Euless custodian honored for service with national award

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 9:10 AM

EULESS –– Just when it looks like Charles Clark is done talking or hurrying around Trinity High School, he just keeps moving.

He is the most popular fixture on campus.  And he isn't a star athlete, long time coach or 4.0 student.

He is a custodian. 

"There is a lot of kids here that need help. We can only imagine some of things they go through," said Clark.

The man with a big smile was recently selected as the 2012-2013 recipient of the LifeChanger of the Year award, beating out more than 400 other educators across the country.

After 24 years of dedication to Trinity students, his colleagues said it is long overdue.

"They say he is a father figure. He really is," said trainer John Burnett.

With the award comes $5,000 for the school and another $5,000 for Clark. But despite his newfound recognition and a pile of cash, Clark is trying to downplay his role.

"It really is the students," he said. "They have to want to change." 

Clark has inspired thousands of Trinity students and has the stories to prove it. A number of years ago, he actually drove a tape of then-Trinity football player Ryan McBean to Mississippi, after McBean was injured and trying to find a college.

"Gave it to my nephew, who gave it to the coach at Hinds Community College and the rest is history," he said.

McBean is now a free agent defensive end, previously playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. 

Employees at Trinity say stories like that are a dime a dozen, which is why they nominated the 63-year-old for the national award.

Nine other districts around the country also received money for their respective "runner-up" candidates. 

Email tunger@wfaa.com

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