Photo Samantha Golden, Clovis Roundup

In a press conference today, the Clovis Unified School District superintendent announced her plan to retire at the end of the school year.

Eimear O’Brien, Ed.D. served as Superintendent of CUSD for six years, but before her appointment in 2017, O’Brien held many other roles in the District.

She joined Clovis unified in 1996 as a third-grade teacher at Maple Creek Elementary School, and moved on to serve as a Guidance Instructional Specialist, Learning Director, Deputy Principal, and finally Principal of Clovis West High School in 2012.

O’Brien is most proud to have made time to visit every Clovis Unified school campus each year of her service as Superintendent, and to be able to listen to every employee.

“It’s not just administrators but it’s teachers and custodial staff and campus catering staff,” O’Briend said, “to be able to hear their concerns and bring them back to the table so we are constantly listening and improving and meeting the needs of our employees.”

The Superintendent’s decision to retire comes from a necessity to spend more time with family.

O’Brien’s mother lives in Ireland, and the family needs help caring for her as she ages. Her plan is to split her time better between her family in Ireland and her daughters here in the United states.

O’Brien stated that the decision to retire this year did not come easily, however, she will be leaving the District strong in its goals to recover what has been lost in education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benchmark assessments are improving, and plans for new elementary and secondary schools are underway already. 

O’Brien referenced the residential growth of the area and the construction of the Terry Bradley Educational Center, which is expected to begin in March of this year.

“I would love to have been able to see that come into fruition but I am very confident in the team we have and their collaboration with the governing board.”

A successor will most likely come from within the District’s current leadership.

The Doc Buchanan Leadership Academy development program was established by the Foundation for Clovis Schools to foster the development of key tenets to CUSD’s guiding principles in its leadership.

Superintendent O’Briend said ,”I know that many of those leadership tenets are alive and well in our current leaders in the district, and [the Governing Board] will be taking that into consideration.”

The search for a new superintendent will begin immediately according to Governing Board President David DeFrank, who said, “The Governing Board will be convening a special session Monday afternoon, at which time we will discuss various issues like timelines, criteria, and procedures for selecting the next superintendent.” 

DeFrank also said that the Governing Board will be working closely with the community on the matter, and further details on the search are forthcoming.