CUSD Board Meeting 11/8; The Superintendent’s Report

Clovis Unified School District purchased and converted the former ITT Tech building into a professional development and health center for its employees and retirees. Pictured here is the health center’s “welcoming area.” (Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup)

November 15, 2023 – At the start of the board meeting, Dr. Folmer gave her superintendent report.

She began with talking about the 8 Community Day High School Students who had the opportunity to be VIP at a Golden State Warriors game.

They got to sit courtside and enjoyed a gourmet meal. The trip was a reward for students who had been showing “great academic growth and personal development.” The tickets were generously donated by local philanthropists, Mark and Mary Stevens.

The superintendent shared a quote from one of the students, “The entire trip was amazing, but knowing that my mindset and dedication made it happen made me proud of how far I’ve come.”

In reference to the 8 students who earned the trip, Dr. Folmer said, “It’s a great testament to the work that is done at our alternative education sites,”

“We’re so thankful for the opportunity to get to recognize students who have really made a commitment to their education.”

Dr. Folmer also spoke about the 17th annual CUSD Band Night that took place the week prior. There were more than a thousand student performers from all 10 marching bands at the Veterans Memorial Stadium. 

“It was so impressive. We had five high school and all five intermediate school marching bands perform the National anthem in unison—and that is just such a powerful moment to see how full that field looks with all of our marching band students.”

The superintendent also spoke about how, “this is the time of year where we get to recognize some of our educators,”

California League of Schools offers award opportunities, and our sites get to nominate teachers. “I am so proud of how many that we have that are finalists.”

For a few Monday nights in a row, there will be events where the nominated teachers give speeches that will determine if they remain finalists or are declared the award winner.

The finalist included are as follows. For elementary: Bryan Byrd – Cedarwood, Julie Terrence- Clovis, Courtney Spurrier – Freedom, Michelle Houston – Mickey Cox, Dina Emerzian – Pinedale, Kathryn Konze – Riverview, and Roberto Sandoval – Tarpey.

For intermediate school: Rachael Watson – Alta Sierra, Mark Prandini – Clark, Ellen Nielson – Granite Ridge, Richelle Renfro – Kastner, and Scott Case – Reyburn.

For high school: Stephen Kidd – Buchanan, Ralph Garcia – Clovis High, Johnathan Benson – Clovis North, Stephanie Avery – Clovis West, and Amy Bonsell – Gateway.

Moving on, Dr. Folmer shared that on November 1st, they had their very first Native American Student Success Conference. 100 Native American students from Clovis Unified intermediate and high schools spent a day celebrating their culture and learning from community mentors. 

“I have the privilege to get to go catch that, and it was so amazing. They had a phenomenal keynote speaker, Kenneth Shirley who spoke about his dedication to amplifying indigenous voices and promoting cultural awareness,” said Dr. Folmer.

Kenneth Shirley who is an award-winning filmmaker, and Founder and CEO of Indigenous Enterprise. Shirley also performed Native dance at President Biden’s inauguration.

Dr. Folmer continued her superintendent report, and the full meeting footage can be found online.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.