Jim Van Volkinburg selected as 2018 CUSD board president

Jim Van Volkinburg is the new President of the Clovis Unified School District governing board. (Ron Sundquist/Clovis Roundup)

The Clovis Unified School District board held its annual election of governing board officers at the last meeting of 2017 on Dec. 6.

During the meeting, the board unanimously voted to elect Jim Van Volkinburg as its president for 2018. The new term was effective immediately and will continue until the reorganization of the board next December.

After switching seats with outgoing board president Sandy Budd, Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell and board members thanked Budd for her service over the last year.

“Before I turn our meeting over to our newly appointed board president Dr. Van Volkinburg, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Sandy Budd for her service as governing board president for this last year,” O’Farrell said, directing her comments toward Budd. “You have led with a focus on doing what is best for our kids. Your leadership and dedication has been very much appreciated. Personally, as I have been transitioning to this new position as superintendent, your guidance, support and knowledge of this district and its history have been invaluable and I thank you for that.

“On behalf of more than 43,000 students and 6,000 employees, we want to thank you for serving as governing board president from December 2016 to 2017 and in recognition of your outstanding service.”

Board members Brian Heryford and Ginny Hovsepian also made a few grateful remarks.

“You were a great president this past year,” Heryford said. “It has been an interesting year. Anytime you replace a superintendent, it’s a tough year for the board president and Sandy you did an outstanding job.”

“I agree with Brian,” Hovsepian added. “It is always a harder year for a board president when you need to find a new superintendent, so thank you for all your hard work. You did a wonderful job with class and dignity and a lot of extra work as president in a very busy personal year for yourself.”

Van Volkinburg also commended Budd and said it will be hard to follow her stellar year.

“I hope I can live up to Sandy’s high standards, I will certainly try,” he said.

Van Volkinburg’s first motion as board president was to nominate Betsy Sandoval to serve as his vice president. Hovsepian was also nominated for board secretary. Both motions passed unanimously.