94-Year-Old Prairie Village Resident Inspires Fourth Graders through Science for Two Decades

Claridge Court Retirement Community Resident Volunteers at Local Elementary Schools Every Monday
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Oct. 17, 2012 - PRLog -- PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan.:  When Clark Fisher tells his students he walked seven miles, uphill both ways, in the snow to get to school, that’s not far from the truth. Times have changed since the 94-year-old Prairie Village resident was in elementary school himself, but that hasn’t kept him out of the classroom.

Fisher, a resident of the Claridge Court retirement community, has been volunteer teaching science to Johnson County fourth graders for the past 20 years. He volunteers one day each week at John Diemer Elementary School in Overland Park.

Fisher retired from TWA as chief engineer for technical development in 1983, and began teaching through the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) volunteer program. The SAE developed a curriculum for elementary school students to be taught by practicing and retired engineers. His classes cover topics such as acceleration, gravity, aeronautics, electricity, inertia and motion.

“My lessons always include hands-on projects,” Fisher says. “The students learn better that way and it helps to keep me active, too. One of our favorite projects is learning the essentials of balance. We have two students stand on a balance beam and even use some algebra to help figure the weight of one of the students.”

Fisher has taught at John Diemer since 2005, and previously taught at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Lenexa. He has worked with teachers Clarise Hovis and Gretchen Wirken for the past seven years.

“The intergenerational aspect of Mr. Fisher teaching in our classrooms is beyond valuable,” Hovis says. “He’s an inspiring example of a lifelong learner for our students.”

Fisher also inspires at Claridge Court, where he has lived with his wife for the past two years.

“Mr. Fisher’s vitality and purpose drive him to share his vast knowledge and experiences with others,” Claridge Court Executive Director Rob Salierno says. “His doing so helps further the education of children throughout Johnson County.”

“I encourage other Claridge Court residents to volunteer,” Fisher says. “There are many ways to give back, but I think teaching is special. It keeps me physically active, keeps my mind sharp, and there’s a certain gratification from working with students and teachers that only being in the classroom will give you. I’ve learned that teaching is not an easy profession, but these teachers are so dedicated to doing their job well that working with them and the students inspires me.”

Claridge Court, located at 8101 Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kan., across from the Corinth Square Shopping Center, is owned and operated by Lifespace Communities, Inc., a not-for-profit company with 35 years of experience in senior living. The Life Care community provides senior adults with a unique lifestyle experience and a variety of residential options, including 132 maintenance-free apartment homes. Residents are at home in a safe and comfortable environment where their needs are met by friendly and professional staff. Residents also enjoy a full range of services and amenities, such as a café, library, hair salon, wellness center, game room and valet service. More information about Claridge Court is available by calling (913) 383-2085 or by visiting www.ClaridgeCourt.com.

Founded in 1976, Lifespace Communities, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a not-for-profit corporation that has grown to operate 12 Continuing Care Retirement Communities in seven states, serving more than 5,000 residents and employing 2,500 team members. Communities are located in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Florida. The organization is recognized by the LeadingAge Ziegler Top 100 as the seventh largest not-for-profit senior living provider system in the country.
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Location:Kansas - United States
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