By Nancy Covert
Take a look through the history book‚Äîany history book will do.
Whenever there’s a challenge to be met, people usually respond to the task.
More than a century ago, a group of East Coast travelers, inspired to share their unique message/beliefs, embarked for the Northwest on an often-perilous journey.
Among those travelers was a 21-year-old, single woman whose response to the challenge left a legacy that resonates into the present. Her name was Chloe Aurelia Clark.
In 2001 area citizens conferred her name upon a new elementary school in the southern corner of Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1, the county’s first school district.
Although Chloe’s actual time in the Puget Sound region was short, records show that she played a singular role in this distant land.
To honor her legacy, as well as that of other women and men teachers who followed in that profession, a memorial will be placed adjacent to the school that carries her name.
The memorial, explains John Hemphill, chairman of the Chloe Clark Statue Committee, not only honors Clark but also the legacy of countless educators. These women and men have made significant contributions to the success of our Country. As such, the memorial has the distinction of being the first of its kind for U.S. schoolteachers.
Kicking off the Steilacoom portion of the Chloe Clark Challenge are Jan and Duane Hardesty (pictured above), who mailed their donation on July 8. Duane served eight years on the District’s board during the time when Chloe Clark Elementary was built.
“The statue will remind all of us in Pierce County’s district about that heritage of which we are proud to continue: providing the District’s children with a quality education.”
That heritage, he continued, “includes meaningful aspects of South Puget Sound history, no matter how brief, because we all have a part in its History.
“Jan and I are proud to contribute to this memorial project,” he added.
“We personally invite/challenge others with an high regard for our rich history to join in supporting this project.”
For more information about the Chloe Clark Statue project please visit the website at www.chloeclarkstatue.com.