Indian Hill High School choir director dies, 'dedicated his life to serving students'

Indian Hill High School's choir and theater director Jeff Clark died Tuesday after a short battle with colon cancer.

The school district posted Monday afternoon that Clark was in the hospital "after a complicated surgery due to his advanced stage four colon cancer."

Indian Hill High School choir and theater director Jeff Clark died Tuesday.
Indian Hill High School choir and theater director Jeff Clark died Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours later, Indian Hill Exempted Village School District posted an update that Clark had died.

The turn in Clark's health began two months ago. Clark created a GoFundMe last week for his "unexpected healthcare needs," stating his life had "taken a drastic turn" since late March. He was on a Europe trip with choir students when he started experiencing digestive issues. He reached out to his doctor.

"Through numerous tests that included blood work, ultrasound, MRI, CT scans, and a colonoscopy, we learned the devastating news that I have colon cancer that has metastasized as 3 tumors in my liver," Clark wrote on his GoFundMe page. "From that knowledge made clear at the beginning of May, healthcare appointments as well as my symptoms of the disease happened so fast."

Despite continued biopsies, treatments and therapies, Clark said his health continued to decline. Nearly $29,000 was raised through the GoFundMe in six days to help with medical expenses.

"The best moment of my day is greeting students at the door to see how their day is going, and welcoming them to our personal retreat where we can flourish as artists," reads Clark's message to students and families on his district profile page.

Clark was also a beloved educator in the Fairfield City Schools community, where he taught for 12 years. He led the show choir program there.

"The beloved, award-winning educator brought to life some of the most memorable productions to grace the Indian Hill High School Auditorium since joining the district in 2016; Mr. Clark dedicated his life to serving students in education since 2001," Tuesday's post from Indian Hill reads.

When are services for Indian Hill choir director Jeff Clark?

Indian Hill High School will have counseling teams available for students and staff on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“We are devastated, with our students, our parents, and our community, at the loss of this passionate educator, who offered our students incredible, unparalleled experiences in the arts,” Indian Hill Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said. “Our hearts are with Mr. Clark’s family.”

The Indian Hill school community is invited to attend a celebration of life ceremony honoring Clark at 7 p.m. Thursday at the high school.

Fairfield community members are also holding an event to honor Clark. The Fairfield Choral Music Department posted to Facebook Tuesday that a vigil for Clark will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the high school's performing arts center.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Indian Hill HS teacher Jeff Clark dies from colon cancer