At the beginning of the school year, in September, one of our dearly beloved teachers, Mr. Joseph Clements, passed away. He taught English on our campus for 16 years, and for all of those years, a smile never left his face. Mr. Clements had hundreds and hundreds of students during his years as a teacher, and he impacted each and every one of them.
Mr. Clements was the kind of person that could turn anything boring, such as reading Macbeth, into something fun where all of the students feel engaged in the activity. Along with teaching English, Mr. Clements and his wife were sponsors of the Outdoors Club here at THS. They were the leaders of monthly hikes and went to a new hiking trail every single time. His beautiful trail choices would never fail to impress the club members every time. Even Mr. Clements could make a super long hike fun and worthwhile.
Along with being a stellar teacher, Mr. Clements was extremely caring and considerate. If you were to walk into his class feeling upset, he would do everything in his power to make you smile. He would constantly crack jokes and walk up to you in class just to check up on you because he cared about his students so very much. Erin Johnson, a former student of Mr. Clements, said, “He was always able to make me smile, just by being himself and telling a crazy story from his days in college or giving us an interesting article to debate over. It was so easy to see how much Mr. Clements cared about his students and Thunderbird High School.”
Mr. Clements radiated happiness and positivity and never stopped encouraging everyone to be the best version of themselves possible. His presence is deeply missed on our campus and he is remembered and honored every day. A perfect way to honor Mr. Clements is to find a beautiful trail, take a hike, and enjoy the beauty of nature, just like he did. Mr. Clements will never be forgotten and his absence greatly affects our campus every day.