New solar projects at 18 locations around Clovis Unified

Because energy meters with lower annual usage have a higher per kilowatt cost, sites were selected that would most benefit from replacing traditional metered electric service with renewable energy resources. Several factors were considered in determining where the installation of solar would provide the optimum cost savings.

  • First, the system size required at each meter to yield the highest possible amount of savings was calculated. Meters with lower annual usage have the highest cost per kilowatt hour, and so offer the best savings opportunities.
  • Next, the “avoided cost” at each meter is calculated. Avoided cost is the savings per kilowatt hour of solar production. Based on the calculations, all district meters were ranked according to highest value of avoided cost.
  • Finally, the optimal combination of meters yielding the highest possible 25-year net savings was identified. Installation and operating costs at each site were also taken into consideration as well as such factors as:

• Fire lane access and fire safety codes,

• Shade assessment,

• Proximity to the energy meter, and

• Construction costs.

Sites selected for solar projects to be installed over the next 18 months include:

Buchanan High School

Century Elementary School

Clovis Elementary School

Clovis West High School

District Office (Bus Shade Structures)

Dry Creek Elementary School

Fancher Creek Elementary School

Ft Washington Elementary School

Fugman Elementary School

Kastner Intermediate School

Lincoln Elementary School

Mountain View Elementary School

Nelson Elementary School

Pinedale Elementary School

Professional Development Building

Reagan Elementary School

Red Bank Elementary School

Reyburn Intermediate School

Riverview Elementary School

Weldon Elementary School

Woods Elementary School

Community meetings have been planned during the month of October in each of the five high school areas.

Thursday, Oct. 11:

Clovis High, multipurpose room at 5:30 p.m.

Clovis East High, lecture hall at 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 18:

Buchanan High, lecture hall at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 22:

Clovis West High, lecture hall at 5:30 p.m.

Clovis North High, lecture hall at 7 p.m.


Simple steps can protect everyone during flu season

By CUSD Nursing Services

Special to CUSD Today

It’s that time of year: the regular cold and flu season. To help keep all of our CUSD students and families healthy, please keep the following healthy habits in mind.
Just like we do at school, encourage your child to frequently wash his or her hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food or drinks with others.
Don’t send your child to school if he or she is running a fever of 100 degrees or higher, and has one or more of the following symptoms: a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, or extreme fatigue.
Before sending your child back to school after an illness, make sure he or she is fever-free (without the use of a fever reducer, like Tylenol or Advil) for 24 hours. Students who arrive at school with flu symptoms will be sent home to recover, and to avoid spreading the flu among classmates.
Clovis Unified will continue to conduct daily sanitation of bathrooms and high contact areas such as door knobs and countertops, but the best protection against colds and flu are the simple steps listed above.

Clovis Unified Schools continue to make gains on 2012 Academic Performance Index

Eleven Clovis Unified schools jumped more than 12 points on California’s 2012 Academic Performance Index (API) released today by the Department of Education; with all of the District’s comprehensive schools continuing to score over the state’s achievement target of 800.  The results reflect Clovis Unified students’ steadily rising achievement on California’s standardized assessments and other academic indicators.  The district-wide API also rose five points to 876 on the 1,000-point scale, placing it near the top of all California school districts testing more than 25,000 students.

“When I look at the data released today, it’s obvious to me that Clovis Unified’s success isn’t about one school or one side of town; it is about every school, every employee, and every one of our students,” said Superintendent Janet Young, Ed.D. “Bottom to top, side to side, and over time our Clovis Unified team has stayed focused on what is really important, the success of our students,” she added.

Young’s comments were directed, in part, to the success of Clovis Unified’s Title I schools, which continue to outperform schools with similar student demographics around the state.  Every Title I school in Clovis Unified continued to have API scores of well over 800, with several logging scores over 900 (Lincoln Elementary, 918; Nelson Elementary, 913) and others making gains of over 20 and 30 points in one year (Weldon Elementary, from 811 to 835; and Tarpey Elementary, moving from 817 to 851).

Meeting the educational needs of every child in the classroom is at the heart of the No Child Left Behind Act; and sharply rising Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals are revealing where U.S. schools are, and are not, meeting the expectation set in 2001 by the federal government.  This year, the majority of Clovis Unified schools again met all AYP goals, even as those expectations continue a sharp increase toward a goal of 100% of students achieving at or above grade level by 2014.  However, the five-year overdue re-authorization of No Child Left Behind (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) has left unresolved the issue of larger and larger numbers of the nation’s schools failing to meet the NCLB standards, even while they show dramatic increases in the number of students achieving at or above grade level on state assessments. 

