Ties that Bind

Tyreon Clark is giving back to the same community that made him the man that he is today. Clark is well known throughout the school district; at 26 years old he’s already taught the elementary school, junior high, and the high school. “I just make my rounds, visiting the schools” said Clark. “I keep telling them to just get me a GM key already.” The schools that Clark works in are home for more reasons than one; Clark went to the same schools that he teaches in today. “I feel like everywhere in the district is home” said Clark.

Clark runs the Boys to Men program at Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School, a program that rewards young men who exhibit good behavior throughout the week with a tie to wear on Friday.  “If the kids dress for success, if they look good, they feel good, they act good, they are good,” Clark said.

Tyreon Clark gives back to the same community that raised him. At Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School, Clark runs the Boys to Men program, rewarding good behavior with ties on Friday. At 26, he's taught in the elementary, junior high, and high schools in the district; the same schools he attended as a kid.

Clark visits Parker-Bennett-Curry frequently throughout the week, often collecting ties donated from students. He's a familiar face in the hallways and he knows almost every student. “I feel like everywhere in the district is home” said Clark. "I grew up in these spaces."

Clark ties dozens of ties every Friday morning at Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary. Having private moments with each of the students helps him start his day off right. "This place has a lot of energy" said Clark.

Clark speaks with a student having a rough morning. "Sometimes I just gotta remind them to keep their heads up," said Clark.

"They learn how to help each other" said Clark, as he has a rare moment to himself during the chaos of Friday mornings at the elementary school. "Once they've learned from me, they can show a friend."

On Sundays, Clark runs a football combine. Clark, who played football at Austin Peay State University, helps grow the next generation of football players. "When I turn 30, I wanna look back and see what grew out of this goodness that I'm trying to plant" said Clark.

“Character is what you do when no one is looking, when someone has their back turned” said Clark as he addressed young men in the Boys to Men program. The students in the program stay late, after the school-wide morning meeting has ended, for a motivational talk from Mr. Clark.

Clark puts his hand in with the participants of his Sunday youth football combine after an afternoon of drills and training. In addition to the combine, Clark directs a youth flag-football league. As the special teams coach at the high school, Clark has coached many kids that he taught at younger ages.