Dear Buchanan Families
It is with sadness that I write my last address for the Bear Tracks newsletter as this will be my final year in the Bear Nation. I will officially retire from Clovis Unified School District this June. I have had a wonderful career completing my 34th year with the last 23 spent serving the Buchanan Area.
I remember when Buchanan’s campus didn’t have tall trees or people came from all over the world to tour the school. I was here for the first graduating class of 1995 as a counselor when the graduation ceremonies were held at Lamonica Stadium at Clovis High School while Veteran’s Memorial was under construction. My most fond memories are the many hours spent with Doc Buchanan listening to him tell me why he designed Buchanan’s campus the way that he did and the vision he had for building the first educational center. He loved spending time with students and watching his Bears in athletics, academics and performing and visual arts.
Truly the toughest time in my tenure was losing graduates to the war in the Middle East. Rowin Walter class of 1999, Jeremiah Barro, class of 2001, Jared Hubbard, class of 2001, Nick Eischen, class of 2001, Nathan Hubbard, class of 2004, Tony Butterfield, class of 2005, Brian Piercy, class of 2001 and Matthew Abbate class of 2002. Each of these brave young men will remain in my heart and my memory as the greatest heroes as long as I live.
Most importantly I believe I am the luckiest administrator in the world to have been able to work beside a staff that cares deeply about students, each other and our community. BHS is a special place. It is a family. I reflect back on the changes, the growth and the success. This is not to say that we can’t get better. But it is the people that really make this school a great place. Our educational team works very collaboratively to stay focused on doing what is best for kids.
I especially want to thank all of the families that have supported me during my time here. I treasure the friendships I have formed over generations of families. This is the part I will miss the most. I love seeing the light bulbs turn on in the minds of young people. I’ve enjoyed thousands of great moments in the theater, the sporting venues and even a world champion robotics tournament. But even with all the great things kids do, being a teenager is tough. Working with students to overcome obstacles and adversity is the greatest reward. It brings joy to me to see resiliency in teens. Truthfully, it has always been the students that have inspired me in the work I have done.
As I finish the school year and prepare for graduation with the class of 2017, I too will graduate so to speak. I will be working part-time in an educational field. I am excited to have more time with my husband Jeff who has supported me all of my career, my children and my parents. Everyone asks if I have plans to travel and the answer is of course! But I will always be a Bear and can’t imagine not attending BHS events.
Lastly, I congratulate Mr. Joe Aiello, your new principal. Mr. Aiello has worked in the district for fifteen years and is very excited to begin working with our students and our community. He will be spending time on the campus during the last months of school and will hit the ground running in July! The school is under a great deal of modernization this summer and will be beautifully updated by the fall semester. I’ll be back to see the new library, counseling/career center and pool facilities. Thank you Bear Nation!
Mama Bear, Ricci Ulrich