This year, Clovis Unified, along with all of California’s school district testing over 5,000 students, was unable to attain the AYP standards required in some areas. “While we will not be satisfied until every child, regardless of special, language or socio-economic learning needs, is achieving at or above grade level; we are concerned about the continued disagreement at the federal level on how to evaluate the nation’s schools in a way that allows for a productive, collaborative conversation on how we measure schools,” said Superintendent Young.

Other areas of interest in today’s release of student performance data include:

  • 22 Clovis Unified schools received API scores of over 900.
  • All of the District’s comprehensive intermediate schools and high schools exceed the State’s target of 800 on the API.
  • Of the thirteen schools that saw decreases in API scores, all remained above the state’s expectation of exceeding an 800-point score on the API, with six remaining over 900.
  • Fugman Elementary School, with a 2012 API of 978, is now only 22 points from the index maximum of 1,000 points.

For more information, or to arrange interviews or visit a school site related to this story, please contact Kelly Avants, Chief Communication Officer, at 559-327-9092. 


CUSD students shine at 2012 Big Fresno Fair

CUSD Today

Students from elementary school to high school entered art pieces ranging from sculpture to painting, drawing to ceramics, photography to design and scrapbook pages to hand sewn items in the 2012 Big Fresno Fair. Other students entered their livestock and fur and feathered animals in competition, while others entered homemade food and exploring technology exhibits.

Clovis FFA, based out of Clovis East High, also had an exceptional showing at this year’s Fair. We will post those students’ results as soon as they are received from Clovis FFA.

Following are the Clovis Unified students (as submitted by their schools to CUSD Today) who brought home Best of Show and first, second and third place junior exhibit fine arts and animal awards from this year’s Fresno Fair. If you know any CUSD student who placed at the 2012 Fresno Fair and is not listed here please send that student’s name, school, place received at the Fair and category to and we will add them to this list. In addition, students receiving Best of Show and first place awards will be invited to a future CUSD Governing Board meeting to be personally congratulated by board members.

Buchanan High

Shelby Arioto (Blossom Trail 4-H member): in rabbits – Best Opposite of Breed (with Dutch rabbit); first place, Dutch blue buck, second place Holland lop

Anne Marie Bedard: second place, senior rabbit showmanship, third place Holland lop solid senior doe; two first places, one second place and one third place, photography.

Hannah Gatley (Blossom Trail 4-H member: Best of Show and first and second places – scrapbooking pages.

Amanda Kimmons (Blossom Trail 4-H member): In poultry – Reserve Champion Pen of Layers; Best Single Comb Clean Legged; Reserve All Other Combs Clean Legged; Reserve Champion Pigeon; Champion of Excellence Small Animal. Fist place awards in cookies, banana nut bread, beef jerky, and mask.

Vanessa Todd: Best of Show, opaque painting.

Cedarwood Elementary

Drew Sylvia: first place, natural color market lamb.

Logan Sylvia: third place, Hampshire breeding lamb.

Kat Bako: first place, sewing – bonnet converts to apron; first place, sewing – snap purse; first place, quilting – Christmas tree wall hanging; first place, scrapbooking – one-page layout; first place, scrapbooking – two-page layout

Jayda Scarborough: second place, Hampshire market hog.

Kaylee Milanesi: first place, Chocolate Dutch rabbit.

Century Elementary

Faith Gatley (Blossom Trail 4-H member): first place, scrapbooking page; Reserve Supreme Champion goat dairy market; second place, goat showmanship;

Kristine Kemmer, fifth grade: first place, for pumpkin tarts; third place, ghost cakes; third place, bittersweet molten chocolate cupcakes

Clark Intermediate

Inez Avery: two first place awards, art.

Marin Bako (Blossom Trail 4-H member): first place, sewn apron; first place, sewn snap purse; first place, quilted Christmas tree wall hanging.
Chandler Ball: first and second places, art.

Brianna Brown: first place, art.

Athena Flores: first place, art.

Marissa Guzman: second place, art.

Lucas Kong: first place, art.

Anthony Lee: first place, art.

Gillian Macy: second place, art.

Alyssa Ortiz: first place, art.

