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Clark calls it a career, leaves mark in education

Tim Clark, outgoing Kent School Board member, addresses a gathering at Scenic Hill Elementary School on Tuesday. Clark, a retired teacher, has served the educational community for 21 years.  - Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter
Tim Clark, outgoing Kent School Board member, addresses a gathering at Scenic Hill Elementary School on Tuesday. Clark, a retired teacher, has served the educational community for 21 years.
— image credit: Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter

Several colleagues, family members and students gathered at Scenic Hill Elementary School on Tuesday evening to say goodbye to Tim Clark, who concluded his time on the Kent School Board in November.

For Clark, the ceremony marked another chapter after 21 years of work and service to educational institutions in the valley.

After retiring from teaching social studies in 1999, Clark took up teaching at Green River Community College and subsequently Highline Community College. He became a board member in 2009.

In addition to words from Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas, fellow board members expressed their gratitude for his work.

Agda Burchard said that the best lesson she learned from Clark was how to be engaged civically.

"I count you as one of the mentors in my life," she said.

Russ Hanscom also commended Clark's service, saying that even though they rarely agreed on a subject, his care for the city of Kent and it's future was undeniable.

"We may not agree, but what you do have is my deepest, deepest respect," he said.

Among his numerous accomplishments during his time on the board, Clark was instrumental in funding and opening the district's multimedia center at Northwood Middle School. The state of the art media studio provides KSD students with the opportunity to learn digital media skills. While it is housed in Northwood, it is open to all students from elementary to high school.

For his efforts, and in honor of his tenure, the school board renamed the facility from the Northwood Media Studio to the Tim Clark Media Studio.

In his closing comments, Clark praised his colleagues and reiterated cautionary words to the board and assembled educators. He gave thanks for the opportunity to work with "a superintendent that is truly a visionary" and noted that the board has been able to make decisions that often boiled down to "do we want 'bad' or 'worse.'"

But he said that his most important message was to have a solid, realistic plan for the future. He said the district will need to make realistic steps and not have a "pie in the sky" goal. By making a plan and sticking to it, he emphasized that the district will be ready to handle crises as they come up, instead of having to make a piecemeal fix.

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