On June 15, 2007 the Clovis Chamber of Commerce presented a special Hall of Fame award to Mr. Bud Rank. The Friend of Youth award went to a gentleman who earned it during his entire life, who was brought up in a home that valued education and he has passed that on to his children.
A good part of the success of the Clovis Unified School District can be attributed to his work in 1960 that unified six elementary school districts and the Clovis Union High School District. Bud quickly became the first president of the board and served from 1960 to 1973.
Bud's reputation stretched beyond Clovis. In 1974, President Nixon appointed him the Western Director of Agriculture. President Reagan recognized his skills and made him the Administrator of the Department of Agriculture, and then the Chairman of the World Cotton Commission. All this for the self-described "poor old country boy from Clovis".
Bud's father came to California from Missouri after being orphaned at 10. Although he didn't receive much education, he insisted that his children go to school. He eventually served on the old Fort Washington/Lincoln School Board and was succeeded by his son, Bud.
Bud's father was a farmer which became Bud's vocation also. Bud has cultivated many crops including grains, alfalfa, cotton, grapes, almonds, watermelons, potatoes, garlic, onions, tomatoes, citrus and avocados. He has also raised cattle.
Bud hasn't done this alone. By his side has been his wife of 64 years, Evelyn. In the early 1940's, she was working in the 4-H farm advisor's office when she met a new 4-H leader from Fort Washington/Lincoln. After a year and a half of dating, they were married in 1948.
They soon had three daughters, Ginny, Patricia and Judy, all of whom are involved in education. Judy and Patricia are retired teachers and Ginny serves on the Clovis Unified School District Board.
In 2006, Bud Rank's efforts were formally recognized by Clovis Unified when it decided by a unanimous recommendation to name the 32nd elementary school after him. The school is located at Leonard and Powers avenues in northeast Clovis and opened in August 2007. To add to the honor, Bud's daughter Judy taught third grade from 2007-2014. "I can finally talk about it without tearing up", she said. She's not alone in appreciating her father's work.
"Not only is he a highly capable leader and dedicated to the welfare of the children of Clovis Unified, he is simply a real nice guy. He's as likeable and friendly a man as I have ever known," commented Duane Barker who served on the naming committee.
Everett "Bud" Rank passed away on June 3, 2012 and his legacy will forever carry on at "his" school, Bud Rank Elementary.
We thank you, Bud!
See the documentary on Mr. Bud Rank, done by our GATE students