Clovis Unified names new school after Virginia Boris

(Photo by Valerie Shelton) Virginia Boris with her husband Ron, son Nick, and grandsons Jordan and Jackson, next to a rendering of the new elementary school campus.

Clovis Unified board members made history at their Sept. 24 meeting, when they named the district’s newest elementary school site, located at Temperance and Clinton, after former district leader Virginia R. Boris.

The decision—which came as a surprise to an unsuspecting Boris seated in the audience—was monumental in that this is the first campus in the district to be named after a female educational leader.

For months, the community has been curious about what the new school, set to open in August 2016, would be called and the mystery was finally over early in the meeting when the board took unanimous action to accept the recommendation of a committee of parents and school employees to name the new school Virginia R. Boris Elementary School.

Virginia “Ginny” Boris served the Clovis Unified school district as a math teacher, principal and curriculum leader from 1971 until her retirement in 2008. Today, Dr. Boris remains active in mentoring teachers and others in the educational community through work at Fresno State and in the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute.

Boris, who came to the meeting expecting to give a 40-minute presentation to the board, was completely shocked as board president Ginny Hovsepian announced her name in reading the resolution for the new school site.

“I’m overwhelmed and really humbled and honored because I love this district,” Boris said. “I so appreciate this board that has never lost their passion for our community and our kids. They are focused on being number one for our kids. I can’t think of a higher honor that you could bestow upon me than to associate my name with a place where learning is at the center. As you all know, I have failed retirement miserably, my family can attest to that, and I will continue to support Clovis Unified and teaching and learning in this Valley. It is such an honor and I can’t wait to work with Erin Gage and her faculty and I promise not to micromanage. I’m really stunned and overwhelmed. You caught me totally off guard.”

Accompany Boris were her husband of 44 years, Ron Boris, her son Nick Boris, a Learning Director at Clark Intermediate School, and her two grandsons, Jordan, a sixth grader at Bud Rank and an outstanding swimmer and athlete, and Jackson, a first grader at Bud Rank and excellent constructor of Legos.

Boris said she is proud her son works for the district and that her two grandsons are attending school in Clovis Unified.

As mentioned in the resolution, Dr. Boris first joined Clovis Unified School District in 1971 as a math teacher at Clovis High School, and quickly established herself as a valuable member of the school’s faculty, where she repeatedly demonstrated her willingness to be a pioneer in the establishment of new schools and departments as the District grew between 1971 and the first decade of the twenty-first century. First, when opening the District’s second high school, Clovis West, in 1976, and again when she became the Principal of Kastner Intermediate School in 1985, in accepting the challenge to lead the Buchanan Area as its Area Superintendent in 1990, and finally when she was charged with the leadership of the District’s Curriculum and Instruction Division in 1994.

In each of these roles, the resolution states, Dr. Boris applied character, thought and knowledge in her service to the students and staff of Clovis Unified and was instrumental in creating a standard of excellence in curriculum and instruction that emphasizes the needs of students and teachers.

Since her retirement from Clovis Unified School District in 2008, Dr. Boris has continued to mentor educational leaders through her service to the entire Central San Joaquin Valley educational community on the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute and as a professor at Fresno State University.

Boris, the resolution concludes, has made a lasting impact on the quality of education in Clovis Unified School District.