CUSD Recognizes Students for Artistic and Athletic Abilities

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During the Clovis Unified School District (CUSD) board meeting on Wednesday, April 20th, the boardroom echoed with applause when the board recognized the budget book cover contest finalists and ten athletic teams for their CIF Championship seasons.

Every seat was filled during the April 20 CUSD board meeting with the family members of students being recognized for their art submissions for the CUSD ‘budget book cover’ contest.

The ‘budget book cover’ contest is an annual contest held by CUSD, focused on finding a new piece of art to use for the cover of the 2022-2023 budget book. The competition has been sponsored by Xerox for the past 14 years and provides each finalist with a $50 gift card and the winner with a $250 gift card.

“We had 365 submissions and these are our top five students, they did an amazing job and I want to congratulate each of you on [the work you’ve] done,” Susan Rutledge, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services said to the finalist present at the meeting.

In order to submit their artwork, each student needed to make sure they followed rules, such as the submitted art must be “horizontal” and “have all the students of the district represented” Rutledge said.

The Clovis community was presented artwork from finalists Jaisley Garduno, a first-grader from Fort Washington elementary, Dane Herwaldt, a fifth-grader from Woods elementary, Amara Rankin, a fifth-grader from Woods elementary, Jaquelyn Aguirre, an eighth-grader from Reyburn Intermediate, and Isabella Mayorga, a sophomore from Clovis West High school.

At the end of the presentation, Aguirre was named the winner of the ‘budget book cover’ contest, with this being her second time submitting artwork for the contest.

After a thunderous applause from the attendees for both the finalists and the winner, Aguirre reflected on her artistic journey and her excitement about winning the contest.

After submitting art last year and earning second place, Aguirre said that she was eager to see if she could improve on her art.

Aguirre said having the opportunity to draw other students was her favorite part of her submission because it allowed her to use reference pictures of other people and create a version of them in her own unique “cartoon” style.

Ismael Aguirre, father of Jaquelyn said “the smile on her face says it all,” and shared that he’s “proud” that Jaquelyn continues to remain involved in other school activities such as band.

The CUSD board also presented ‘Proclamations of Excellence’ for ten athletics teams and five individuals who earned valley and/or state athletic titles.

Some of the teams recognized Wednesday night included the Buchanan High School cheer team who were recognized for their ‘CIF Division I All Female Cheer Championships’ along with Clovis North High School’s dance team for being ‘CIF Division I Dance Champions’ as well as their 2022 wrestling team who were recognized for their accomplishment on being the ‘2022 California State Wrestling Champions’.

While speaking Wednesday night many of the coaches shared a sentiment of gratitude for how each of their teams overcame a variety of obstacles during the pandemic when it came to COVID-19 restrictions and are proud that their teams still managed to come out of the season successful.

Dominique Papaleo, director of sports for cheer and dance at Clovis High School said that each team’s willingness and dedication “to lay everything on the mat,” was inspiring to see.

“I am so truly proud of every single one of our team members on our ‘super squad’ and our ‘super pep’ team,” Papaleo said.

Heather Lingenfelter, director of cheer and dance for Clovis North High School said that “as a whole, Clovis Unified should be proud” that as a district Clovis won “pretty much every CIF title that was available out there to us.” 

As a whole, Lingenfelter said pep and cheer did “really great,” and thinks that they’re fortunate for the opportunities allowed to them by the school board and said that even though this is her last she is thankful for the opportunity to have coached for 30 years and directed for 25 years.

Other teams recognized during the board’s ‘Proclamations of Excellence’ included: 

Buchanan High School

  • Cheer – CIF Division I All Female Cheer Champions, Director – Shannon Moser
  • Girls Soccer, Head Coach – Jasara Gillette
  • Wrestling – CIF Valley Champions and California State Champions, Head Coach – Troy Tirapelle
  • 2022 California State Wrestling Champions – Jack Gioffre, Michael Gioffre, Joseph Martin

Clovis High School

  • Cheer – CIF Division II Co-Ed Cheer Champions, Director – Dominique Papaleo
  • Dance – CIF Division II Dance Champions, Director – Dominique Papaleo

Clovis East High School

  • Cheer – CIF Division V Co-Ed Cheer Champions, Director – Amber Ford

Clovis North High School

  • Cheer – CIF Division II All Female Cheer Champions, Director – Heather Lingenfelter
  • Dance – CIF Division I Dance Champions, Director – Heather Lingenfelter
  • 2022 California State Wrestling Champions – Joey Cruz, Paul Sharp

Clovis West High School

  • Boys Basketball, Head Coach – Vance Walberg
  • Girls Basketball, Head Coach – Craig Campbell
Adam Ricardo Solis has written for The Collegian as a staff reporter covering a variety of topics and transferred from Fresno City College to Fresno State where he majored in agriculture business. He is excited to incorporate what he has learned about the agriculture industry in the Central Valley into future articles while also covering a variety of other community matters.