525 East Genesee Street, Frankenmuth MI, 48734
Tom’s career milestones and accomplishments require more than 25 pages to cover (seriously!), but here are a few snippets to help you get a glimpse about what an incredible person this FSD alumnus is! Tom has certainly earned his Hall of Fame status.
Tom graduated in 1959 as a proud member of our district’s 3rd graduating class. Although this was 60 years ago, he fondly recalls our high school was comprised of teachers who challenged their students to reach their potential. Two excellent high school teachers, Mr. Wallin (math) and Mr. Zink (history), helped shaped Tom’s appreciation for the value of learning.
Not all of Tom’s life lessons in high school occurred in the classroom, of course. He lettered in four sports. “Our team’s first football field was the farm field right across the street of our high school. You really have to possess a love the game when your first task before every practice was to join your teammates in removing the cow paddies scattered about.”
Upon graduating from FSD, Tom went on to earn multiple degrees in engineering from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). What truly separated Tom from the pack was his choice of major research areas: water resources & quality, sanitation management, and environmental engineering. While these domains are very popular today, they were a bit off the beaten track in 1960-1969. Tom excelled in his studies, and with his passion for “problem-solving,” he became one of our nation’s educational leaders in “clean water” and environmental engineering.
While Tom’s professional and academic career would span nearly 40 years, a gratifying and noteworthy achievement took place while he led Clemson’s highly respected College of Engineering & Science for 14 years, 1992-2006. Under his direction, the participation of women and African-American’s in Clemson’s math, engineering, and science programs experienced double-digit growth. “Beyond opening the doors wider, the key to everyone’s success was the mentoring support we put in place. No one had to pursue difficult fields of study all alone,” Tom noted.
Despite overcoming the rigors that come along with leadership in academia at the highest level for four decades, Tom’s top priorities were always his family and his faith. Tom and his wife of 54 years Karen (1960 FSD grad, Karen Janson) now live in Colorado. They have a son Michael, who lives in California with his wife and their two young daughters. In 1996, Tom battled cancer and had a successful bone marrow transplant. “Being a cancer survivor will shape your perspective and clarify what’s important in your life forever,” he said.
Today, Tom is retired and is Clemson’s Emeritus Dean of Engineering and Science. The number of awards and recognitions he has garnered throughout his career are astounding. For example, in 2002, he received the Founders Award from the national Association of Environmental and Science Professors.
Although now retired, Tom’s positive influence on water quality and environmental engineering lives on through the hundreds of professional colleagues he worked with and through the thousands of students who have graduated from the premier university programs he led.
So you get the idea! Tom is an incredible man, educator, and engineer – and he has done Frankenmuth High School proud! Congratulations, Tom!
FSD’s 2019 Hall of Fame “Champion of Children” inductee is Officer Tom Daugharty. Tom retired in 2017 after a 50 year career in law enforcement – with the last 25 years serving schools in Frankenmuth as a community liaison and DARE program officer. Tom is remarkable in so many ways – more than we could ever list – so here are a few snippets to help you see why he has been honored with this award.
Tom’s long-time and exemplary service to FSD’s students and families are why he earned our “Champion of Children” award.
Tom is a Carrollton high school grad. He went on to join the Saginaw Police Department as a cadet in 1967. He was promoted to patrol office in 1969 and then later to the detective division in 1973. (Got the picture? Tom was a great cop!) In 1976, Tom as assigned to Saginaw’s Juvenile Division… and it was here he discovered his calling. He loved working with kids!
It was our good fortune that Tom joined the Frankenmuth Police Department later in 1976. For 15 years he worked in Patrol and Crime Prevention and when the opportunity came in 1991 to become the DARE officer working in FSD and our community’s parochial school, he jumped at the chance. “This would’ve been the last thing any of my police colleagues would’ve wanted,” Tom admitted. “But not me. I thought it was a dream come true.”
Former FSD Superintendent Adele Martin praises Tom for bringing more than just a dream to the school district. “I’m not surprised Tom served our students and families so magnificently until his retirement in 2017,” she said. “Tom had a crystal clear vision for the value of his role, far beyond a fuzzy dream. He had a vision for safety and he coupled it with a keen vision for seeing and supporting every child’s potential.”
While Tom was quietly garnering near “legend” status in our schools with teachers and students alike, he and his wife Linda (along with their children) settled well into the Frankenmuth community. The entire Daugharty family is very active in our school district. “I was blessed to be a part of our schools for a quarter of a century,” he said. “The teachers were amazing and, you know, I never had a disrespectful class or group of students. Never. I can’t say enough about everyone in the Frankenmuth Schools.”
Now obviously, as a police officer guiding the anti-drug program and stepping into “difficult” situations as needed, Tom’s duties often put him in the position of dealing with negative moments. But Tom’s empathetic heart and steady “look for the best” approach yielded positive results many more times than not. “Sometimes kids will make dumb choices and there are inevitable consequences, for sure,” he said, “But I always tried to give students the benefit of the doubt and trust they would choose differently next time.”
To say Tom touched the lives of hundreds of FSD students and their families would be an understatement. Whenever and wherever poor choices grew into harmful behaviors, FSD staff could always count on Tom to be there and be all-in in offering support. “Sometimes life is unfair and tough and you need an entire system of caring and support to step in,” he said. “While some situations may be sad, I always found my work as a police officer rewarding. Most of the time the outcomes are good.”
While Tom’s humility may not allow him to say this, Superintendent Adele Martin will. “Tom has protected more lives than any of us could know and count. In his 25 years with us, he saved and improved lives of children while working one-to-one with their families and he also guided and directed the execution of safety and security systems protecting everyone in our schools.”
For 25 years in our schools… and even now… Tom Daugharty has always been a stalwart “Champion of Children.” We’re privileged to invite him into FSD’s Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Tom!