FAMILY: Deanna Stowell lives in Clovis with her husband and has resided here since she was 11 years old. She has four children, including her oldest who is now 32.
“I have four of the most opposite children in the world, they just don’t have anything in common – personality, jobs, everything. They’re just so different.”
PLACE OF BIRTH: Fresno, California
FIRST JOB: “I’ve always babysat. I’ve always been around kids, so I would babysit all the neighborhood kids.”
OCCUPATION: Stowell is a student activities specialist, also known as a front office secretary, at Weldon Elementary and has worked there in various positions for over 20 years. She and her children also attended Weldon. Amongst various duties, much of her time is spent greeting and assisting those who visit the school. She was initially approached to take a yard duty position after spending much of her time attending and assisting in her children’s classrooms. That position led her to fill many others, upon request, up until her current which she loves and has been doing for nine years.
“I love it, I absolutely love it. I know I have a huge connection with the community because that’s my neighborhood. I came here in the fifth grade because my mom found a house to rent, that’s all that there was to it. There’s nothing else that brought us to Clovis, I’m sure, other than an inexpensive house to rent that my mom found. [From there] everything just rolled over to the next, to the next, to the next. I’m just extremely lucky to do [my job]. Those families that come to our door, that was me [at one point in time]. I just love the interaction with the families and children knowing that I can help them. It’s my community, now it’s home.”
FAVORITE FOOD: “Breakfast. I can probably eat breakfast like three meals a day. I think [my favorite thing] is the atmosphere of a home-cooked breakfast.”
FAVORITE MOVIE: “I can tell you a lot of titles to a lot of movies but I just don’t have one that I say, ‘Oh, I watch this one over and over again.’ If I’m on downtime, I am flipping channels. I will watch movies all day long.”
FAVORITE BOOK/AUTHOR: “I read the Clovis Roundup. That’s all I read. I don’t pick up a magazine, I don’t order magazines. I don’t read it online, I don’t read it on my phone. We go walk, and I read the paper. This is our community, so that’s kind of more of what I need to know.”
HOBBIES/LEISURELY PURSUITS: “I love going to the movies. My grandkids are at our house almost every single week so I just try to entertain them someway, somehow. So, it’s just spending weekends with [my] family.”
INTERESTING FACT: “I exited high school at 15 years old and 20 years later, passed the CBEST [ a California standardized test for individuals who want to teach at public schools]. But I exited, I didn’t drop out. [During that time] you would take the high school equivalency of a diploma [CAHSEE] and [if you passed] you could exit.”
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO STAY POSITIVE? “Most of the time, primarily, I’m always in a good mood. I can talk to anybody about anything at any time, it doesn’t matter. I’m just a friendly type of person. I just think happy thoughts. [I believe] you should always be in a good mood.”
FAVORITE THING ABOUT CLOVIS: “Clovis is amazing. When I got here, it literally felt like I was going back in time. When I was in fifth grade, I’d come here and it was just so old school. It’s pretty tough in Fresno, we witnessed all kinds of bad stuff there. Then, I get to Clovis and I’m like ‘Wow this is a different atmosphere.’ At 11 years old I could tell how different it was. The whole atmosphere was different and now that I’ve been here 42 years it’s still so similar, but the population [has increased so much]. Clovis still has that small-town vibe no matter how big it gets, no matter how many people move here.”