Clovis Unified trustees looked across the state for a new superintendent, but ended up staying in-house with the selection of Janet Young, a 32-year veteran of the district.
Young beat out eight other candidates -- both from within the 38,000-student district and from other parts of California. Until Saturday, she was the district's associate superintendent for human resources and communications.
The board made its decision at a special meeting Saturday afternoon that followed a 75-minute closed session. The vote was 7-0. Young begins immediately and her contract is for four years.
Board President Ginny Hovsepian said the 57-year-old Fresno resident "stood out for her classroom and school site experience, breadth of knowledge of the district's business and human resources operations, her great understanding and appreciation of the unique culture in our district, and her ability to lead collaboratively."
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In addressing the board after her promotion, Young appeared steeped in the Clovis culture, mentioning district patriarch Floyd "Doc" Buchanan more than once and saying: "I love the Clovis Unified School District with every ounce of my being."
Her job references included longtime Clovis Unified Superintendent Terry Bradley and Steve Ward, who had been interim superintendent until her promotion. Her son, Landon, graduated from Clovis West in 2001.
Young replaces David Cash, who was hired in 2009 to replaced Bradley. Cash abruptly retired in May, citing the recent deaths of three close friends and wanting to spend time with his family.
In June, he was named superintendent of the Santa Barbara school district.
On Saturday, Hovsepian noted that Young's $225,000 annual salary will be less than the $232,000 per year Cash received.
Asked in an interview about the salary, Young said, "We live in tough economic times and public education has taken a hit."
Hovsepian had earlier said the reduction shows the district is taking steps to "tackle difficult times ahead."
The district did not hire a search firm to find Cash's replacement. Instead, it placed ads in statewide publications that serve the education community, spokeswoman Kelly Avants said.
In the end, the district went inside to find its candidate.
Bradley, who retired as superintendent in 2009, said Young has the breadth of experience to handle the job, from working at school sites to working in the central office.
"When you are superintendent, the main job is to create that trusting relationship with the school board and with the employees of the school district, and I think she'll be able to do that," Bradley said.
Young's extensive work experience is all with Clovis Unified.
She received a bachelor's of science degree in child development from California State University, Fresno, in 1977 and two years later began as a first grade teacher at Tarpey Elementary. That same year she moved to Nelson Elementary, where she taught until 1986, when she moved to Miramonte Elementary as a resource teacher.
In 1987, she began moving up the Clovis Unified ladder, first as a learning director, then a principal. She moved to human resources in 1998, and in 1999 was named assistant superintendent of human resources.
She received a master's degree from Fresno State in 1988 and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from the University of La Verne in 2001.
She was promoted to her current position in 2002.