The 2019 Doc Buchanan Award is presented to James Fugman, Ed.D., for his contributions to building an academic and athletic legacy of excellence in Clovis Unified. Fugman was a standout athlete in high school, earning All-City and City/County honors at Fresno High in 1960. He went on to play football at the University of Southern California (USC) and Fresno State and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fresno State University in 1965, and then a teaching credential.
He taught and coached at Central High School, Edison High School and Bullard High School before being drawn to Clovis Unified and a post at Clovis High School in 1970. A talented and successful football coach, Fugman lead teams from both Edison High and Clovis High to CIF Section Championships.
A believer in lifelong learning, over the course of his career Fugman earned a Master of Arts degree from California
Polytechnic College in 1970 and a Doctorate in Education from the University of San Francisco in 1983. Following a successful teaching career, Fugman entered the ranks of school administration as Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal of Clovis High School before being tapped by Doc Buchanan to lead and open the brand-new Kastner Intermediate School in 1979.
Kastner Intermediate was the first intermediate school to open in the District outside of the originals Clovis High and Clark Intermediate School. Under his leadership, Kastner Intermediate was recognized as a California Distinguished and National Blue Ribbon School. He served Kastner Intermediate from 1979 to 1984, and then returned to the Clovis High community to be the Principal of Clovis High School from 1984 to 1986. In 1986, Fugman was selected as the Assistant Superintendent for the Clovis Area and was instrumental in continuing the academic and athletic excellence for the Blue Unit. Due to his hard work and dedication to Clovis Unified, he was selected as the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in 1993 where he served until his retirement in 2002. Fugman continues to be an active member of the Clovis Unified family and his relentlessness to be the best you can be in mind, body and spirit is still felt across the District today.
After 36 years of service in public education as a teacher, coach and administrator, the Clovis Unified School District Governing Board announced in May 2002 that the new elementary school on Cedar and Olympic avenues be named James S. Fugman Elementary School. Today, Fugman can be regularly found at the school working with kids and sharing his experiences with teachers and administration alike.