Soldo 1999

 

Ann Soldo was born in Watsonville, California. Her mother, Lucy Vukich Matiasevich, was a native Californian, and her father, Nicholas Matiasevich, was born in Croatia and immigrated to the United States in 1904. She has two brothers, Laurie and John (now deceased), and two sisters, Lucille Coon and Grace Leavitt.

 

Mrs. Soldo married Andrew Soldo (now deceased) in 1956. She is the stepmother of Bob Soldo and Mary Ann Jurchan. Mrs. Soldo has three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

 

Mrs. Soldo attended Pajaro Elementary School and Watsonville Union High School. She obtained an Associate Arts Degree from Hartnell College in 1940, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Jose State University in 1942, and a Masters Degree from Stanford University in 1954. Her education was continued in post-graduate sessions at California Polytechnic University; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

Mrs. Soldo taught fifth through eighth grades throughout Watsonville, at Hall District School, Pajaro School, MacQuiddy School, H. A. Hyde School, and Radcliff School. She also taught fifth grade for two years at the United States Army Dependent School in Stuttgart, Germany.

 

During her teaching tenure, she taught art and boy's physical education. She was a school bus driver and an after school sports teacher, including seventh and eighth grade boys' football, basketball, baseball, and track. She remembers the Pajaro Boy's Team championship victory over the team from E. A. Hall in 1950 as a highlight of her time at Pajaro School.

 

Mrs. Soldo moved from teaching into principalships at Radcliff and Linscott Schools, MacQuiddy and Tri-County School for the Deaf, Aptos Junior High School, and Mintie White School. She retired from the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) in 1978, thirty-six years after beginning her teaching career at Hall District School.

 

In 1979, Mrs. Soldo was elected to the Watsonville City Council. She was appointed Vice-Mayor, and served in that capacity until 1981. She remained on the Council until 1983, when she was elected to head the Council as Watsonville's first woman Mayor. Mrs. Soldo was the Mayor of Watsonville from 1983-1987.

 

Many community organizations have benefited from Mrs. Soldo's involvement. She has served as past President of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Senior's Council of Santa Cruz County, Association of Watsonville Area Senior Center, Watsonville Soroptimist Club, California Elementary School administrators Central Coast Section, Y.L.I. Institute 138 - Catholic Women, Watsonville Women's Club, Pajaro Valley Performing Arts (Mello Center), and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Monterey Bay. She is a past Board Member of the Watsonville Chapter of the American Red Cross, Watsonville Community Hospital, Pajaro Valley Children's Center - YWCA, and the Visiting Nurse Association of Santa Cruz County. She was a co-chairperson of funding drives for both the rebuilding of St. Patrick's Church in Watsonville after the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and for Dubrovnik, Croatia.

 

Her awards and recognitions form a list nearly as lengthy as the list of community organizations she has supported. They range from Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce's 1967 "Woman of the Year" to being named one of the Santa Cruz Sentinel's 25 Most Influential People of the Century in the Santa Cruz County area.