Why a last name “Modesto” for the students?

Ralston PortraitWe had to come up with a common last name for our students on the island.  Each student is free to pick whatever first name they wish to use for their avatar.  However, to help in identifying students, their last names will indicate which school district they are from (Modesto or Kyoto). 

We wrestled with the selection of a last name for the Modesto students.  Our current superintendent that is retiring this year has spent his career teaching, and being an administrator in our district.  His name is James Enochs.  We briefly considered using “Enochs” as the last name for the Modesto students in Second Life.  However, this year we opened our newest high school in our district, the James C. Enochs High School.  Since our foreign exchange students can come from Enochs High School, or any of our other high schools, this was not a name that would work. 

To get the name we went back to the early days of California.  The Historic Modesto website has the full story of the accepted story about the naming of Modesto.  Here is the short version: 

“William C. Ralston, pictured in a memorial photograph published after his death, was to be the namesake of the new town laid out by his railroad.  Perhaps not wanting his name to be associated with something new, he declined “modestly.”  Hence the name and the legend of Modesto.”

More information about the district can be found at the Modesto City Schools website.


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