Clovis Unified School District News Article

Coming in the Fall of 2024 -- Hirayama Elementary School!!!

Clovis Unified School District’s newest school will bear the name Satoshi Hirayama Elementary in honor of a long-time Clovis Unified teacher and leader, and ground-breaking Japanese American. The CUSD Governing Board announced the name March 15, following months of community input and suggestions regarding what to name the district's 35th elementary school now under construction at Fowler and McKinley avenues.

Hirayama, who worked for the district from 1965 to 1991 and passed away in 2021, represents those educators who work in the classroom, those who lead schools and departments, and the district’s classified staff whom he worked with as a human resources leader under founding Superintendent Floyd “Doc” Buchanan.  He was a teacher at Clovis High School, the first principal of Gateway High School, and devoted a large part of his career to helping disenfranchised students overcome challenges and excel.

As a Japanese American who was interned during WWII and overcame that challenge to excel academically and athletically, Hirayama is an example of perseverance.  Hirayama was drafted into the MLB St. Louis Browns after being a highly successful student athlete at Fresno State University, only to put his career on hold to serve the U.S. Army in the Korean War. He then went on to become the first Japanese American to play in Japan’s professional baseball league. The naming of the school after  Hirayama also celebrates the important role the Japanese community has played in the Central Valley.

Learn more about the new school on its website: here.

Watch a video of Satoshi Hirayama's induction into the CUSD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018: here.


Clovis Unified School District: Be the best you can be in mind, body, and spirit

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