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El Lane Nadal Clark

Obituary
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EL LANE NADAL CLARK Dr. El Lane Nadal Clark, 1730 Signature Place, Wilmington, NC departed this life on Sunday, September 8, 2013. She was born in Wilson, NC on June 5, 1933. Her parents were the late Lillie Lane and Edward Morse Nadal. Her grandparents were the late Hattie Edmundson and Henry Bryant Lane and the late Ella Erwin Green Nadal and Ernest Fentress Nadal. El was named in part for her paternal grandmother. She is survived by her sister, Margaret Fentress Nadal Smith and husband, Charles H. of Sarasota, FL and her niece, Kweilin Nadal Smith and husband, James Louis Belitsos of Royal Oak, MI; by several first cousins; by her feline little girl, Chloe Lynn; by her dearest friend of many years, Justine Fredericks Lerch; and by her steadfast and supportive friends, the Dr. Robert G. Everhart Family. El graduated from Charles L. Coon High School, Wilson, NC in the Class of 1951 where she was voted the "wittiest girl in the Senior Class." Dr. Clark graduated from Peace College, Raleigh, NC in 1953, with an Associate of Arts degree. She transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science. Two graduate degrees the master of education (M.Ed.) in 1965, and the doctor of education (Ed. D.) in 1971 were earned from her beloved Duke University in Durham, NC. El devoted her thirty- nine years of professional life to public education. She taught in Richmond, VA; North Kingstown, RI; Lafayette, IN; and in New Hanover Co. (Wilmington, NC). During part of this time she attended graduate school at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. In addition to certification in administration and supervision, elementary and middle schools, and several areas of special needs students, Dr. Clark earned the first certificate issued in Teaching Emotionally Disturbed Children in North Carolina. All of her other graduate courses and internships were completed at Duke. In 1972, El was the second female in North Carolina to be elected Assistant Superintendent in the public school districts. She often said that her work was her hobby because she found such purpose in it and was so stimulated by it and enjoyed it so much. Dr. Clark served as Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Instruction, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Services, and Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services during her employment by the New Hanover County Schools. She served with four superintendents. During the 1960's and the 1970's the New Hanover County Schools faced the tremendous challenges of school desegregation. From the filing of a civil suit in 1964 to the issuance of a court order handed down by a federal court judge in 1971, the School Board and Superintendent's Staff under the leadership of Dr. Heyward C. Bellamy, Superintendent were involved in a massive reorganization plan which redefined the school district for those and subsequent years. Dr. Clark played a vital role in these activities and responsibilities. In 1968 Dr. Clark was appointed to the Governor's Study Commission on the Public Schools (NC). This position afforded her to occupy a leadership position at the state level. Next, public education in North Carolina from the governor to the legislature to the lowest position on the salary scale began the focus on "accountability". This quality assurance program involved all facets of school life. Changes in school law were made and particularly in the performance appraisal system for certified employees (Career Development Plan). New Hanover County Schools became one of sixteen pilot administrative units in the state. Dr. Clark assumed responsibility and leadership for the Career Development at the local level and the state level. El was a member of the Carolina Yacht Club, the Country Club of Landfall, and a former member of the Figure Eight Island Yacht Club. She was a lifelong Presbyterian (dating back to her great great grandparents) and a former member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilson, NC; she transferred her letter of membership to the First Presbyterian Church, 125 South Third St., Wilmington, NC 28402 after she relocated in 1954. Interment service will be held on Monday, September 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Maplewood Cemetery, 400 College Street, Wilson, NC. A celebration of her life will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, NC. A reception will follow the service in Gilmour Hall. Memorials in her honor may be made to First Presbyterian Church.
Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Sept. 10 to Sept. 11, 2013
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