CLOVIS EAST HIGH SCHOOL
By Edna Herstein
The following is an excerpt from "50 Unified Years: Building a Tradition of Excellence in Clovis Unified Before, During & After Unification"
In the late 1990s, the population in southeast Clovis was booming,
with people arriving on the previously undeveloped agricultural land as fast as new subdivisions could accommodate them. Clovis Unified administration was acutely aware of the need
for new schools in the area as growth was expected to continue. At the top of the list of needs were a new intermediate school and a new high school.
Based on the success of the district's Buchanan Educational Center, which houses three schools on one parcel of
land, came the idea to recreate a similar complex in
Clovis Unified purchased 160 acres of bare land bordered by
De Wolf, Gettysburg, Leonard and Ashlan avenues; across
the street stood a pecan orchard. The expansive land would be used to house CUSD's second complex, Reagan Educational Center, or REC.
The three schools that would occupy the land would be: Clovis East High School
(opened in 2000),
Reyburn Intermediate School
(opened in 1999) and Reagan Elementary School (opened in 2006).
A key advantage
housing the three schools in close proximity was the ability to provide
students a seamless transition from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Additionally, the three schools would have the advantage of being able to share facilities
Attendance boundaries were redrawn to shift the district's existing high school boundaries to accommodate the south east campus.
Students who would have attended
Clark Intermediate and Clovis High School or Alta Sierra Intermediate and Buchanan High now attended the REC secondary schools.
Clark and Alta Sierra intermediate students slated to attend the new schools were asked to choose the school colors and mascot. Their selections were school colors of hunter
green, navy blue and silver, and a mascot of the Timberwolves. Their choices were approved by the govern ing board, and it was decided that all three Reagan Educational Center schools would share the same colors and mascot in order to ensure an all-inclusive feel.
Reyburn Intermediate was the first REC school to be completed on the S90 million site and opened to students in the 1999-2000 school year. At the time Reyburn opened,
Clovis East was yet to be
finished and adjoining Reagan Elementary yet to be built. In the first year the intermediate school was open, Clovis East
ninth-graders shared the new campus with Reyburn's seventh and eighth grade students.
The Clovis East campus opened
to ninth- and tenth-graders for the 2000-01 school year. One grade level per year was added until a full complement of
ninth- through twelfth-graders attended the school in 2003-04.
Early in the planning process, the district applied to the
state for REC to become a charter school which
would have helped facilitate opportunities
for innovation. However, because the charter school movement in California was still evolving, it was decided not to go forward with the application and
designation at that time.
"The charter school movement was just evolving," said Lyn Snauffer, who served as the first assistant superintendent over the new schools. "Staying with what we knew best seemed the best course to take at the time so we later decided to withdraw our
application. CUSD provided tremendous opportunities for future innovation at the Center."
Clovis East High School, so named for its geographical location within CUSD's boundaries, was
not always going to be "Clovis East." The name Clovis Colony High School was initially
approved by CUSD's Governing Board for the first new high school the district had built in 10 years.
The idea for the "Colony" name was a tribute to a time when, in the late 1800s, various small area schools annexed themselves into larger ones to form schools which became
known as colonies. Early local colonies included Temperance Colony, Garfield Colony, Jefferson Colony, Kutner Colony and Nees Colony.
Despite its basis in the historical shaping of what would
eventually become Clovis Unified School District, the Colony
name met with significant
community concerns that its modern connotation
didn't accurately reflect the positive environment hoped for the new campus. With school spirit wear
and signage already on order, the governing board responded to the concerns by selecting the alternative recommendation of Clovis East High School as the new name.