Perhaps you’ve heard the rumor Patti Clapp is retiring from the RISD School Board.
But like most rumors, the truth in this one only goes halfway. She is leaving the board, but she’s far from full retiring.
“Oh no, I’m not through yet,” says Clapp at her office at the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, where she is the vice president of governmental affairs.
Clapp has been involved in education since her three children, who are now all grown, started school.
Her daughter Julie, works for the Dallas Volunteer Center. Her son Doug is a graduate student at the University of North Carolina. Clapp’s youngest, Catherine, studies at William and Mary University in Virginia where she will graduate next year.
“I had a strong personal interest in the education our children were going to receive,” says Clapp, who has taught junior and high school levels. “And I had a broader interest because of my volunteer involvement with youth organizations.”
Her RISD board tenure began 15 years ago. Her decision to run was made jointly with her husband, Roger, a patent and trademark lawyer in Dallas.
Even though RISD has been nationally recognized by Redbook magazine as one of the top 25 school districts in the country, Clapp says she leaves the board with mixed emotions.
“You always want to feel when you’re doing a job that you have met all your goals you set out to do and I realize that hasn’t happened,” Clapp says. “But I feel that over the years I’ve had the opportunity to make decisions that have impacted RISD positively.”
Clapp cites the hiring of two superintendents among her accomplishments, as well as ensuring quality education through work with teachers and staff of the district.
During her RISD board tenure, she served as chairman of the Dallas County School Board Association, president of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards, and president of the state’s School Board Association.
Clapp says her husband keeps asking what’s next.
“Beyond my work with Greater Dallas Chamber, I will continue working as board member with the Tejas Girls Scouts and the Metro YMCA, where I’m also on the board,” Clapp says.
Keeping kids involved and feeling good about themselves with the support of their families, she says, will be the success of our community.
Clapp says she looks forward to a little free time for travel and enjoying her only vice, watching “Murder She Wrote.”