Two standing ovations are hard to come by, but Lake Highlands residents had no problem rising to their feet for Jack Clark at a recent Exchange Club meeting.

Clark is leaving our neighborhood after 25 years of service to Lake Highlands’ schools.

Clark says he is overwhelmed by how much attention he has received from the community.

“This is what tells you that you’ve done a good job – when they say good-bye like this,” Clark said in an interview the day before the ovations.

He is leaving his job as assistant principal at Lake Highlands High School for a school district budgeting job in Glen Rose, 20 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Clark’s wife, Donna, a guidance counselor at Lake Highlands High School, will be taking a counseling position at Glen Rose High School. Donna spent 24 years working in neighborhood schools.

During his tenure, Clark has worked as a history teacher, head coach and assistant principal at the junior high and a football and basketball coach, history teacher, and senior class principal at the high school.

As head basketball coach, he was elected by his peers as “Coach of the Year” six of the nine years he coached. He lead his teams to six district championships, and in 1984, Lake Highlands didn’t lose a single game on a district opponent’s court.

Many of his previous students have become coaches themselves and occasionally call him for coaching advice, he says.

One of the students who took a different career route ended up as Clark’s CPA, he says.

It isn’t going to be easy for the Clarks and their 6th grade son, Cody, to leave Lake Highlands, Clark says.

“This is an outstanding community. The people here make it what it is,” says Clark, whose three other kids graduated from Lake Highlands High School.

“I’m leaving behind a bunch of friends,” Clark says. “But I can still come visit.”

Clark is an avid fisherman, and as a going-away gift, Exchange Club members presented him with a fishing reel he has been eyeing for years, says Club Secretary Ward Beaudry.

“He’s a real loss,” Beaudry says.

Stripling, Hirsh Win School Board Seats

Voters gave Bettye Stripling a chance to serve a third term as a RISD trustee in Place 7 and handed Stephanie Hirsh a victory over three opponents in the recent race for Place 6.

The two candidates were inducted as trustees by State Rep. Tony Goolsby during last month’s school board meeting. Trustees later selected Stripling to serve as board president for a fifth year. Mike Tabor was selected vice president.

Stripling, a former teacher and PTA leader, received 5,836 votes, compared with 4,965 for challengers Jim Pasant, a North Dallas investor, and 2,928 for Tim Schmidt, PTA president-elect at Greenwood Hills Elementary School.

Hirsh, a North Dallas parent, former teacher and associate executive director of the National Staff Development Council, defeated three opponents to win the election for Place 6, which was left vacant after Larry Toon resigned last summer.

Hirsh received 5,566 votes, compared with 4,667 for Chris Phillips of Richardson. Sherry Hobbs, PTA president at Berkner High School received 2,120 votes in the Place 6 race, and Dave Twiss, a Richardson banker, placed fourth with 1,134 votes.