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Clark named School Board Member of the Year

Fayetteville’s Mark Clark, a longtime member of the Fayetteville City School Board, was named the 2021 Tennessee School Board Member of the Year /C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award Winner during the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) annual convention over the weekend. 

Clark was one of seven outstanding school board members from across the state named to the All Tennessee School Board. Members of the board were selected by a panel of judges. Following are the criteria for this award:

-           Must have achieved Level IV in the TSBA Boardsmanship award program

-           Quality of service with emphasis on the previous 12 months

-           Participation in board development activities with emphasis on the previous 12 months

-           Specific accomplishments of the local board of education during the nominee’s term on the board

-           Leadership activities at the local, regional, or state level 

Clark, the nominee who received the highest collective ranking by the judges, is the recipient of the School Board Member of the Year/C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award. Clark serves as the chairman of the All Tennessee School Board.

 Clark is the 39th person to receive this award. 

“He fully supports the mission of the school system in providing academic excellence and preparation for life and career and has positively impacted countless students over his past two decades of service on the board,” stated his fellow school board members. 

Bill Hopkins, director of Fayetteville City Schools, said, “In my 12 years serving as a Superintendent of Schools, I’ve never met a more involved school board member who always puts the students’ interests first. He holds a strong conviction that public education is of paramount importance, and he has the courage to stand up for those convictions and devotes much time and energy to making public schools in Tennessee the best.” 

Clark was recognized during a ceremony held last night as part of the TSBA Convention in Nashville. 

“What an honor to be named ‘Tennessee School Board Member of the Year’!  My name may be on the award; however, this is most certainly a ‘team’ award for our entire School Board, administration, teachers and staff,” Clark said.   

“TSBA began this award in 1953, and of all the amazing, dedicated School Board members who have served locally, only  three Board members in our community have received this honor - all from the Fayetteville City School Board. 

“In 1973, Dr. Tom Holland was the first member of our Board to receive this honor.  Then, in 1992, Mr. Bill Askew, our long-serving Chairman and my dear friend, received this prestigious award. 

“Were they alive today, I know they would agree with me that this honor is due to the work and dedication of all Board members who serve and have served the Fayetteville City School System,” Clark added. 

“Our Board has made some bold decisions over the years, and we continue to be successful because we are of one mind:  put the needs and best interests of students first. 

“I accept this award on behalf of Jeff Whitmore, Tom Holland, Jennifer Murdock, Pam Bryson, Bridgett Hopkins, and others who have served as Board members, as well as Bill Hopkins, Dr. Janine Wilson, and others who have served as Superintendent over the years.   

“Every one of these individuals has loved and served the students, teachers and staff of this school system, and the future of public education in our community is bright because of their dedication and service.”

Mark Clark accepts award