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By Carole Grosch

The following is an excerpt from "50 Unified Years:  Building a Tradition of Excellence in Clovis Unified Before, During & After Unification" 

Three for one

In the late 1990s, a huge crop of subdivisions were sprouting out of the fertile agriculturfield of southeast Clovis. According to CUSD's housing projections, tharea was showing great potential for continued growth and schools, includina higschool and intermediate school were gointo be needed to house the influx of students.

successful educational complex had been constructed for the first time in the district in 1991 compriseof Buchanan High, Alta Sierra Intermediatand Garfield Elementary school all sharing one plot of land. A primary advantagto housinthe three schoolin close proximity was the ability to providstudenta seamless transition through grades kindergarten through 12. Additionally, the three schoolwould have the advantage of being able to share facilities and grounds.

Clovis Unified opted to replicate the effective educational complex concept with its new schooconstruction in southeast Clovis. 160-acre parcel of land bordered by DeWolf, Gettysburg, Leonard and Ashlan avenues was selected to serve as the site of the new complex which would become the Reagan Educational Center, or REC.

The Clark and Alta Sierra intermediate students slated to attend the new schools chose the schoocolors of hunter green, navy blue and silver, and the Timberwolves as their new school mascot. It was decided that all three Reagan Educational Center schools would share the same colors anmascot in order to ensure an all-inclusive feel.

Of REC's 160 total acres, 55 acres were purchased from the Reyburn family who had farmed the land since the 1870s. The intermediate school would later be named after the family's patriarch, Joseph D. Reyburn.

Origins of a name

Joseph Davidson Reyburn was an adventurer. Born in DeMoines County, Iowa, on December 25, 1840, Reyburn at­ tended log cabin schooland worked a variety of farm jobbefore traveling to Oregon with mule teams in 1862.

For the next several years, Reyburn worked as a teamsterhomesteader and farmer, and ran a lumber company.

Htraveled throughout Nevada and California, arriving in Fresno County in 1881 where he built house and barn on property near present-day DeWolf and Gettysburg avenues. He became a specialist at dry-farming wheat and barley.

Reyburn was married twice and was the father of 15 children. His first wife, Mary Ella Lester, wathe mother of nine children when she died October 7, 1893, just 10 dayshy of her 42nd birthday. Her death left Joe with children ranging in ages from one-and-a-half to 19 years old. Four years later, he married Annie Predmore Buckley; they became the parents of six additional offspring. All but two of hi15 children lived to adulthood.

Cornerstone for Reyburn

By September 1999, Reyburn Intermediate wathe first REC school to bcompleted on the 160-acre site. At the time Reyburn openedClovis East High School was yet to be finished and adjoininReagaElementary School yet to be built. All three sites of entire REC complex represented an investment of $90 million. 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.

local chapter of thMasonic Lodge conducted the cornerstone ceremony to officially open the schoofor the 1999-2000 schooyear. Districand elected officials attended the ceremony as well as members of the Reyburn family. A time capsule, to be opened 100 years later, was placed in the cornerstone.

Thadministration, support staff and teachers were eageto create their own culture at the brand-new school. According to Stacy Dunnicliff, Reyburn's first principal, "Teachers who transferred from other schoolbrought with them the best practicefrom other sitesBy blendinand discussing variety of practices, the teacherat Reagan Educational Centedeveloped a new culture and norms specifito the Reagan Area."



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