In 1992, the doors to Tommie and Bobbie Clack Middle School were opened. The school was named after two sisters that were educators in Abilene. This year, Clack Middle School celebrates its 25th anniversary.
A lot has changed since the opening of Clack Middle School. However, one thing has remained the same. Jodi Jacques (pronounced Hawk-es) has been teaching here since the first day the school opened. She is the lone individual who has been there since the beginning.
Mrs. Jacques had been teaching and coaching in Merkel for six years when she learned that Abilene was opening a new middle school. Since she lived in Abilene, it was only natural for her to apply for a position at the school. Rob Starr, the first principal of Clack, hired her to be a sixth grade science teacher. Who knew that 25 years later, she would still be teaching sixth grade science in the exact same classroom?
According to Mrs. Jacques, that first year in her brand new classroom was great, especially since she had been teaching in an old portable building for several years. Everything was new and fresh. The school was so new that they had a name, but there was no school mascot or school colors. Mrs. Jacques recalls that the students were able to vote for the mascot and school colors. They chose to be the black and red Cardinals. Thankfully, they did not choose the other suggestion of the Clack Quacks.
She also remembers one of the biggest concerns that was impressed upon the faculty that first year was that the population would be comprised of both northside and southside students, bringing together former rivals to one school. It all worked out well due to the leadership of Mr. Starr. He held high standards for all who walked through the doors.
The high standards remain, and so does Mrs. Jacques. Jodi Jacques continues to be a first class Cardinal through her dedication to and influence of both the faculty and students.
Tommie and Bobbie Clack would be proud knowing she is representing the Clack name with such finesse and mastery.