Erica Palaminos: two first place awards, art.

Teagan Pope: first place, art.

Amber Reyes: first place, art.

Breanna Reynaga: third place, art.

Haley Roberts: first place, art.

Jessica Sanchez: first place, art.

Savannah Sanchez: second place, art.

Manuel Sandoval: first place, art.

Danielle Stafford: first place, art.

Sia Xiong: two first place awards, art.

Christian Zarcone: first place, art.

Clovis High School

Erin O'Daniel (Blossom Trail 4-H member): Best in Show, dairy goat doe; first place, swine feeder class; second place, senior dairy goat showmanship.

Sarah O'Daniel (Blossom Trail 4-H member): first place, senior dairy goat showmanship; second place, senior large animal round robin.

Taylor Johnson: Best of Show, classic photography; first place, photography.

Kaitlin Lancaster: Best of Show, transparent painting.

Kelli Mosher: first place, hand-colored photograph.

Devin Stearns: Best of Show, ceramics sculpture.

Clovis East High

Ilse Badillo: first place, photography.

Karey Cha: first place, photography.

Joy Emerson: first place, digital experimental photo.

Stephanie Garcia: first place, photography.

Whitney Howe: first place, art.

Nick Keller: first place, digital straight photo.

Chloe Mead: first place, photography.

Jillian Moyes: first place, art.

Savanah Peck: first place, art.

Tina Phommasa: first place, photography.

Austyn Postler: two first place awards, digital experimental photo.

Aubriel Soghomonian: first place, art.

Ashley Thao: first place, photography.

Adam Tristan: first place, photography.

Daniel Turpin: first place, photography.

Nou Chee Vang: two first place awards, art.

Reina Warnert: Best of Show, black and white pen and ink drawing; first place, art.

Noupeng Xiong: first place, art.

Luke Yang: two first place awards, art.

Chu Xiong: first place, photography.

Clovis North High

Cody Allred: first place, photography.

Gambull Andrews: first place, ceramics.

Ian Ashby: second place ceramics.

Belinda Berger: second place, ceramics.

Dakota Bolinger: third place, photography.

Angel Bonin: first place, photography.

Plamen Brandt: first place, photography.

Kynan Dockstater: two first place awards and a second place award in ceramics.

Saba Ebrahimi, first place, painting.

Hans Hidebrandt: first place, photography.

Jay Mayugba, first place, drawing.

Madi McGuire: second place, photography.

Mai Pachia Moua:, first place, photography.

Kristy Pahel (Blossom Trail 4-H member): In pygmy goats – Outstanding 4-H Exhibitor; first place, Senior Showmanship; first place, grade intermediate kid; second place, grade yearling. In poultry – Best Large Fowl; Best Continental; Group 1 Pen of Layers; second place, Senior Showmanship. In Round Robin – second in Senior Small Animal Round Robin. In Junior Exhibits – first place, barbecue rub; first place, double chocolate cookies; first place, peanut butter clusters; first place, banana bread; second place, Savemart Sugar Contest.

Yaroslav Petrash: second place, photography.

Lindsay Pimentel: first place, two-dimensional design.

Ayah Qutob: first place, two-dimensional design.

Katelyn Rhodes: second place, photography.

Carl Santos, first place, painting.

Drew Sherwood: second place, photography.

Nick Stegall: first place, painting.

Jessica Vance: second place, photography.


Clovis West High

Jessica Armas: first place, ceramics.

Jacob Edholm: first place, photo.

Staci Fisher: first place, art.

Jocelyn Garcia: Best of Show and two first place awards, art.

Aubree Gomez: Best of Show and first place, ceramics.

Micheal Grelich: second place, photo.

Cory Hunter: first place, ceramics.

Jessica Hurst: first place, ceramics.

Madison Imperatice: first place and two first place awards, art.

Mike Jones: first place, ceramics.

Kate Pearson: two first place awards, ceramics.

Morgan Powell: three first place awards, art.

Eric Sequira: first place, photo.

Devon Smith: first place, ceramics.

Michelle Verduzco: second place, art.

Curtis Wilson: first place, photo.

Kacie Wilson: first place, ceramics.

Dry Creek Elementary

Chloe Riley, fifth grade: first place, Holland lop bunny; second place, mini Rex senior doe.

