Questions and answers from CUSD Superintendent Dr. Walter Buster upon the announcement of his retirement
Q. What prompted your decision to retire?
A. I once heard someone say that the first third of a person’s life is for learning. The second third for doing; putting into practice what you learned during the first third, and the final third should be spent giving back to others what you have learned and done in the first two-thirds. I started teaching sixth grade in 1965 and for the past 36 years I have been actively "doing." I feel that now is the time for me to begin looking at how I can give back to my community. This includes both the local community and the broader educational community.
Q. So, after June 2002, what next?
A. Right now I see myself involved in three different things: 1. In partnership with several long-time friends, I will be consulting with different school districts to help them identify superintendents. 2. Consulting with other educational companies. 3. Participating in the education community at Fresno Pacific University.
Q. You’ve been superintendent in Clovis Unified since July of 1995. What have been some of your proudest accomplishments during this time?
A. I arrived in Clovis Unified at a time when the superintendent’s role needed to be redefined. I have been lucky to work with a quality team that was able to maintain and build upon the high quality and standards that the Clovis Unified School District was founded. When I started, the CUSD had firm traditions of academic and co-curricular success. We still stand on those footings, but I am also very proud of our Community of Readers program and the number of children who have realized academic success because of Community of Reader volunteers.
I’m also pleased with the advancements we have made using technology in our classrooms and throughout the District. The Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone Learning program is positively impacting the lives of an increasing number of students and I’m confident this program will continue to grow.
In addition, I am proud of the positive strides we have made in keeping our community informed through the creation of CUSD Today. I believe relationships are important in any organization. I am proud of the employees we’ve hired and the fact that even as we’ve grown, I have continued to personally interview every teacher hired.
Q. What is your hope for the future of the Clovis Unified School District?
A. The CUSD needs to continue to focus on our Board goals, particularly student achievement. We need to continue to look for ways to serve all of our students from diverse populations. I am confident that our community will continue to support the District through bond measures and participation in our schools. This has been, and will continue to be, key to the success of our students.
Q. How will the District go about finding your successor?
A. With my early announcement, this gives the Governing Board adequate time to conduct a thorough process to identify my successor. Our Board members are bright, competent and dedicated people who have the best interest of Clovis Unified students at heart. They will have a pool of top quality applicants for the position and I’m confident that they will make a good choice.
Q. What plans do you have for your final months as superintendent?
A. Between now and June I plan to help the Governing Board make the transition to a new superintendent while continuing to focus on leading one of the top performing school districts in the nation. I will work hard to keep the CUSD on an even keel so that the new superintendent can walk into a district that is ready to enter the next phase of growth and success.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell the Clovis Unified community at this time?
A. I have been active in many school districts throughout the state and I can confidently say that Clovis Unified and its employees are unique. The CUSD is a strong institution that isn’t built on a single person, but on many, many outstanding individuals. Since my first days in this district I have been continually impressed with the level of skill, dedication and intelligence in our employees. They handle change and transition well, and I know that everyone’s focus will continue to be on teaching and caring for children: and that is the most important effort in which anyone can be involved.