Clovis Unified School Board member Susan Hatmaker resigned from the board Tuesday, the district announced in a joint statement from Hatmaker and Superintendent Eimear O’Brien.
Hatmaker, who represents Area 1 in northwest Fresno, said she is moving to a new home that’s not in Area 1, which she has represented since 2018.
She could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
Hatmaker, who was elected board president in December, said a “necessary move of my residence” from Area 1 required her to resign from the board.
Clovis Unified ‘Will Always Be Close to My Heart and Soul’
“I am saddened to make this announcement,” she said in the statement. “This school district is where I have devoted my life, where I have raised my family, and where I built my legal practice, and it will always be close to my heart and soul.”
“Service to the families and employees of Clovis Unified has been an incredible privilege, and I will continue to find ways to give back to this community. When I was elected to represent Area 1, I never anticipated that I would be part of a school board tasked with navigating a global pandemic, but I am so grateful to have been part of a seven-member school board who focused together on eliminating barriers for our students and staff to return to in-person learning with the resources needed to protect health and deliver a high quality education to our kids.”
O’Brien called Hatmaker “a thoughtful leader whose heart for our students and knowledge of California law served Clovis Unified’s community extremely well over the course of her three and a half years on the school board. During unprecedented times, Ms. Hatmaker brought to the Governing Board a resolve to do right by our staff and students, courage to make difficult choices in hard times, and the willingness to be a reflective and intentional decision-maker while we charted the unnavigated territory of a global pandemic.”
Options to Fill Vacancy
The board will discuss at its Feb. 16 meeting the options to fill the seat.
In the meantime, Board Vice President Tiffany Stoker Madsen will take on the president’s responsibilities.
If the School Board opts to hold an election to fill Hatmaker’s seat, it couldn’t occur until the November general election because of required legal deadlines, County Clerk James Kus said Tuesday. The deadline has already passed to add an election to the June primary, he said.
The last time Clovis Unified had a vacancy was in 2019 when Trustee Brian Heryford retired, and the board appointed Hugh Awtrey, a board member with the Foundation for Clovis Schools, to fill the vacancy. Awtrey was then elected to the seat in the 2020 election.