Anthony Faulks, sixth grade: in poultry – reserve grand champion, naked neck (pullet) in all other standard breeds; first place, frizzle (bantam cockerel); second place, cochin (bantam cockerel). In plants – first place, spider plant; first place, golden barrel cactus. In vegetables and fruit – first place, sunflower head; first place: Topez tomato.

Garfield Elementary

Katie Costanzo, sixth grade: third place, watercolor.

Ian Costanzo, fourth grade: first place, watercolor.

Granite Ridge Intermediate

Grant Asadoor: second place, fine arts.

Aubrey Holbert: first place, fine arts.

Morgan Marashian: two first place awards in baked goods; one first and one second place award in photography.

Loren Parley (Blossom Trail 4-H member): First place, Intermediate Poultry Showmanship; first place, Intermediate Small Animal Round Robin. In Junior Exhibits: Best of Show, herbs; first place, chocolate chip cookies; first place English toffee; first place Peanut clusters; first place, birdhouse gourd; first place, barbecue rub.

Celine Premoo: second place, fine arts.

Caroline Simas: first place, fine arts.

Kastner Intermediate

Jose Aguayo: first place, fine art.

Florentino Alvarado: first place, ceramics.

Meredith Bradley: first and second places, ceramics.

Khayree Carter: second place, arts and crafts.

Serena DeLaCruz: two first place awards, fine art.

Annette Elizaldi: first place, ceramics.

Nathan Flandro: first place, ceramics.

Victoria Fortwengler: two first place awards, ceramics.

Alexandra Hardcastle: first place, arts and crafts; second place, fine art.

Amran Jhutti: first place, fine art.

Farah Khurshid: first place, arts and crafts.

Austin Krietemeyer: first place, arts and crafts.

Jared Lee: three first place awards, ceramics.

Analyssa Meraz: third place, fine art.

Nicholas Pleshe: Best of Show and first place, ceramics.

Abigail Preciado: first and second places, ceramics.

Jocelyn Preciado: first place, ceramics.

Andrea Shum: first place, ceramics.

Matt Smith: first place, arts and crafts.

Der Thao: second place, ceramics.

Enrique Torres: first place, arts and crafts.

Alli Yorga: second place, fine art.

Patrick Zhang: first and second places, ceramics.


Exploring Technology category winners from Kastner were:

Megan Alavezos: second place, Co2 dragster.

Jacob Alfaro: first place, Co2 dragster.

Diana Barrios: first place, glass etching.

Anastasia Bowman: second place, Co2 dragster.

Daisy Castillo: second place, Co2 dragster.

Erica Cavanaugh: first place, sign.

Liz Chern: second place, mirror.

Jon Davis: first place, Co2 dragster.

Nick Drilling: second place, Co2 dragster.

Isack Espana: first place, wood cross.

Isaiah Garcia: second place, Co2 dragster.

Cynthia Her: second place, Co2 dragster.

Aya Jawhar: second place, Co2 dragster.

Nick Lashley: second place, Co2 dragster.

Katie Orozco: second place, Co2 dragster and wood sign.

Brandon Ruiz: first place, Co2 dragster.

Tom Schab: second place, Co2 dragster.

Madison Shubin: second place, Co2 dragster.

Clive Truschel: second place, Co2 dragster.

Kristin Vang: first place, Co2 dragster.

James Yi: first place, Co2 dragster.

Mickey Cox Elementary

Hannah McClellan (Blossom Trail 4-H member): second place, cavy showmanship; second place for teddy cavy.

Reagan Elementary

Karli Melton (Blossom Trail 4-H member): first place, pomegranate jelly (made by Karli and her great-grandmother); first place, six-shooter barbeque rub; first place, Fish Camp scrapbook/memory page; second place, bayou barbeque rub; second place, scrapbook/memory page; third place, scrapbook/memory page; third place in dog obedience (with her dog Violet).

Mary Merritt (Blossom Trail 4-H member): In rabbits – first place, junior rabbit showmanship; three first place awards, Dutch rabbits; second place, Dutch rabbits. In Junior Exhibits – Best of Show, quilted table runner; first place, quilted Christmas card holder; first place, barbecue rub; three second place awards, scrapbook pages.

