Clovis North’s mission statement and overall goal is “to build a unified campus that inspires students to maximize their performance in mind, body and spirit.”
But Broncos Principal Joshua Shapiro puts those words into action.
“My gut reaction is to ask, why not? I enjoy being amongst the staff, students and community, so any chance I have to mix with the students and get out of my office or a meeting, I take it,” Shapiro said. “I feel it’s important for my staff and students to feel supported and appreciated.”
And that comes in a variety of ways according to Shapiro.
Installing projectors in classrooms and line judging at volleyball games just to name a few.
“My motivation for working on these extra tasks is to show we are a team at CNEC,” Shapiro said. “There is not one job anyone cannot do or would not be willing to do to support one another.”
Making the schools the best possible place of learning is most important to Shapiro and his staff of 103 teachers and almost 306 total employees.
“Other odd jobs I have performed is serving food to students in the lunch line, picking up trash after lunch or driving the indoor carpet cleaner,” he said. “Each of these extra tasks give me perspective about the people who do their work each day and how it impacts student learning.”
Shapiro’s work isn’t only limited to on-campus duties.
The former CUSD student; a Nelson Roadrunner, a Kastner Thunderbird and a Clovis West Golden Eagle, is a frequent participant at Clovis North events, including Unified Soccer, football, volleyball gymnastics and any Bronco event going on.
A little piece of advice from Clovis Unified Superintendent, Dr. Eimear O’Farrell gave him some perspective.
“Our superintendent once told me, ‘there is a difference between being visible and being present’, I’ve never forgotten this advice,” he said. “These words have stayed in my heart and I hear them at every school event I attend.”
For him, it’s important to show his students his commitment to their success.
“Attending an event is not about checking off a box, but rather being present and in the moment with our students and community. It is about watching dreams being made into reality,” he said. “It’s about watching hard work and perseverance being put to the test. It is about watching the successes and the hurts and knowing that next time will be even better. This is why I strive to talk with students, coaches, and parents whenever I’m at an event.
“It’s about connecting to people. Being present has allowed me to know more people and hear feedback from my community. I would not miss being present at our functions for all of the reasons above.”
But behind it all, Shapiro’s ability to maintain and strive as head of CNEC wouldn’t be possible without his wife and the support and inspiration she brings into his life, along with his family.
Shapiro also has a daughter at Granite Ridge who he can visit, and watch grow as a student and two younger daughters that will be going through the area as well.
“My wife is my inspiration. She understands the commitment it takes to be a principal of a 7-12 educational center and supports me in my endeavors,” he said.
Shapiro’s three sisters also played a part in his career field over the years.
My three sisters have also been a big part of me becoming a principal. They set the path in their roles as educators and I have strived to live up to what they have started and to achieve my goals.
But his parents are his biggest supporters.
“They attend my sporting events, fundraiser dinners, they take care of my children when my wife and I have late nights,” Shapiro said. “It takes my entire family to be the leader I want to be, and I am extremely blessed and grateful to have a loving family from top down.”
Shapiro, a proud Clovis Unified student went to Nelson, Kastner and graduated from Clovis West in 1995.
From there, he attended California State University, Fresno, earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Master degree in Educational Leadership and Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
“I knew as a student I wanted to become an educator because of the great educators and coaches I had experienced. I come from a family of educators (deputy principal at the Reagan Educational Center, teacher at Maple Creek and a resource teacher in Virginia), so going into the educational field seemed natural,” Shapiro said.
His first job was a teaching position at Sierra Charter School, Valley Teen Ranch (Group Home for Troubled Youth).
Shaprio then headed to Madera Unified where he taught business classes was the first basketball coach at Madera South High School. He taught nine years before moving into administration as vice principal of MSHS.
Three years later Shapiro accepted a learning director position at the Reagan Educational Center in Clovis, becoming his first position with CUSD.
He accepted a position to become deputy principal of REC, until assuming the same position at CNEC for the 2018-2019 school year.
“I never would have thought I would be a principal in this amazing district amongst the best. I am fortunate to have been surrounded by a loving family and great CUSD mentors such as Janet Young, Ed.D., Linda Hauser, Ed.D., and Vance Walberg are just a few who were not only teachers, administrators and coaches back when I was a student, but mentors to me in leadership,” Shapiro said.
“They have provided me with the tools and understanding of how to become successful.”