By Stephanie Schlange
As the end of the year approaches, many staff members will be leaving the Clovis West family, but they will be remembered for years to come. Among the staff members leaving are Ben Drati, Tachua Vue, Dan Moorhead, Duane Goudy, Karen Kyer, Brian Allen, and Kristen Oliveira. At the time of print, some staff members may have not yet announced their intention to leave.
Principal Drati will be leaving Clovis West to take a new position as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schooling at Santa Barbara Unified School District. Drati has been at Clovis West for 10 years. During his career here he has been a learning director (LD), deputy principal and principal. Drati says that he will miss the “students, staff and the community here in Fresno.” “I’ve met so many great people here,” Drati said.
Vue, who has been at West for three years, will be going to Kastner Intermediate next year to be a LD. She has enjoyed being a part of the Clovis West family and will miss students and staff the most.
Moorhead, who will be working at the district office in the Student Services School Attendance area, will be leaving Clovis West after eight years.
He has been in many different positions here at West including a counselor in the Student Services Office and a LD with the responsibility of supervising the performing arts programs.
His favorite memory that he will cherish about Clovis West is watching teenagers transform over four years into young adults. He has also enjoyed being part of the performing arts program and going to all the events such as marching band competitions, choir festivals, Folklorico performances and all the drama productions.
Pam Rakis will become a Clovis North Bronco next year, after 17 years of teaching at Clovis West. “English is my passion and hopefully, my gift,” she said, “and fortunately, I’m going to get a chance to live out my passion in a new setting.”
She will be teaching English 9 and English 10 at Clovis North next year. “I chose to go there because it was an opportunity to do some things with English curriculum and teams, that we aren’t doing here.”
While at West, Rakis has taught English 9, Honors 9, English 10, English 10 Honors, British Literature and American Lit/College Composition. She has also been the newspaper advisor for 16 years.
“We’ve won nearly every award out there – and this year graduates 12 of my seniors, many of whom I’ve had for all four years of their high school experience, “ she said.
“I will miss them. The Vantage staff becomes a little family; they are like my children,” Rakis said. She teared up as she talked about the years of being the advisor for the nationally-acclaimed paper. Rakis expects next year’s staff to “pull it off” with a new advisor and plans to help next year’s team “get off the ground” in any way possible.
“I look forward to the new frontiers at North and whatever challenges and opportunities come my way there,” Rakis said. “God is just taking me in a new direction, and I’m excited to see what He has in store for me.”
Goudy has been at Clovis West for four years and will be leaving to take a new job at the district office. He was elected to be the Faculty Senate President for all of Clovis Unified School District (CUSD) which is a two year position.
While at West, he has taught a variety of classes and has been involved in boys volleyball and faculty senate. Goudy says he will miss the students the most when he leaves at the end of the year. Kyer has been at Clovis West for over 25 years and is choosing to transfer to Gateway to continue teaching. “I’ve been looking to make a change that would enrich my teaching career and my ability to positively affect students,” Kyer noted.
Kyer has taught many different English classes while here at West.
She has also taken part in many different activities such as advising the Torch, coordinating Poetry Slam for the last five years and coordinating the VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest for 16 years.
She will miss many things about Clovis West including working with teachers who are “true professionals,” and the “spirit of the students.”
Allen will also be heading to Gateway after being at Clovis West for eight years.
He has taught many P.E. classes, computer classes, and both AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics.
He has also been involved in varsity football and track. He will also be coaching football at Clovis High.
Oliveira will be retiring this year after teaching for 31 years, 11 here at Clovis West.
She has taught many different classes while at Clovis West including English 9 her first year here and many history classes along the way such as AP Government and Politics for the past three years.
She has also been involved in many activities such as being an advisor for History Day for 10 years and Academic Decathlon for three years.
“The daily interaction with my students will be the thing I miss the most,” Oliveira said.
She continued to say her students have been “the most amazing group of young people and have given me enthusiasm to continue my career.”
Once she retires, she is hoping to enjoy many activities that she hasn’t had time to do such as playing golf and traveling the United States as well as abroad.She is also hoping to watch her favorite T.V. channel C-SPAN and spend more time with her new granddaughter.
These staff members have made a lasting impression here at Clovis West and will forever be remembered as Golden Eagles.