Reyburn Intermediate

Julia Armanino (Blossom Trail 4-H member): In rabbits – two Best of Breed awards (with her Holland Lop and American Fuzzy Lop); two Best of Variety awards (Holland lop and American fuzzy lop); Best Opposite of Breed with Holland lop; Best Opposite of Variety Holland lop; first place, American fuzzy lop senior doe; two first place awards for Holland lops; two second place awards for Holland lops; second place; American fuzzy lop. Best in Show for fall table setting display. In baked goods – three first place awards and a second place, cookies. In photography – first place; three second place awards. In gardening – first place, 6-inch succulent; two second place awards, succulents; second place, Bonsai tree. Second place, scrapbook page. Second place, poetry.

Kaylee Melton (Blossom Trail 4-H member): first place, bayou barbeque rub; first place, special Cajun barbeque rub; first place, Timberwolves water polo scrapbook/memory page; second place, two scrapbook/memory pages; third place, 4-H independent photo enlargement; third place in dog showmanship (with her dog Violet).

Katelyn Merritt (Blossom Trail 4-H member): In Rabbits – Reserve Champion Rabbit of Show; Best of Breed - mini lop; Best of Variety – mini lop; first place, mini lop doe; two second place awards with mini lops. In Junior Exhibits – first place, one-page scrapbook; first place, quilted Christmas card holder; first place, quilted table runner; two second place awards, photography; second place, barbecue rub.


District celebrates Red Ribbon Week in October

CUSD Today

National Red Ribbon Week was Oct. 23-28 with Clovis Unified schools honoring this year’s theme, “The Best Me Is Drug Free,” in various ways across the district.

The Red Ribbon Campaign was started nationally in 1985 with a mission to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug-free America. Clovis Unified has been observing Red Ribbon Week since it first began.

Some schools chose to hold their Red Ribbon celebrations earlier in the month this year, while others held theirs in conjunction with Oct. 21-27’s National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. Following are just some of the ways students and staff recognized Red Ribbon Week.


A Red Ribbon Week district tradition is Weldon Elementary’s annual Red Ribbon Parade which this year was held the morning of Oct. 25.

The highlight of the parade was former CUSD Superintendent Dr. Floyd B. “Doc” Buchanan serving as Grand Marshal for the first time since the school began its tradition of holding a parade through Old Town Clovis in the 1970s.

Marching bands from Clark and Reyburn intermediate schools and Clovis and Clovis East high schools performed in the parade along with all the students and staff of Weldon who took to the streets of Old Town Clovis proclaiming their choice for a drug-free lifestyle. Students from Sierra Vista Elementary walked down Pollasky to watch the parade with the community members who gathered along the streets to watch.


Tarpey Elementary students kicked off Red Ribbon Week with a rally Oct. 22. Students wore red and administration handed out red bracelets to each child which signified their commitment to being drug-free. Student council members and their advisor, Dee Dee Jett, sang a song about being proud to be drug-free. In addition, Buchanan High leadership students took turns speaking about how their lives are better for not getting involved in drugs. In addition, Clovis Police Department and Fire Department representatives spoke of the dangers of doing drugs and how receiving a drug conviction can hurt a person’s chance of becoming a police officer or fire fighter.

A campus poster and essay contest was held with entries depicting the message “The Choice 4 Me Is Drug-Free.” The primary grade contest winner was Ashley Herr and the upper grade winner was Chakong Yang.

Red Bank

Red Bank Elementary celebrated Red Ribbon Week with theme days. Students wore crazy hats, socks, school colors, and college team jerseys. They decorated banners to display around the school. At a Red Ribbon assembly, Amanda Venegas, a former Red Bank student who is now a reporter on the ABC Channel 30 news team, shared her story with the students who she encouraged to reach for the stars and never give up. She related her story of dedication and how living a drug-free life helps each of us achieve our goals. Afterward, students enjoyed a red ice cream treat.


Freedom Elementary students and teachers got decked out for Red Ribbon Week themed days such as “Outrageous Red” day and “Superhero” day. An all-school assembly featured a visit from Clovis Police Officer Ryan Wade, who is also a Freedom parent.


Professional football player Keith Davis paid a visit to Pinedale Elementary to speak to students at their CHARACTER COUNTS! assembly about the importance of staying drug-free, setting goals and getting an education. Davis shared his personal story of overcoming odds to play football for USC and then professionally for the New York Giants. Davis’ visit was coordinated by Champions for Today, an organization that aims to motivate students by helping them recognize their true value.


