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Arletta Kelly

In the 1920s, Fullerton Union High School Superintendent Louis E. Plummer partnered with the Fullerton School District and the Placentia Orange Growers Association to institute "Americanization" programs on or near these citrus towns. The main function was to teach the workers and their children English and practical skills for becoming a part of the dominant Anglo society.

One woman who taught at these segregated "Mexican Schools" was Arletta Kelly. Kelly attended Fullerton Union High School, graduated from Fullerton College, and later worked as a teacher for FUHS for 34 years.

She met her husband, Frank Kelly (a Mexican man with an Anglo last name), while working as a teacher on the Pomona Camp, located on South Balcom in Fullerton, near the railroad tracks.

In addition to teaching at the Pomona Camp, Kelly also taught classes mainly for women at the Escondido Camp on the Bastanchury Ranch, near the present-day St. Jude Hospital.

Kelly also taught children at a public school on the Bastanchury Ranch. She recalls the Placentia Orange Growers Association furnished the building and the teacher's salary was paid by the high school district.

"I lived there in the teacher's house. I used to teach, of course, mainly Mexican men, but I did have a few Japanese men that would come. I had a few Basque people from Bastanchury Ranch."
— Arletta Kelly