Former Central High School teacher inspires students

Published 12:37 pm Monday, April 1, 2024

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During Read Across America Week, former educator Shatara Clark was invited back to Central High School to speak to students. The Lowndes County Public school (LCPS) happens to be the first and last school that Clark taught at before ending her career as a teacher. 

Clark, also known as “TyTalks”, is now a celebrated author with two impactful books: “Sturdy By 30” and “A Black Girl with Boundaries.” She uses her writing to empower individuals, particularly women, to overcome daily challenges and live a fulfilling life. 

In an effort to teach students the importance of reading, Clark gave a presentation about how being an avid reader can lead to other careers, especially writing careers. 

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“I wanted to teach the students that being an avid reader helps you write better,” Clark said. “I have a writing business, so it really tied in with the subject because I am an avid reader and have always been one. The major focus was to encourage the students to read more.”

The entrepreneur has a business where she does all things writing: resumes, cover letters, biographies, press releases, ghost-writing books, editing and publishing manuscripts, making book covers, and helping aspiring writers become published authors. Along with these services, Clark also offers tutoring programs for students that need them. 

Clark expressed how excited she was to speak at Central High School and said that she hopes that she made an impact on the students.

“I don’t think a lot has changed since I left because many of the impactful teachers that taught alongside me are still there,” Clark said. “I feel like coming back to speak showed me in a different light. Even some of my previous students were able to see a different side of me when I spoke about my business and what I did outside of being a teacher. 

“Now, I have more time to focus on that. Being able to show the students that you are never stuck in one place and if you make the decision that you can move to do something else, you sure can. No job has a hold on you to where you can’t do something else, and I think that was the most impactful thing I could have ever left with the students.” 

Archie Curtis, principal of Central High School, said he was especially excited to see Clark come back to speak with the students. 

“I was overjoyed to see Ms. Clark return because she had such a great impact on our students while she was there,” Curtis said. “When she left, we were really sad about it, but she went out to do something that she really loved, and the students received her back with open arms. She told them a lot of good things about reading and what you can accomplish just by reading. Our main purpose is to make sure that our students are college and career ready so we know that they must read in order to be successful, both in college and their careers. She gave a few facts to help improve reading, so I hope our students take that information and apply it to their lives.”