Nelson Elementary students got a surprise visit from the Fresno County Sheriff Office’s Eagle One helicopter during its Red Ribbon Rally Oct. 24. The helicopter, piloted by Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Sill and co-piloted by Deputy Bill Vincent, circled the playground several times before hovering, then finally landing right before the students’ eyes.

The two officers answered students’ questions about their job and what it’s like to fly around Fresno County rescuing people and helping keep citizens safe.

              Deputy Vincent selected second-grader Matthew Sullivan as a volunteer to help him display some of the tools of the trade. Matthew and his older brother Zachary, also a helper for the day, are Nelson students who have something in common with the officers: their dad, Doug Sullivan, is also a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy. Another presenter, Deputy Kelly Mayfield, also a Nelson dad, rounded out the presentation team from the Sheriff’s Department.

              Other Red Ribbon Week activities included wearing sunglasses for “Our Future Is Too Bright” day; wearing slippers for “Give Drugs the Slip” day; wearing clothes backwards for “Turn Your Back on Drugs” day; and wearing professional athletic attire for “Be a Pro, Say ‘No’ to Drugs” day.

Mountain View

On Mountain View Elementary’s “Wear Red Day” during Red Ribbon Week, the Sheriff’s helicopter did a fly over of the school, taking aerial photos of all Mountain View students and teachers standing together on the field to forming the words: “MV Drug Free”. 

Other fun days the school held that week: Twins Day: “Drugs are SO not in, dress like a twin!”; Pajama Day: “Follow your dream to be drug free”; and Crazy Hair Day: “We are NOT crazy about drugs!.”


Kastner Intermediate hosted a variety of activities around Character Counts and Red Ribbon Weeks. Teams of WEB leaders, School Service and Peer Counseling students developed activities around a variety of themes to increase awareness and promote positive and healthy responses.  The school’s theme was “One school, one goal, bully and drug free.”

Teams developed focused words and activities for the month.  The Determination Team promoted a pledge drive to be bully and drug-free in which students signed a pledge card and each participant was given a lanyard with the school slogan and a wallet-sized card which provided a “where do I go for help” list, covering topics such as homework and how to resolve a conflict.  To end the month Human Scrabble was played which encouraged fourth period classes to participate in a spirit competition forming teams of 12 prepared to answer questions, while each team member wore only two letters.


Parker, the Fresno Grizzlies mascot, visited Gettysburg Elementary students for Red Ribbon Week. A balloon release was also held with each balloon containing signed drug-free pledges from Gettysburg students.


Gateway High’s entire student body participated in an anti-drug rally on Oct. 23 during which students were asked to make a pledge to be drug-free. Those who made the pledge were honored in front of the student body. The following day, an assembly was held with three guest speakers who shared their testimony. Gateway’s Students against Drunk Driving (SADD) group put on a skit with a message focused on dealing with peer pressure and the negative effects of drugs. On Friday, students and staff were treated to a free barbecue lunch.

Dry Creek

All Dry Creek Elementary classrooms participated in a Red Ribbon poster contest. Dry Creek’s student council planned dress up days and lunchtime activities to involve the entire community. Monday was “Drugs and I Don’t Mix” day during which students wore mismatched clothing and recited a drug-free pledge at lunch. On Tuesday, students participated in a “Twist and Shout, Drugs Are Out” day by wearing 1950s clothing and dancing to 50s music at lunch. Dry Creek’s annual Agency Day was held on Wednesday and began with a helicopter landing. Many different law enforcement agencies participated in the event and students got to learn about how they help keep the community safe. “Team up against Drugs” day was celebrated on Thursday. Students wore sports/team apparel and participated in a hoop shoot game at lunchtime. Students were rewarded daily for pledging to be drug-free by participating in these activities.


The PAIN (Prescription Abusers in Need) organization visited all Clovis West High’s PE classes Oct. 22. PAIN President and Founder Flint Anderson gave a powerful message to students about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

The following day, all freshmen attended a presentation from PATH (Performing Above the High) that focused on ways to avoid ever starting drugs or alcohol by staying involved in school and activities. The PATH project also focused on the dangers of marijuana and dispelling some common myths about it. PATH also held a lunchtime activity for all students with a similar message.

Later in the week, the Lock It Up project came to Clovis West providing more information on prescription drugs and teaming up with the CWHS leadership students using “drunk goggles.” The special eyewear simulates drunkenness, showing students the effect drinking has on their motor skills and reaction times and emphasizing the message to never drink and drive.


