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Floyd "Doc" Buchanan, Former Clovis Unified Leader Dies At 91

Clovis Unified
Clovis Unified Superintendent Floyd "Doc" Buchanan in an undated photo provided by the district

Floyd Buchanan, the man who built the Clovis Unified School District into an educational powerhouse has died at age 91. FM89's Joe Moore reports his work not only helped shape thousands of young lives, but also both the cities of Fresno and Clovis.

Known by many as "Doc" - Floyd Buchanan was a charismatic and visionary leader. The first superintendent of Clovis Unified, he saw the district grow dramatically during his tenure from 1960 to 1991. 

Buchanan emphasized both academics and athletics, but regardless of the venue his personality set a tone for the district. 

Nathan Magsig is the Mayor of Clovis.

Magsig: "One of the special things about "Doc" Buchanan is he always made you feel like you were the most important person in that room."

He first met Buchanan when he was a student at Kastner Intermediate School in the 1980's and remained friends with him through the decades. He says Buchanan is responsible for much of the city's growth.

Magsig: "He was never satisfied with good, he was always striving for great. And people recognized that, and because of it I look at what the city of Clovis is today, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Because when families are choosing new communities to locate to, the school districts are a big factor in that, and Clovis Unified was a driving force behind the City of Clovis growing."

The strength of Clovis schools also helped drive growth in north Fresno in 1980's, much of which is in the Clovis district. Some say that helped accelerate the city's suburban sprawl and a decline in older neighborhoods served by Fresno Unified. 

Today the Buchanan Educational Center in Clovis is named in his honor.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.