Kastner Intermediate School opened in 1979. The school was named after George W. “Tink” Kastner. A native of Clovis, he was a successful athlete at Clovis High earning varsity letters in track and football. In 1936 and 1937, he was the Fresno County Half-Mile Champion. At Fresno State, Kastner earned three varsity letters in track and in 1939 was the Far Western Conference Champion Miler.
Mr. Kastner served his country proudly entering the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He flew an A36 Fighter plane, “The Strawberry Blonde” for a record 83 missions, earning a Certificate of Valor. Kastner served as Base Commander of the first helicopter unit in the United States.
He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters as Security Education Officer. After his discharge from active duty, he became Group Commander 93, 72nd Reserve Wing for Central California and Southern Nevada. He retired from U.S.A.F. as a full Colonel.
He returned to Clovis and worked for Clovis Unified in many roles. This included: Teacher, Coach, Vice Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent and Associate Superintendent. Mr. Kastner also served as Clovis Alumni President, President of the North Sequoia League, President of the North Yosemite League, Chairman of the CIF Central Section Track Committee and Track Commissioner.
In 1997, he was inducted to the Clovis Hall of Fame and proclaimed by the Clovis City Council as “The Ideal Man of Clovis”. Mr. George “Tink” Kastner retired at the end of the 1978-1979 school year. In 2017, he was honored at CUSD’s Athletic Hall of Fame, posthumously, for the Doc Buchanan Award.
Under the leadership of Dr. James S. Fugman as Kastner’s first principal, the school opened up on the Clovis West Campus in portables with approximately 600 students in 1979. This was small compared to Clark Intermediate, which had roughly 1600 students. A year and a half later, Kastner Intermediate moved to First Street onto its own campus.
It was such an honor for Dr. Fugman to have his first principalship at Kastner. He embraced “Doc-isms” of Dr. Floyd B. “Doc” Buchanan the founding Superintendent of CUSD. “We all win together or we lose together.” Dr. Fugman’s philosophy as an administrator was similar to coaching football. Organize, plan and motivate. Every Friday, you put your team out on the field.
Under Dr. Fugman’s leadership, planning, work ethic, curriculum, instructional strategies and high expectations, Kastner was the first school in CUSD to earn the California State Distinguished Award in 1982. The Blue Ribbon School Award followed in 1985, another CUSD first.
Kastner Intermediate Awards
1982 California State Distinguished
1985 National Blue Ribbon
1993 California Blue Ribbon Nominee
1993 National Blue Ribbon
1999 California State Distinguished
2005 California State Distinguished
2008 National Schools to Watch
2011 National Schools to Watch
2012 California State Distinguished
2013 California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE)
2013 California School Board Association Golden Bell Award
2013 California State Distinguished
2014 National Schools to Watch
2015 Gold Ribbon Validation Visit (formally known as California State Distinguished)
2016 Kastner Cheer – National Champions
2017 Bonner Character Award, Fresno State
2017 Civic Learning Award of Merit
2017 National Schools to Watch