Influential coach, educator joins Hall of Honor



SIDNEY – The Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor is representative of alumni, former employees, and supporters of the school district who have positively impacted the community, excelled in their profession or contributed to making a lasting impression on the world. Its membership is set to increase to 131 on Friday, April 12, 2019. The 26th annual induction ceremony will take place in the Sidney High School Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a gymnasium reception, both of which are fully open to the public.

Hall of Honor nomination criteria for former staff states the nominee be no longer employed by Sidney City Schools for five or more years. Tom Clark tows that line as he can be seen walking the halls of SHS on any given school day, continuing to impact the lives of Sidney students through his current employment with the Midwest Regional Education Service Center. Though no longer a Sidney educator, Clark is still incredibly intertwined with the district.

Current Sidney High School teacher and head football coach Adam Doenges once said, “There’s a long-standing joke around Sidney High School about what Tom Clark actually does. The truth is, we really won’t know until he quits because we suspect he does everything.”

Clark came to Sidney to teach special education and coach basketball in 1991; as evidenced by the aforementioned quote, Clark has become an essential member of the Sidney community and school system and has done so much more than anyone could ever imagine.

Clark, the eldest of four children, was raised in Trotwood, Ohio. He was a poster boy for 1960’s Trotwood athletics, playing football, basketball, and baseball, as well as taking part in track and bowling. He graduated from Trotwood Madison High School in 1972 after which he embarked on an educational odyssey, taking him from the University of Cincinnati to the University of Dayton, and eventually to Wright State University where he earned his bachelor and masters degrees.

Before Clark made his way to Sidney, he spent 16 years teaching special education and social studies and coaching a multitude of sports at different levels. His stops include Twin Valley South, Antonia, Clinton-Massie and Kings. Tom always desired to be a work-study coordinator and head basketball coach of a Division I team – something he sought at Sidney High School. Originally hired as a special education teacher and basketball coach in 1991, Clark quickly became highly respected in both at Sidney.

Of particular importance on Clark’s list of achievements is his leadership in the establishment of the Opportunity School, an alternative education pathway in order to facilitate graduation and employment for many of Shelby County’s at-risk students. Clark believed these at risk-students could achieve success despite the challenges they faced in reaching graduation. The Opportunity School started in 1999 with 13 enrollees and is as strong as ever today, having enrolled over 1,300 students from Sidney and Shelby County since its inception.

As a basketball coach, Clark took Sidney to new heights. He instituted a style that was known throughout the state as an exciting, high-paced, high-scoring way of playing. His tenure at SHS was highlighted by a league championship, a district finalist, and the OHSAA record for the highest scoring game.

Clark continues to work part-time for the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center as a consultant, liaison and coordinator of online programming. He is revered as a mentor to many current and former district employees. Clark and his wife Penny reside in Sidney. They spend most of their time with family, which includes five daughters and 11 grandchildren.

Clark joins the Hall of Honor with the fellow 2019 induction class including Tim Bickel (SHS 1967), David Shadoan (SHS 1975) and Taylor Stayton (SHS 2003).