Excellence in education: Clarence ShattuckClarence Shattuck is an alumnus of the Soddy-Daisy High School. He is a finalist for the first ever Excellence in Public Education Awards for Greater Hamilton County.
About the finalist:
* Age: 76
* Education: Tennessee Tech University, University of Tennessee College of Law
* Personal/family: Wife, Ruth; sons Clarence Shattuck III, a certified public accountant in Cleveland, Tenn.; Dr. Paul Shattuck, who is doing his residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, and Mark Shattuck, a Ph.D. doing research at Israel University in Haifa, Israel.
* Loyalty of Soddy-Daisy High School: “I have followed the school very closely and have been active in various ways since I moved back to Chattanooga in 1960 after finishing law school.”
Quotes about the finalist:
“I have known Judge Shattuck for 22 years. He is the type of person every man should be — a gentleman, humble, unassuming, approachable, honest, compassionate, and dedicated to the service of our community.” — Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern
*Met wife Ruth Axmacher while students at University of Tennessee School of Law. Turns out, her father and Shattuck’s father were childhood friends growing up in St. Elmo.
*In 2000, helped form the Bombers, a local Senior Olympics championship basketball team. “It’s always fun to win, but we have fun just playing. In fact, we’re pretty addicted to the game. We play year-round. We generally practice twice a week. It’s exercise with a competitive spirit.”
*Recently scored 6, 3-pointers during a Bombers practice game.
Clarence Shattuck credits his education at Soddy-Daisy High School to landing the job he has today — a Hamilton County Sessions Court judge.
Shattuck, 76, a 1953 graduate of Soddy-Daisy High School, said the education he received there rivaled the curriculum of any “big city” school at the time. He said his Soddy-Daisy High School teachers prepared him well for undergraduate and law schools.
“I’ve always been very proud of my school,” Shattuck said. “To this day, I am appreciative of my teachers. They prepared me academically for every class I took in college and it carried over into law school.”
Shattuck said one teacher, in particular, had a huge influence on him.
“Ruth Swingle, who taught history and government, taught us about the Constitution. When I got to law school, I realized I had already learned a lot because of her depth of teaching.”
Though the school has sky-rocketed in growth since he graduated (there were around 400 students when he was in high school. Today there’s about 1,600, he said), Soddy-Daisy is still considered a small town, Shattuck said.
The majority of his college friends had never heard of Soddy-Daisy, he said, noting that those from sports-minded communities had heard of his hometown.
“That’s because our basketball team won the state tournament in 1947,” he said.
Throughout the years since graduating from his high school alma mater, Shattuck has been dedicated to the school that provided him the educational background that helped pave his way to success.
He has served on the alumni board in several capacities, including president. He was inducted into the school’s first group of athletes in the Hall of Fame and he helped to orchestrate and continues to administer an annual college scholarship to a deserving student. The judge is active in the school’s “Renaissance” program where students who have earned good grades are presented award certificates, and he often speaks at the school.
Shattuck encourages Soddy-Daisy High School students to go to college. He said he was one of just 10 to 15 percent of his graduating class who went to college.
According to current principal John Maynard, around 80 percent of the graduating seniors will attend a two-year or four-year college.
Maynard said he is grateful for Shattuck’s loyalty to the school. He said the judge actively participates in many of the school’s programs and events. The judge also serves as a mentor to many students, he said.
Maynard said Shattuck is an “inspiring role mode” to the students.
“I think students realize that if he could do it (be successful), then so can they,” Maynard said.
Shattuck, who played baseball, basketball and football all four years of high school, attends sporting events at the school every year. Today, he plays on a championship Senior Olympics basketball team.
In school, he was a member of the Beta Club, Service Club, and acted in school plays.
Shattuck said he is one of many Soddy-Daisy High School graduates that remains devoted to the school.
Among those he named are Soddy-Daisy graduates Hamilton County commissioner Fred Skillern; sportswriter Stan Crawley; retired Soddy-Daisy teacher Jane Buckner; former State Sen. Arnold Stulce, and former Circuit Court Clerk Judy Medearis.
“There are many more people who continue to give back,” the judge said. “It’s still a very good school.”
Contact Karen Nazor Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karennazorhill. Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karennazorhill.
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...