Margaret M. Clark
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Best Known for: Coaching-Swimming
Jan. 1, 1911-May 15, 2005
A Lifetime of Service
Naming a state-of-the-art aquatics facility for Margaret M. Clark is a fitting tribute to the woman who had been teaching Brownsville's children to swim since 1930. Her earliest classes were held in resacas because there were no swimming pools available. Thousands of children, and their children, learned to swim from Mrs. Clark until she retired from teaching swimming in 1988. After retirement Mrs. Clark began leading water aerobics classes for senior citizens.
Margaret Clark is a product of Brownsville public schools. She graduated in 1927 from Brownsville High School and from the College of Industrial Arts, later Texas Women's University, in 1931 with a degree in physical education. She began teaching in Brownsville schools in 1931. During her career, she taught kindergarten, first grade, third grade, eight grade history and English and physical education. When she taught at Brownsville High School, she included teaching one year teaching at Texas Southmost College and directing Episcopal Day School for six years. She was Brownsville's Elementary Physical Education Coordinator from 1974 until her retirement from the school district in 1981.
Margaret Clark was the inspiration for a number of "firsts'. She organized the first girls' drum and bugle corps and drill team for Brownsville High School in 1937. She orchestrated the Golden Eaglettes as halftime performing group in 1964. That same year, she and Jack Schultze originated the first Sams Girls' Relays in track and field.
Mrs. Clark community service is legendary. She worked with the Red Cross as a certified first aid and water safety instructor and taught first aid, swimming and lifeguarding classes. She was active in the Girl Scouts and organized the first "Learn to Swim" program.
Margaret Clark has been recognized by the American Red Cross for 6,000 hours of volunteer service. In 1979 and 1981, she was honored by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.
Mrs. Clark and her husband Kenneth Clark have three children and two grandsons.
Clark received two other honors in 2001 aside from RGV Sports Hall of Fame induction. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and spoke at Commencement on May 12.