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Grass Valley school secretary remembered for her service

Margaret Scotten, known by her friends as Midge, was the secretary of Grass Valley's Hennesy School for 46 years.
Submitted to The Union |

In 1987, the Grass Valley School District built the Margaret G. Scotten Elementary School, named after a lifelong Grass Valley resident who worked for the district for 46 years.

Margaret Gallino Scotten, known by her friends as Midge, who died July 16 at age 88, was secretary of Hennessy Elementary School from 1946 to 1992.

“It was an easy decision for us to name the school after her,” said Bonnie Taylor, who has been a Grass Valley School District board member since the mid-1980’s. “All of us on the board had very good memories of how she interacted with our children, how she took care of them, and how she had a hugely long history with the Grass Valley area,” Taylor said.



Midge was the ninth of 10 children, born to Antone and Margarita Gallino, who immigrated to Grass Valley from Italy in 1913. She grew up on the Gallino Dairy, her family’s business in Hills Flat. The Gallinos delivered bottles of milk by horse and buggy to homes in the Grass Valley area. Midge, working alongside her brothers and sisters, was tasked with taking care of the cows.

“Midge was an animal lover all her life, and she made pets of all the cows and calves, giving each one a fitting name,” said her niece, Kim Janousek.




In 1946, the year Midge graduated from Grass Valley High School, she became secretary of Hennessy School, where she had attended for grades four through eight. Midge was “the face of the school” at Hennessy Elementary, according to Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine. She watched generations of family members come through the school, he said, throughout her 46-year career.

Midge also served as the city clerk for the Grass Valley Planning Commission for over 35 years, according to Levine.

“She was always a top-of-the-line loving, wonderful, giving, sharing person,” Levine said.

In 1957, Midge married Trusten Scotten, a Yuba City man who died in 2001. Trusten moved to Grass Valley to live with Midge and worked for Hansen Brothers Enterprises.

After retiring in 1992, Midge helped raise funds and organize construction for a new playground at Hennessy Elementary, which was designed by the students and built by members of the community. After careful planning, the P.L.A.Y., or “Play Like a Youngster,” structure was built in just five days.

Midge also served the community through volunteer work with organizations including Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, Hospice, Grass Valley Host Lions Club, and Ladies Relief Society, among others.

Midge’s life was honored by her family and friends Monday during a memorial service at Saint Patrick’s Church in Grass Valley.

“She lived a very full and very giving life,” said her nephew, Donald Gallino, at the service.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.


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