Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Bob Nelson Defends 'Militant Positivity' in His Farewell Speech as Outgoing FUSD Superintendent
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 9, 2024
Play Video

Bob Nelson delivered his farewell report at Wednesday's Fresno Unified School Board meeting. (GV Wire/FUSD Screengrab)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Bob Nelson’s last official act as Fresno Unified School District superintendent came during Wednesday’s School Board meeting when he delivered his final Superintendent’s Report.

Not surprisingly, Nelson spoke at length about his gratitude to his family, friends, and the Fresno Unified community for their support and encouragement during his more than seven years in the district’s top job, which included the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

Very few big school districts survived with its leadership intact after that tumultuous time, Nelson said.

“We represent the third largest, third longest tenured governance team of the 70 major urban school districts that comprise the Council of the Great City Schools,” he said. “In fact, the number of governance teams that actually remain intact on both sides of the pandemic was fewer than five across our entire nation.”

Nelson, who spoke for more than 15 minutes, said he would not have been able to perform his job as successfully without the support of his wife, children, mother, and in-laws, who watched from the first rows of the board room.

Militant Positivity: ‘Having Resilience and Grit’

He addressed the criticism he has faced about his adherence to the concept of “militant positivity,” a phrase that he has used repeatedly.

“So people make a lot about military positivity, and I’ll finish with this: Militant positivity should never be confused with wearing rose-colored glasses and pretending things are good when they aren’t good. Militant positivity is about showing up every day, ready to be giving your best self, even in the face of blinding difficulty or aggressive resistance. It’s about having the resilience and the grit to just refuse to stop doing what you believe to be right in the name of support of children,” he said. “You don’t stop because others don’t like it. Leadership involves alienating some people at times. If everyone thinks you’re a good leader, you’re probably not doing anything of significance in this life.”

Nelson is leaving Fresno Unified on July 31 for a faculty job at Fresno State. In the meantime, he will serve as a “special advisor” to both Interim Superintendent Misty Her and the School Board, according to his revised employment contract that the trustees approved Wednesday night.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

DON'T MISS

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

DON'T MISS

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

DON'T MISS

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

DON'T MISS

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

DON'T MISS

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

DON'T MISS

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

DON'T MISS

Taiwan’s Legislature Passes Changes Seen as Favoring China, Reducing President’s Power

DON'T MISS

US Consumer Confidence Rises in May After Three Months of Declines

DON'T MISS

Scorned Umpire Ángel Hernández Retires. He Unsuccessfully Sued MLB for Racial Discrimination.

UP NEXT

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

UP NEXT

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

UP NEXT

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

UP NEXT

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

UP NEXT

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

UP NEXT

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

UP NEXT

Taiwan’s Legislature Passes Changes Seen as Favoring China, Reducing President’s Power

UP NEXT

US Consumer Confidence Rises in May After Three Months of Declines

UP NEXT

Scorned Umpire Ángel Hernández Retires. He Unsuccessfully Sued MLB for Racial Discrimination.

UP NEXT

Brett Wisely Drives in a Pair of Key Runs as Giants Hold off Phillies

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

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

43 mins ago

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

44 mins ago

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

49 mins ago

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

59 mins ago

Taiwan’s Legislature Passes Changes Seen as Favoring China, Reducing President’s Power

2 hours ago

US Consumer Confidence Rises in May After Three Months of Declines

2 hours ago

Scorned Umpire Ángel Hernández Retires. He Unsuccessfully Sued MLB for Racial Discrimination.

2 hours ago

T-Mobile to Buy Almost All of U.S Cellular in Deal Worth $4.4 Billion with Debt

2 hours ago

Brett Wisely Drives in a Pair of Key Runs as Giants Hold off Phillies

2 hours ago

Still Hurting From Violence, Mexican Priests and Families Hope for Peace Ahead of Elections

2 hours ago

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

Academic workers at UCLA and UC Davis are on strike, alleging violations of their rights by the University of California’s actions dur...

14 mins ago

14 mins ago

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

25 mins ago

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

36 mins ago

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

43 mins ago

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

Photo of Michael Avenatti
44 mins ago

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

49 mins ago

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

59 mins ago

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

2 hours ago

Taiwan’s Legislature Passes Changes Seen as Favoring China, Reducing President’s Power

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend