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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Smarty Mom: Lori Clark


By Katie M

Today I introduce someone who has been a long-time loyal reader of Triad Smarty Pants: Lori Clark. Some of you may already know her because she’s lived in the Triad (Greensboro, Kernersville and now Lewisville) pretty much all her life. And some of you might recognize her because she is currently running as an at-large candidate for the Winston-Salem Board of Education (more on that below). Either way, she’s given us a great interview and I’ve enjoyed getting to know Lori better as I’m sure you will too.

Lori and her husband, Dale, have a six-year-old son Cameron. Since Cameron’s birth, Lori has held some type of part-time position, and is currently a substitute teacher and member of the Chick-fil-A marketing team (for the Peacehaven Road, W-S restaurant). She is also a very involved classroom and parent volunteer at her son’s school and will serve as PTA vice president next year. Lori and her husband (who met while participating with a traveling Triad Christian singing group) are both active with their church’s worship/music ministry, participate in the church missions ministry, and serve as adult sponsors for the church high school youth choir. And occasionally, one or both of them will sing at weddings!

So let’s chat with Lori.

First off, we have to ask about your recent decision to run for elected office. What a huge, and notable, undertaking! What inspired you to do this?
The decision to run for the School Board is the biggest decision I have made in many years. When you serve as an elected official, you really are a "public servant." I see it as a natural follow-on to my many years of volunteer work - which has also been in public service. I am running because I believe that I received a great education in our public schools here in Forsyth County, and now that my son has entered the system, I desire the same for him. We live in a great country that gives us free education and I want the educational standards to be and remain high - higher for him than they were for me! I also believe that more people my age should become involved in public service! I've simply answered a call that I felt in my heart.

When is the election, and how can readers find out more about you as a candidate?
The primary vote (and first hurdle) is May 4th. I have to be one of the Top 6 vote-getters in my AT LARGE District to move on to the November general election (where I would then need to be in the Top 3). My website is http://www.goinsclark.com/ and I also have a fan page on Facebook. Just search the whole name - Lori Goins Clark – and it should come up!

How do you balance being a mom with all the demands of your campaign and your part-time jobs?
Funny that you ask that. One day recently both my husband and my son claimed to be worn out with all of the "running around" I am doing! My husband said: "If this is what it will be like if you are elected, whew.....!" My son said: "Aw Mom, I'm tired of putting up signs!!" I know that this is a season, and soon another one may come that may be more or less busy, so I have to take one day at a time and remember my priorities (faith and family first)! I need to remember to take my quiet time for me and that I need exercise, too. I like being busy and juggling it all, but I also love being at home with the family. We cherish our dinners together and enjoy when we have a night where we have no place to be! As well, I need to remember that currently we are out of milk and to get by the store!

What advice can you offer other moms considering a volunteer stint with their PTA, or to those who plan to run for elected office?
I would absolutely encourage all moms to be PTA members and to give as much time as they sensibly can to that organization and to the schools where their children are. PTAs are so important to a school's success, and involved parents are the key to an individual child's success. The more you can know about your child's education, etc., the better! The PTA always needs more enthusiastic parents and there will always be a place for you to use your gifts at your child's school - and dad's, too! Regarding a run for local office - I am learning that if you put yourself out there, you have to 1) have some thick skin, 2) realize you can't please everyone (hard for me since I am a "pleaser") and 3) remember to give your best and stay true to your convictions!

What smarty tips do you have for other busy moms?
Say NO as often as you say yes to invitations and opportunities, to make sure that you schedule date nights with your husband (for the sake of your marriage and your children), try hard to make your home a haven and refuge for your family, and cherish friends and family and spend time nourishing those relationships!

Ok, now on to the fun (and easier) questions!

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Thank the Lord I have several friends who share their boy clothes with me (I am so thankful for hand-me-downs) BUT I also shop at the Spring and Fall consignment sales around the Triad, and look for the RED tag kids clothes deals at TARGET (love Target)! My favorite consignment sale is the New Philadelphia Moravian Church (on Country Club Road in W-S) Clothing Sale.

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
The Children's Place is my favorite store to shop new! I am especially in love with all of their v-necked boy sweaters!

What's your favorite shop or boutique in the Triad?
ETC. Consignment on Jonestown Road in Winston-Salem. I don't have too much time to shop (wish I did because I am your typical woman who loves to shop!) - but they have GREAT stuff there at great prices!!!

What is your favorite family activity?
A beach vacation. We always go for a week - but a week is not enough - so I wish for two - maybe someday!

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
I am a coffee-lover, so meeting so-and-so for coffee either at a coffee place or at their (or my) house for the sole purpose of chatting is a FABULOUS treat! Any time that I can sit with a cup of coffee and read all alone is pure bliss as well!

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
There is NO BETTER place than Chick-fil-A (Peacehaven is the favorite, of course). My little fella loves the playroom because, though he is an only child, there is always someone there with whom he can play! That allows me time to catch up with my hubby or a friend - whichever the case may be! They have Family nights on Tuesdays and the kids eat really cheap!

Favorite date place?
My husband and I love to go to Bonefish and have the BANG-BANG shrimp! It is an appetizer, but it is just enough, and then we usually split a dessert, too!

Funniest thing Cameron has ever said?
"I'm already smart - I'm just trying to get smarter!" AND…recently, upon hearing that I was “running” for the School Board, he asked “….can Daddy run for President?”! That says what he thinks of his dad!!

Favorite park in the Triad?
Joanie Moser (shaded) or Triad Park. We also love Shallowford Square (in Lewisville) because it is big and pretty!

Mini-van or SUV?
How about a 2002 GMC Sierra extended cab TRUCK!?? Every man needs a good truck - I just happen to get to drive ours (which saddens Dale immensely, I might add)!

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
For us, it is that family is near - both of ours. The Triad itself is not too big and not too small, but has just enough of the "big" city stuff, and just the right amount quaint small-town qualities. Another great thing - it is right smack in the middle of the mountains and the beach!

Best kept secret in the Triad?
Again, I would say ETC. Consignment Shop and ALDI grocery store (there are 2 in Winston)! I wish someone had told me long ago about ALDI - GREAT prices on many staple items, clean, fast, and GREAT FRUIT and vegetables! You have to use debit card or cash, though! Helps you to be ready and frugal!

Who is your greatest hero or mentor?
My parents. Both taught me a strong work ethic, what it means to have integrity and personal responsibility, gave me unconditional love, and pointed me to Christ.

Best secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
Two of her favorite quotes are: "This, too, shall pass" (which has always helped me to remember that whatever the current trial is, it will end) AND....."Service is the rent we pay for living..." (which she did not originate....but it is so true). She has modeled both of those before me.

Best birthday party you have attended?
Our son had a DART GUN themed party this year, and he said it was "wonderful"! That one was a definite success (an idea for all of the Smarty Moms)!

Best book you’ve ever read?
Too many to name! As a youngster, I remember Christy and The Incident at Hawk’s Hill (which we just read with our son) and Gone with the Wind (the book is so much better than the original TV movie)! More recently, Same Kind of Different as Me, Death of a President, Love and Respect, and Your Boy.

What’s your favorite blog on Triad Smarty Pants?
They are all are SO informative...the one of late that comes to mind is the whole debate of where to take your little boy to the bathroom (WOMEN or MEN's room??) ! UGH!!!! I have a few funny stories about that - and my decision is still to opt for the Women's - 'til I don't know WHEN!

I could not live without my...first cup of freshly-ground coffee in the morning! It makes me want to shout "Hallelujah"!

I wish someone had told me sooner about…the joy of a flower garden (I came into it just recently)!

Thanks, Lori, for all of your smarty answers! And while we at Triad Smarty Pants cannot officially endorse or oppose you, we certainly wish you the best of luck with your campaign.

Smarties, don't forget to register for our Bonus Giveaway with "Send Out Cards". Everyone wins, so why not sign up? You could save more than $50 in greeting cards. This free offer ends Friday, April 30. Click here for all the details.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats Lori and good luck!

JessMess said...

I enjoyed reading all of your answers today. Good luck with your candidacy!

Anonymous said...

How funny ... I love all the books you mentioned! The most recent I read was Same Kind of Different As Me and it was great. I have also heard The Help is a great one so that is next o nmy list!

Elizabeth

Alysia Grimes said...

Great interview, Lori! You have our full support for the School Board position and I would encourage everyone to VOTE!!! Thank you for your willingness to serve our children and families.

Anonymous said...

Lori Clark is the "real deal." I've known her for several years and she would be a valuable asset on the School Board.

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