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Roy Clark Elementary celebrates 40 years

Originally posted November 7, 2018

There were a multitude of hugs - and a few tears - as friends and coworkers reunited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roy Clark Elementary. And, while entertainer Roy Clark was not present to celebrate this latest milestone, he would certainly have approved.

The assembly, attended by current and past staff members, was a celebration of the school and the school’s namesake, legendary country singer Roy Clark. Clark students entertained with a fun song while other students performed a "Hee-Haw"-inspired skit. Because of limited seating, Union IT streamed the event to the classrooms. A highlights reel of photos from the past 40 years featured lots of old and familiar faces.

Principal Alicia Ewing and Administrative Intern Kristina Brawley both talked about their feelings about Roy Clark Elementary, the wonderful staff and children. They paid tribute to the previous staff for creating partnerships and programs that have helped the school flourish.

Ewing especially thanked former principal Theresa Kiger, now executive director of Elementary Education, for her efforts at establishing Roy Clark as a Community School and for serving as Clark's longest principal of 17 years. Other past administrators, including retired administrator Rick Berumen, were recognized as well as some of the longest serving faculty members.

Kiger spoke at length about the first days of Roy Clark way back in 1978, laughing how the school uses some of the same methods today to help kids remember which bus to ride. She noted how Roy Clark has been an ardent supporter of the school for every school milestone, but unfortunately, ill health prevent him from attending today. Kiger and Ewing unveiled an award, honoring the country singer for his dedication to children and education.

Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler spoke briefly, praising the school and its staff. He said Union’s Community School program has its roots in Roy Clark which was the first Community School in the district.

After the assembly, guests gathered in the media center for refreshment and enjoyed looking at old memorabilia, including a guitar donated by Roy Clark himself.

Clark Elementary was built in 1978 and dedicated in 1978. In 2011, the elementary was named a National Community School and has become a national model for the Community Schools programs.

Roy Clark, 85, is an American singer and musician. He is best known for hosting "Hee Haw," a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1992. Clark has been an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and helping to popularize the genre.