Superintendent’s Corner by Dr. Joe Clark

My father, David Harry Clark, would be 91 years old on Nov. 13. Dad died a few years ago after battling many health issues: diabetes, heart disease and cancer. He was also a workaholic and spent his last few months in the hospital regretting the time he spent at work and away from his family. I wish he had not, because he was the best father a person could ask for. 

Dad served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, and upon returning home to Akron, took a job running presses at the Ace Rubber Company, makers of custom-molded rubber parts. With 11 kids at home, my dad worked hard; double shifts almost daily. He would go to work, come home for dinner, and then go back to work.

Eventually, he made his way into management. In 1977, my dad was laid off from his job. I can’t imagine the fear he must have faced as an unemployed father of eleven. But by the time I was in high school, my dad had found a new job at a different rubber company and ended up buying the business. He eventually added a few more small businesses and really personified the American dream.

Dad was a high school graduate who valued faith, family, hard work and education. All eleven of his kids are first-generation college graduates, with a handful of master’s degrees and two doctorates to boot. My dad has 50 grandchildren, and when my daughter-in-law delivers my first grandchild this winter, Dad will have his 30th great-grandchild.

My dad was not one for speeches. He worked hard and led by example. But there was one thing he said often that I think about this time of year. “There are two kinds of people in the world,” Dad said. “People who make noise, and people who make good.”

For Dad, the noisemakers were the critics and cynics, the people who sat around complaining and belittling while never bringing value to a situation. On the other hand, the people who make good were the people who worked hard and gave selflessly to others: kids, the community and those in need. My dad believed that the best people were those who quietly went about their business trying to make the world a better place.

In this month of giving thanks, I thought it would be appropriate to recognize the “people who make good” for the Nordonia Schools. It is impossible to name everybody, of course, and I offer my apologies in advance for those I missed.

The Nordonia Hills City School District is a great place to send your kids to school because of: faculty and staff; administrators; the school board; the PTAs; the Band Aides; the Athletic Boosters; the Choral Boosters; the Nordonia Schools Foundation; the Building Boosters of Nordonia Hills; the Nordonia Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council; the Knights Caring for Knights; the Rotary Club; the Lions Club; parent volunteers; local first responders; coaches and club advisors; the dozens of families and organizations who provide scholarships for our graduating seniors; the Emergency Assistance Center; the Nordonia Hills Ministerium; and, of course, your children.

On behalf of the Nordonia Schools, I offer my deepest gratitude to all of you who make good. Every day I come to work feeling blessed because of the community I am honored to serve.   As always, thanks for supporting the Nordonia Schools, have a great Thanksgiving and remember to follow me on Twitter @JoeSuperintend1.