CUSD introduces new administrators

Clovis Unified School District welcomed four new administrators during its governing board meeting held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Clovis Unified introduced four new administrators at its board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

One of the new administrators is Rob Barnes, who takes over as director of technology services after serving as manager of network services.

“I’ve been here almost five years and almost every day I walk away with a smile,” Barnes said. “We have more caring people in this organization than I have seen anywhere. I know that starts here. I want to thank each one of you for making this a special place to work.”

Clovis Unified’s new chief technology officer is Raj Najra, who worked six years as director of information technology.

“I’m look forwarding to working with everybody in the district,” Najra said. “It’s just a pleasure to work here.”

Ed Schmalzel, previously learning director of Clovis Adult School, is now the principal of Clovis Adult School. Schmalzel said he was given his first opportunity in Clovis Unified in 1986 when he became a walk-on coach.

“I thought at 21 years old that was the greatest opportunity I have ever been presented in my life,” Schmalzel said.

He remembers when the athletic director pulled him aside 21 years ago and said, “Young man, what is your five-year plan?”

Schmalzel told the athletic director that he didn’t have a plan, but he wants to make a difference.

“He said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I said I want to make a positive difference today and I want to make a positive difference tomorrow if you have me come back,” Schmalzel told the athletic director.

“Thirty two years later, I know now that I have been given the greatest opportunity of my life as principal of Clovis Adult School,” Schmalzel said. “I have made a difference today and if you have me back, I will make a difference tomorrow and the next day. I promise you I will not let you down. I thank you for this opportunity. I’m grateful for the rest of my life.”

Ben Clement, who was the learning director of Clovis Online School, was promoted to principal.

Clement said he can’t believe he’s standing here after starting with Clovis Unified 21 years ago.

“Twenty one years ago, I would have never guessed I would be the principal of an online school,” Clement said. “My first title was actually casual labor, which was an amazing title. I worked for Campus Club. I put that all over resumes even today. I’m so honored to stand here with the greatest board and the greatest administration in Clovis Unified. Thank you for believing in me and thank you for believing in what we do.”

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