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Superintendents reflect on Furman legacy

“I received the news of Dr. Furman’s passing with great sadness. From the district’s perspective, Dr. Furman was the first superintendent of Madera Unified, an ambitious leader with a heart for children and a vision for the community of Madera. From a more personal perspective, Dr. Furman was one of my first mentors and supporters. It was because of his encouragement and support that I was successful as an inexperienced vice principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Dr. Furman was there with professional advice, words of wisdom, encouragement, and the benefit of many years of experience. I was always amazed at his intelligence, and his belief in the inherent good of all people. I learned a lot from him on how to approach challenges. I am forever in his debt and thankful that he had the vision for our district in its formative years. On behalf of the district, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Furman family for the loss of my dear friend and mentor.” — Edward Gonzalez Superintendent Madera Unified School District “I am saddened to learn of Dr. Furman’s passing. He was such an influential leader in our community. Over some 40 years, he was my mentor and teacher. Right to the end, he was there to steer me in a forward direction as I continue to work on local community projects.” “Dr. Furman believed there is value in schools and community working together. He taught me the value of community involvement and volunteering in projects that would improve our lives in Madera. I have followed his lead on several projects and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from a master.” He built a school district culture that supported innovation. Schools, teachers, and students could excel under his leadership. Madera Unified School District was shaped by his leadership. We were lucky to have such a wise leader at the helm.” “My thoughts go out to his family during this time. I hope they know his legacy will live on in Madera.” — Julia O’Kane Former Superintendent, Madera Unified School District

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