Clovis North Educational Center students dressed up each day of Red Ribbon Week. Door decorating competitions were also held.


From the inside: CNEC students share their experiences serving as precinct officers in the Nov. 6 election

CUSD Today

Forty-three Clovis North High School AP Government Students were selected, through a special student program offered by the Fresno County Elections Office, to serve as precinct officers during the Nov. 6 presidential election from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“This was truly a once in a lifetime experience for them to experience our government in action,” said Clovis North Social Science Department Chair and AP U.S. Government and Politics Instructor Cliff Nitschke.

The CN students who participated in this unique opportunity were Rania Abo Elreich, Hargurbir Ahluwalia, Natalee Bachant, Natalie Bertolucci, Carlee Byron, Devin Casey, Tori Catton, Brean Derrett, Saba Ebrahimi, Niko Elvambuena, Leyla Farshidpour, Meghann Fischer, Merina Garcia Gregory, Oscar Garcia, Stephany Gault, Miriam Gittens, Krista Harrison, Courtney Hill, Hannah Hubbard, Allison Howells, Rupkirn Kaur, Megan Kelly, Samantha Larmer, Morgan Larson, Mackenzie Lubratich, Vineeth Mohan, Arycia Mojarras, Alexandra Olsen, Gene Park, Elizabeth Riolo, Albert Rodriguez, Brittani Roltgen, Celeste Rosebrock, Allison Rueter, Elena Sarmazian, Gagandeep Singh, Madison Steele, Kalina Venugopal, Alonza Washington, Elizabeth Weatherly, Kathryn Weeks, Jennifer Wilson and Chloe Wong.

Of these 43 students, seven shared their firsthand experiences of working as precinct officers with CUSD Today. Following is what they reported:

Merina Garcia: “I learned a lot about the process of how voting actually works and how democracy in this country works. After a two-hour class learning how to be an officer, I arrived at my precinct at 6 a.m. I was blessed with a great team in my precinct who made the entire day a blast. Of course it wasn’t all fun, there had to be work done. I learned a lot about myself on Election Day: that I actually am a people’s person and that I even as a teenager can make a difference in the world I live in, even if it is as simple as helping people vote efficiently and smoothly.”

Madisen Steele and Jennifer Wilson: “Every part of the process had to be done exactly how the book told us to do it. The main problem was the people who were supposed to receive the vote-by-mail ballots. Many stated they never received it meaning they would have to fill out a provisional ballot. At my (Madisen’s) precinct, around 470 people came and 50 of them had to fill out a provisional ballot. Another problem was people simply going to the wrong precinct and not being on the lists even if they lived in the location specified correctly on the map. This made many people frustrated. Many individuals also became appalled when we did not require them to show their ID. All in all it was a very long day, full of frustrated people and hand cramps however in the future when we get the opportunity to vote we will definitely show great appreciation toward the precinct officers.”

Meghann Fischer: “Being an election precinct officer was an eye-opening experience. I had always thought voting precincts were big scary places with mean people who handed out stickers. This was not the case. I was happily surprised by how easy and fun the voting process actually was. By the time 7 a.m. rolled around, we had a line of people out of the door. The types of people who came out to vote varied greatly. There were young people, married couples, older people, people of different races and political parties. By the end of the day, our total amount of voters exceeded 700, in just our precinct. As an election precinct officer, I was able to get the inside scoop on how election are carried out. So in the next election, when I am allowed to vote, I will go in confident of how the voting process works and I can make sure my vote counts.

Tori Catton: “Once the polls opened, it surprised me how archaic the laws we had to abide by were. For one thing a precinct worker had to go out and yell ‘The polls are open!’ and they would have had to do this regardless if there were people out there or not. It was not slow for a moment. Once we started, most of the people who came in were late 30’s. I only saw four people who voted for the first time.”

Niko Elvambuena: “Of all the people that came to vote, 99.99 percent of all voters were middle aged and above the ages of 40. To be honest, this bothered me quite a bit. Why are people not going to vote? Don’t they want their voices to be heard? As a student in an AP Government, I study and talk about our government all the time in class and the election process is a very important part of government.”

Brean Derrett: “We need to update the list of people who voted and put them outside so that the poll watchers could look at them. Most people who voted were middle-aged and they had a spouse or a friend voting with them. It was nice to see whole families come in and vote together, and a substantial amount of young people voted as well. From this experience I learned how important it is to participate in government and vote.”