A huge white tent was adorned with all things blue, silver and black. Seated in its shade were dozens of children wearing brand new blue Boris Elementary t-shirts, a charging bull representing the school’s mascot — the Chargers — emblazoned across the front.
After years of planning and months of construction, Clovis Unified School District held an official groundbreaking March 18 at Virginia R. Boris Elementary School at Temperance and Clinton avenues.
It’s the first elementary school in the district to be named after a female educational leader.
“We’ve had you in mind thinking about you and your education, and how exciting it will be over the next several months watching your new school take shape and coming together as an educational family,” said Sandra Bengel, vice president of the CUSD Governing Board.
Bengel called the school’s namesake a phenomenal ground breaker herself, and encouraged the school’s future students to follow her example of being determined, innovative and imaginative in everything they do.
“You will be the students who define just what a Virginia Boris Elementary Charger can and will do. And you will show the community and the world just how awesome you are,” Bengel said.
She added that the school’s design will encourage a different kind of learning and that students, parents and their educational team will decide what such a technological design will look like for the rest of the district.
“It is really hard to believe that in a few short months, you will all be a part of this beautiful new campus and you’ll be the first students and families and staff members to call Virginia R. Boris your school, your home,” said CUSD Superintendent Janet Young, noting that it’s the district’s 34th elementary school.
Kamryn Marlatt, Nash Higby and Samuel Rubio, future Boris Chargers who currently attend Oraze, Reagan and Temperance-Kutner elementary schools, introduced the namesake of their new school.
Virginia “Ginny” Boris was a Clovis Unified math teacher, principal and associate superintendent from 1971 to her retirement in 2008. She was inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame in 2010.
Although she now works in the Kremen School of Education & Human Development at Fresno State, Boris still works closely with the Clovis East area with the professional development of administrators.
“I am so moved to be here in this place and words fail me — that doesn’t happen too often,” began a choked-up Boris, to laughter from the audience.
“Here’s an interesting fact about me: I’ve been in public education for 62 years,” Boris continued. “I started out at Garden Village school in kindergarten doing papier-mâché giraffes and I find myself today doing amazing things at Fresno State with the Bulldogs.”
In more than six decades of educating students, teachers and administrators, Boris hasn’t lost her love for the job.
“Let’s continue to make learning fun and joyful,” she said. “ I love the work I do. It draws me like a great hobby.”
Boris spoke about the importance of family, noting that she didn’t get where she is today without help.
“Don’t think things happen by yourself,” she cautioned. “Reach out to all of the great people around you, because that’s what makes greatness. No one does it on their own, we do it as a family.”
Boris also shared her five favorite four-letter words: work, play, read, care and move.
“Make your work more joyful,” she said, noting that playing and reading are just as important as working hard.
“In this technological world, there is nothing better than caring about people,” she said, encouraging the future Boris Chargers to care for one another.
To Boris, the word “move” doesn’t just apply to the body.
“Move people’s hearts,” she told the students. “Move mountains.”