Sumter & Wimberly on Passing of Former Eastside High School Principal Joe Clark

          (TRENTON) – In response to the passing of Joe Clark, whose tenure as principal of Eastside High School in Paterson during the 1980s inspired the film “Lean On Me”, Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (both D- Bergen, Passaic) released the following statements:
          Assemblywoman Sumter: “Joe Clark’s educational methods have been called unconventional, unorthodox and uncompromising; but his commitment to his students and legacy at Eastside cannot be challenged. Joe Clark dared students to dream as they never had before. He demanded they raise their expectations of what they could accomplish, and in turn academic performance began to exceed expectations. His influence undoubtedly set countless students on a path to success.”
          Assemblyman Wimberly“As a teacher and coach at Eastside High School from 1989 to 1998, I saw firsthand the impact of Joe Clark’s legacy on students in Paterson. He challenged every student to reach their fullest potential and to strive for a future they could be proud of. His unwavering belief in them made them believe in themselves. He accomplished what every educator sets out to do: make a difference in the lives of the young people who’ll shape our future. It was an honor to be a part of the community he helped build.”