Namesake Elementary School of Local Educator Opens

Featured photo by Nick Boris – During a visit to the main school office, Dr. Boris poses with the Boris Elementary School mascot logo.

By Carole Grosch | Reporter

“Brave, Bold and Charging into the Future”

Excitement was in the air as the brand new Virginia R. Boris Elementary School campus welcomed students on the first day of the 2016-17 school year.

Newly completed, the school is located at Temperance and Clinton Avenues in southeast Fresno. The 56,000 square feet school sits on 25 acres and was built by Harris Construction with Teter Architects and Engineers.

The mascot is a Charger and school colors are blue, black and silver. Former principal of Freedom Elementary, Erin Gage, now takes the helm at Boris Elementary.

Carefully planned since 2013, the new school offers “a facility collaboratively designed to meet the exceptional educational and facility standards that Clovis Unified is known for.” The campus is instructionally focused with efficient flow between spaces; education is not limited by the classroom. Acknowledging the area’s agricultural history, there is more green space than hard surface. The school is technology sophisticated, meeting the district’s commitment to bring technology to every student.

This was the first time the CUSD board members named a school in the district after a female educator. The decision was a unanimous one, made by the board and with the recommendation of parents and district employees.

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Boris wore several hats during her 37 years in the Clovis Unified School District. Beginning as a math teacher in 1971 at Clovis High School, she later opened Clovis West, served as school principal at Kastner Intermediate School, was area superintendent with Buchanan and finally, was in charge of the district’s Curriculum and Instruction Division.

Along the way, she was voted the CUSD Employee of The Year and inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame. She has said she wants to make learning fun and joyful and certainly made a lasting impression on the district she so faithfully served.

Her passion ensured her retirement in 2008 was a failure. Today she continues to mentor those in the educational community as Co-Director at the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute and as a lecturer at Fresno State. She also teaches and mentors educational students at the Master’s and Doctoral level in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

“I love the work I do,” she said.

“My mom gave her heart and soul to Clovis Unified,” said her son Nick Boris, Learning Director at Clark Intermediate. “She is the hardest working person that I have ever met. She will bend over backward for a total stranger if she is able to lend a helping hand. My mom didn’t work for accolades or acknowledgement; she worked so hard because fundamentally she has a deep passion for learning. Her drive every day of her professional life was to make learning more accessible to students and to teachers as well.”

Dr. Boris did not learn of her namesake until she attended a school board meeting, where she was under the impression she was to speak to the board on a professional development project. She was completely taken by surprise.

“I was ecstatic for my mom when I learned that she was going to be honored by the district,” Nick added. “To see her get this well-deserved honor was a personal highlight for myself.

“It was my job to gather her close friends and family and lure them to the boardroom. We all hid in the back room and filed in the back of the boardroom. As the announcement of the school began and the description of the unknown person was being presented, I could hear her break down and cry. She was completely caught off guard and was completely with emotion. When she turned around and saw all of us her eyes were completely teared over. It was very very special to see her get that kind of acknowledgment and for her name to be permanently attached to the district she loved so dearly made it all the more sweet.”