Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Fresno's Armenians Could Finally Get a School Named for Tatarian
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 years ago on
October 11, 2021

Share

Armenians represent about 7% of Fresno’s population, but in the city’s largest school district there are no schools bearing the name of an Armenian.

That could change at Wednesday evening’s Fresno Unified School Board meeting. The trustees are scheduled to consider renaming a northwest Fresno elementary school for H. Roger Tatarian, a Fresno native who achieved worldwide renown as the head of United Press International before returning to his hometown to instruct budding journalists at Fresno State.

The school that could bear Tatarian’s name is now named for J.C. Forkner, who developed Fresno’s Fig Garden neighborhood as well as other parts of the city but excluded people of color from buying his homes. Critics of Forkner have noted that nearly all of today’s Fresno Unified trustees would have been prevented decades ago from buying Forkner’s homes because they are people of color.

But the school likely would have continued to bear Forkner’s name except for a decision earlier this year by the School Board to name the new alternative education campus at 10th Street and Ventura Avenue in southeast Fresno after local philanthropists Francine and Murray Farber.

The board’s vote to name the school for the Farbers, who have underwritten several programs benefitting Fresno Unified students, came even after a community poll showed overwhelming support for Tatarian and members of the city’s Armenian community lobbied trustees.

The trustees then attempted to placate the Armenian community and other community members who had supported alternative names for the campus by suggesting that specific buildings be named for them. That proposal was deemed a “consolation prize” by former Trustee Michelle Asadoorian and was declined by Tatarian’s family.

Neighborhood Was Home to Armenians

The southeast campus, the site of the old Fresno County juvenile hall, was in the neighborhood where Tatarian and many other Armenians were born and raised in Fresno, providing an additional historical link.

However, the Farbers had the support of the board majority as well as Fresno City Council members who passed a resolution in support of naming the campus for them.

So members of the Armenian turned their attention to naming another facility for Tatarian. Local developer Ed Kashian wrote a letter and had a representative make a presentation to urge the trustees to honor Tatarian with a facility named for him. Kashian’s presentation did not specifically ask to have Forkner School renamed. Local attorney Marshall Moushigian this week penned a commentary in support of changing the name.

The board has heard from some people who support retaining the Forkner name. The supporters say that multiple generations of family members have attended the school and they want to maintain the tradition.

In addition to the renaming, the trustees on Wednesday will consider creating a committee of trustees to develop rules for renaming schools in the future. The board has opted not to wait for the development of those rules and to move forward with a vote on the Forkner renaming.

The School Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and the public hearing on renaming Forkner School is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. The meeting will be in the downtown headquarters at the corner of M and Tulare streets.

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

Bob Nelson Breaks Silence on Fresno Unified Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

Half of Americans Say Public K-12 Education is Going the Wrong Direction: Poll

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Trustees Expand Superintendent Search to Include External Candidates

UP NEXT

Trustees Owe a Nationwide Superintendent Search to Fresno’s Children

UP NEXT

What’s Next in Fresno Superintendent Search? That’s the Great Unknown.

UP NEXT

Fresno City College and Fresno State Team up to Ease Transfer Hurdles

UP NEXT

California Community Colleges Losing Millions to Pell Grant Scammers

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

1 day ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

11 hours ago

11 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

11 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

20 hours ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

1 day ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend