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Trustees name new school after Kay Beaver
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Family, friends and colleagues of Patricia "Kay" Beaver - who succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 49 on Mother's Day in 2001 - applauded Thursday's decision of the Ceres School Board to unanimously name Elementary 15 in honor of her.

Patricia Beaver Elementary School will be built at East Grayson and Central Avenue, and open in the fall of 2014.

Board trustee Betty Davis knew Beaver professionally and personally. Their daughters went to school together at Caswell Elementary, Mae Hensley Jr. High and Ceres High. She wiped from her eyes when making a motion to name the school after her friend.

"She was heavily involved in the community," said Trustee Davis. "At her memorial service, many of her ex-students were there. That's very telling. She was a strong role model."

Amy Peterman and Libby Holmes, Beaver's daughters, attended last week's board meeting. The two sisters are both employed by Ceres Unified School District. Amy is principal of Central Valley High School. Libby is a program special in the Special Education Department.

"There's no higher honor than this," said Peterman said. "She was an amazing educator, community member and mother. She greatly influenced both of us."

Added Holmes: "This is something that will be a part of the district forever."

Beaver taught history and social studies at Ceres High for over a decade, beginning in 1990. She was the advisor and teacher for the Cereal yearbook class. She started up the S Club, a high school version of the Soroptimist International of Ceres, at CHS. A Ceres resident since 1993, Beaver was active in the Ceres Dolphins recreational swim program, PTSA Sober Grad Night and Ceres High Boosters Club. She also served on the Miss Ceres Scholarship Pageant Committee.

The list of potential names for Elementary 15 was narrowed down to three several hours before Thursday's board meeting. Patricia "Kay" Beaver, Ray Baltz and Vilas were among the finalists.

"It wasn't an easy decision," said CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel, who attended Beaver's funeral service when he was principal at Ceres High. "Everyone was worthy."