A legend from the Clovis Unified Governing School Board is set to retire at the end of her term and took part in her final board meeting on Wednesday November 9th.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Sandoval, a member of multiple different boards serving the public of Clovis throughout her career, was honored at her final Clovis Unified School Board meeting, a meeting she attended for the better part of 41 years.
Betsy first served Clovis Unified from 1981-1993 as a board member and then again from 1996 until 2022. She has served as President of the Board four times, Vice-President four times, and has served as clerk an outstanding six times throughout her career.
Betsy let out a laugh when reminiscing what it meant to be honored by Clovis Unified.
“It’s a great honor. The way they were talking about me, I said ‘Who’s that?’”
She also mentioned that what she would miss the most would be the people she has worked with over the years.
The CUSD school board took their time in honoring the work that Sandoval has done over the years, including brief statements made by each of her fellow members and a slideshow presentation played in front of a packed boardroom.
The slideshow including photographs of Betsy over her years in Clovis Unified.
Quotes from each member of the school board recollected Betsy’s time with them and how she helped them “learn the ropes” of being a school board member and how they would “miss her wealth of knowledge”.
After mentioning her long list of accolades, members of the public were invited to speak on behalf of Betsy and this list included Mayor Flores of Clovis, representatives from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, the CART Board of Directors, the Foundation for Clovis Schools, and Pat Ricchiuti of Enzo’s Table, former school board member who served with Betsy.
“I was there at the beginning when you were on the board, and I wanted to be here at the end,” said Ricchiuti, “[ultimately] to pay our respects.”
According to Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig’s office, November 9th was officially relegated as “Betsy Sandoval Day”.
Mayor Flores stated that there is no relationship quite like the one between Clovis Unified and the City of Clovis, and he attributed a large part of that good relationship to Betsy Sandoval.
“We couldn’t have done it without you. We’re gonna miss you. And this is very bittersweet for us.”
After introducing her family to the public who had come to support Sandoval in her final school board session, she also mentioned her husband, Sam, who was not present. Sam is currently in rehab.
“He’s been in rehab for the past twelve days and we wanna get him well…He’s still working on it.”
Sandoval was given a plaque and a glass trophy during her celebration by the school board and was also awarded a plaque by the CART Board of Directors. This of course was in addition to signed copies of resolutions read at both board meetings, commendating and congratulating Betsy for her years of service. The Foundation for Clovis Schools awarded Sandoval with an intertwining elephant relic, symbolizing her favorite animal.
Betsy concluded the awards ceremony by giving one last piece of advice for her fellow and future board members.
“Keep up the good work. Trust in your administration. And keep up the good work.”