For a long time, nearly 80 years, Clovis High School was the only game in town. Its roots in the community go deeper than any other high school. Just two miles from campus, in the heart of Old Town Clovis, is the Big Dry Creek Museum, which holds volumes of yearbooks and memorabilia from the school dating back to the early 1900s.
For some in the community, Clovis High is and always will be the only high school in town.
At the helm of this pioneering institution is principal Denver Stairs. Although he may be in his first year, Stairs is not new to the district. He has spent the last 15 years working in Clovis Unified as a learning director, deputy principal and elementary school principal.
At a glance: Clovis High is in its 116th year. Founded in 1899, today it is home to roughly 3,000 students grades 9-12. Located on the corner of Fowler and Barstow, it’s not only close to Old Town in proximity, but also in the Old West traditions that define Clovis’ downtown.
Stairs says math teacher Gary Ennis has been working at Clovis High since 1970, one year after the current campus opened. According to Stairs, Ennis often tells stories about the school still having hitching posts in the ’70s because students were still coming to school on horseback.
Here, Stairs talks about the school’s strong community outreach, how he went from a kid who didn’t like school to principal, and the deep respect the students of Clovis High have for their school’s history and traditions.