The Fresno Unified School Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to elect Trustee Susan Wittrup as president for the coming year and Trustee Valerie Davis as board clerk.
Wittrup is only in her second year on the board after being elected in November 2022 to represent the Bullard area. She was elected board clerk in her first year.
Superintendent Bob Nelson said it’s noteworthy that Wittrup was elected by unanimous votes last year and this year to leadership jobs.
“Not everybody gets a unanimous nomination for both president and clerk, so you should not walk by that in Year Two. That’s pretty rock star quality,” he told her after the meeting.
The president’s role includes running meetings and facilitating agendas.
Wittrup’s Goals: Literacy, Safety, Facilities, Special Education
Wittrup credits her longtime career as a district employee with giving her the background and knowledge to be up to speed on district issues after her election.
Also, Wittrup said it had been years since the Bullard area trustee had occupied the president’s chair on the board. Her predecessor, Terry Slatic, was twice censured by the board and never elected to either leadership position.
Wittrup said her focus this year will include implementing the district’s Literacy Initiative, which Nelson announced earlier this year. The district’s goal is to have all children reading by the end of first grade.
“We are going full speed ahead with literacy, with school safety, with facilities and special education. … We got a lot done this year and we’re going to just keep going,” she said.
Other Board Reorganizations
In other board reorganizations this month, a split vote to elect the Central Unified board president indicated some divisions on that board. Naindeep Singh Chann was re-elected president on a 4-3 vote, defeating Richard Solis. Yesenia Carrillo was elected vice president and Nabil Kerfan was elected board clerk, both on unanimous votes on Tuesday evening.
Earlier Tuesday the State Center Community College District board unanimously elected Magdalena Gomez as board president, Danielle Parra as vice president, and Robert Fuentes as board secretary. Gomez had served as vice president this year and Parra as board secretary.
Also on Tuesday, the Fresno County Office of Education School Board elected James Martinez as president and Dr. Allen Clyde as vice president.
Meanwhile, last Friday the Clovis Unified School Board unanimously elected Hugh Awtrey as president, Yolanda Moore as vice president, and Clint Oliver as board clerk. Awtrey had served as vice president this year.