It took Douglas Adams a few years to find his place in the world, but once he found it, he never left.
The 1970 Morenci Area High School graduate recently wrapped up a 33-year career with the Clio (Mich.) school district.
Adams earned a dual degree in business administration and business education from Eastern Michigan University, working his way through school with a job at K-Mart.
The Canandaigua native worked as a special needs vocational student coordinator in Ann Arbor and later as a reading consultant and tutor with the Genesee Intermediate School District.
In September 1977, he joined the Clio district as a marketing teacher and there he stayed. Adams earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling in 1980 and began working as the Clio High School counselor. He held that position for 18 years, but changed to assistant principal for the final 12 years of his career.
Along the way he spearheaded a drive to obtain North Central Accreditation for the school district, implemented an annual financial aid workshop for parents and students, and operated the district’s Career Center—even after support staff and funding were eliminated.
Adams volunteered for 17 years as a proctor for the Marketing Club regional competition and he received the Michigan Counseling Association’s Outstanding Service to the Profession Award.
Adams service to students went beyond the classroom. He also become known in athletics.
As Clio’s tennis coach, he chosen the State Coach of the Year for the girls team for both Class A and Class B. His teams amassed 310 dual wins, six Big Nine Conference championships and 14 regional championships.
He was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000 and volunteered as the summer doubles league director for 17 years.
Adams’s colleagues credit his ability to “motivate the staff toward a common goal” and mention his unwavering advocacy for students.
Another describes him as unselfish with his time. “He is always the first administrator in the building and the last to leave. I couldn’t begin to calculate the hours he has given to all the extracurricular activities in this district. The saying goes, ‘If it’s for the kids, Mr. Adams will be there.”
Adams told a reporter from the Clio newspaper that he will miss the students and his colleagues, but he’s looking forward to spending more time with family, including his mother, Margery Adams, in Canandaigua.