Mt. View dedicates new soccer field

In the front row, from left are boys soccer team members Dan McWhirr, Gregory Adams, Chris Herman and Scott Edwards; girls soccer players Olivia Zick, Taylor Brainard, Megan Walker and Alix Taylor. In the back row are Andrew Chichura, Superintendent; school board member Gina Yarrish; Scott Klenk, son of Robert Klenk for whom the athletic field is named; school board members Ellen Aherne, Jim Zick, Kevin Griffiths and Dava Rinehart-Cowan; and track committee members Kristie Congdon and Karin Cure.

BY PAT FARNELLI

Mountain View School District honored a former coach, teacher and principal with the dedication of a new soccer field, part of the Robert W. Klenk Athletic Complex, on Saturday.

The dedication was prefaced by a moment of silence remembering those who were impacted by the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

“As we open this new facility I have the distinct honor of recognizing the honorary alumnus for which this athletic complex is named,” high school principal Andrew Doster said.

 He went on to thank the track committee, board of education, superintendent, the director of buildings and grounds, and the Mountain View community for “making this project a reality and for providing a top notch facility for the students, the athletes and the community.”

After the moment of silence and national anthem, the Mountain View varsity soccer team lined up and ran through a large paper banner to start off its game against Scranton.

It was fitting to honor Klenk with the new soccer field and track, not only because of his years of service to the school district, but because of his service during World War II in the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as his athletic career.

From 1942 to 1944, he served aboard an Atlantic Area Sub-chaser. In 1944, he attended the U.S. Navy V-5 Flight Training School, and subsequently he was stationed in the Philippines as a sub-chaser in the Coast Guard.

Upon the completion of World War II, Klenk entered East Stroudsburg State Teachers College and graduated in 1950.

He went on to complete a master’s degree in educational administration from Penn State in 1956.

Klenk married Miriam Seager in 1948, and took a job as coach and teacher at Harford High School in 1950. In 1956 he assumed the position of principal at Mountain View High School

In 1959 he became principal at Mountain View High School.

 In 1976 he took over as principal of the Mountain View Elementary Schools. He retired in 1981 but remained active as a substitute teacher and driver training instructor, and assisted in administration until 2001.

At his retirement dinner in 1981, he was given an honorary diploma from the MVSD Board of Education, making him an honorary alumnus.

During his years in the Coast Guard, he was on a championship basketball team. He played varsity football at St. Olaf College in Minnesota while with the Navy V-5 Program, and held positions after the war in the PIAA as a high school basketball, baseball and track official.

He was secretary-treasurer of the District 12 PIAA Committee and a member of the PIAA State Board of Control.

He and his wife raised four children: Susan, Robert Jr., Scott and Jeffrey, in Harford.

 He received the Joe M. Butler Award for sports from the Scranton Times in 1979, and was inducted into the NEPA Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. The MVSD athletic complex was named in his honor in 2001.

Klenk, now 89, was unable to attend the dedication but his son Scott was on hand for the festivities.

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