When Eimear O’Farrell first came to the United States from Ireland in 1993, she had only planned for a short visit. But her plan changed as she fell in love with her job as an elementary school teacher, which started in Fresno for three years, then continued at Clovis Unified from 1996-2003.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to stay for a short while,” she said. “Once I started working at Clovis Unified, I thought about moving my career to Clovis. After a couple of years, I decided to make this my home. I’m surrounded by dedicated people every day.”
O’Farrell continued to advance her career in Clovis, working as a guidance instructional specialist, a learning director, a principal and assistant superintendent. Now she is ready to assume her newest role – Clovis Unified School District superintendent.
Following a month-and-a-half long process, the Governing Board came together on Tuesday, May 30 and made a unanimous decision to select O’Farrell as the new superintendent.
“The Governing Board, along with our community, was united in our desire to find a superintendent with a vision to lead Clovis Unified into the future, an understanding of the unique culture and mutual respect we have for each other in Clovis Unified,” said Board President Sandy Budd.
O’Farrell will assume the role July 1, replacing retiring superintendent Janet Young.
“I want to recognize Dr. Janet Young who has faithfully served as superintendent of Clovis Unified for the past six years,” O’Farrell said. “Her leadership has inspired all of us associated with Clovis Unified to be the best we can be.”
The board made the decision after a statewide search that included multiple community and employee focus groups, as well as the gathering of stakeholder feedback and a multi-step interview process that included a panel of parents, business leaders and employees.
“It has been a very reflective process because it’s a very responsible position,” O’Farrell said. “You ask yourself ‘Am I ready? Am I worthy?’ I think every position I had in the district has prepared me for the magnitude of this role. As I prepared and talked to people, I have come to realize that I have been preparing for this all along.”
O’Farrell has 34 years of experience in education, including 10 years as an elementary school teacher in Ireland.
“I am humbled to be selected as superintendent of the Clovis Unified School District,” O’Farrell said. “This district is unparalleled in its success, its culture of high expectations. I would like to express my gratitude to the Clovis Unified Governing Board for putting your faith in me to continue the legacy of this great district.”