Well, we lost another “oldie but goodie”: Tom Lamm died May 5. He was one of a generation of Clarkston school teachers who helped shape our school system and groom our future leaders; now, former students of those teachers are teaching the great grandchildren of teachers such as Tom.
Each of us will leave a legacy when we “leave” as Tom already did. Tom was one of a diverse and unique collection of teachers brought here, over time, by the legendary Clarkston Schools superintendent “Doc” Green, who led the consolidation and laid the foundation for the exemplary school system we have now.
Tom came to Clarkston nearly 60 years ago and never left. Just as so many did before and after him, Tom adopted the community and the community adopted him. He chose to live, raise his family, and teach here. Not only did he touch the lives of his students, he made new friends, helped neighbors, and encouraged others to do the same: he affected the lives of hundreds!
Tom came to teach Industrial Arts which was a significant feature of the school curriculum then. The program served the needs of students and the community, while enabling and encouraging young people to stay in school. He did this for 37 years.
But community attitudes were changing; there was an increasing emphasis on preparing students for college, and a decreasing interest in having students learn “trade” skills. That pattern began to change again only recently as the community’s need for skilled workers became clearer; for example, the Clarkston Community Schools now has a Construction Arts program. Some needs never go away, even though some of our teachers do.
So, the memory of Tom Lamm lives on, but so does the value of the skills which he, and many others brought here. “Rest in peace” Tom!