Foundation honors Connie Clark
Retired teacher Connie Clark of Raymore was the recipient of the 2015 Partner in Education Award from the Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation.
She was honored at the Foundation’s second annual Gala on April 11 at Loch Lloyd Country Club. Foundation President Phil Parke introduced Clark and presented her with an award, as well as framed resolutions from the Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senate.
Clark retired in 2008 from the Ray-Pec School District after 30 years of teaching.
She began her career in education in 1978, teaching first grade in the Cass Midway School District. In 1986, she accepted a first grade teaching position at Raymore Elementary School. She said the school became her “home away from home” for the next 22 years. In 1999, Ray-Pec began a full day kindergarten program, and Clark began teaching kindergarten, which she continued until her retirement.
She was named the local Walmart Teacher of the Year in 1998. Clark was named the District’s Teacher of the Year in 2005, after being a finalist in 2000, 2003, and 2004. Parents and co-workers noted that Clark was particularly gifted at teaching students to read and write, and that she loved to show off her students and their accomplishments. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she was involved in after-school tutoring, to which she devoted several hours each day.
When asked why she became a teacher, Clark said, “I love working with children. I thought I could impact the world and make a difference in a positive and caring way. Finally, I saw teaching as the most important job in the world, and no one would be as devoted or could do it better than me.”
Clark was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and her family moved in 1960 to a farm in Harrisonville. She graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1974, and received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1978 and a master’s degree in education in 1991, both from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg. She completed additional post-graduate studies at Central Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Baker University, and Chapman University.
During her career, she spoke at numerous workshops including the state technology conference at the Lake of the Ozarks. She also worked with Avila University for many years to allow future teachers to observe her classroom.
Since her retirement in 2008, Clark has been a substitute teacher in all elementary grades.
“My greatest reward is receiving letters, high school and college commencement announcements with notes and letters from former students and parents saying I invested my life well,” Clark said. “The confirmation that I really did make a difference is the best reward I could receive.”
2nd annual Gala set for April 11
The second Ray-Pec Public School Foundation Gala was Saturday, April 11, at Loch Lloyd Country Club. The event included a social hour, silent auction, dinner and live auction.