The Faculty Senate of Clovis Unified held a meeting in the Clovis Unified Board room on Monday and invited a few guests. These guests included the Superintendent of Clovis Unified Dr. Eimear O’Brien, Board President Tiffany Stoker Madsen, Police Chief Curt Fleming and Clovis Mayor Jose Flores who provided the group of educators with a proclamation naming the week of May 1-7 as “Teacher Appreciation Week”.
In addition to providing the proclamation, Flores, who was brought up to the podium by Parliamentarian of the Senate Kathy Gulseth, spoke to the group about how he had been affected by teachers in his life and mentioned the fact that his mother was a teacher and educator.
“Teachers hold a very, very dear part in my heart. I grew up with a teacher,” Flores said. He explained the hard work that his own mother had to go through teaching in rural Mexico, having to go to Texas to earn money to buy school supplies for her class.
Flores then went on to describe a few other teachers who had affected his life, including his wife who teaches preschool in the district. He recalls being at the Rodeo parade and seeing high school students remember their preschool teacher, his wife, and coming up to her to say hello.
Fleming stood up next at the lectern and thanked the senate for symbolically representing the teachers who helped to educate him growing up.
He stated that he wasn’t the greatest student from elementary to junior high, and that like other students the teachers have had in the past, he must have been difficult to handle. “[Thank you] for not giving up on me. Thank you all every day for not giving up on your students,” Fleming said.
Fleming ended by saying that what the teachers do changes the community and that by providing students with the opportunity for an education, teachers are ensuring excellent future members of their community.
Madsen spoke next and told the teachers a story about a former teacher of hers whom she still remembers to this day, Jeri Olson. She explained that Olson, a math teacher in the district, ”sacrificed so much” for her students and for that, Madsen still remembers her and is overcome with joy to this day upon seeing her.
The point Madsen attempted to get across to the teachers was that the joy she feels is only possible from the dedication and the fortitude that teachers put into their work each and every day.
O’Brien spoke to the teachers and her statement expressed the same sentiment of gratitude.
“I’m just delighted that we have this particular time of year where we just focus on recognizing and appreciating our teachers,” said O’Brien said who taught for twenty years.
She remembers that time as the “happiest” in her career and realizes that parents throughout her district may not see administrators or the board, but they do see the teachers who teach their children and they are the representatives of the district to all.
To students, teachers are the “safe, trusted adult” according to O’ Brien.