Clay Norkey Receives 2024 Father’s Club Shovel Award

By Dan Holdhusen, Grandfather of three graduates and one currently enrolled in Blue Valley High School

Since the COVID year of 2020, the Father’s Club has annually awarded one recipient its prestigious Shovel Award. This year’s recipient, Clay Norkey, has acted diligently and faithfully in a variety of leadership roles for Blue Valley West Father’s Club over the course of the last several years. The award was presented at a special gathering of the Blue Valley West dads and special guests – including Clay’s wife, Sherri, his parents, and two of his nine children – on May 14, 2024, by Brad Holdhusen, Father’s Club Founder and President. This article includes a video of the presentation in which Holdhusen describes the genesis of and meaning behind the Shovel Award and offers high praise to Clay and his leadership in Father’s Club.

Clay Norkey Receives 2024 Father's Club Shovel Award

Blue Valley West was the third chapter since the inception of the Father’s Club in 2019, and Clay has been its leader from the beginning. With his last (of nine!) children graduating from West High School this year, he has decided to step aside at the end of this school year. He will be replaced by Kevin Sayland who has been among the core of leaders that are part of the amazing dads at West.

Amazing things happening at Blue Valley West

Clay Norkey Receives 2024 Father's Club Shovel Award One of the several testimonies to the amazing things the BVW Father’s Club has done was chronicled in an earlier blog. For the past four years, dads have headed up the concession sales for Blue Valley West’s home football games. This activity provides some of the funding that is then used to organize and host events throughout the year at West, which include a litany of creative events that are organized and carried out by Father’s Club dads. Clay has led the planning and conducting of these myriads of activities that have earned the affection of students, teachers, administrators, and others involved in the life of the campus.

Saylan, Danny Mayer and Dan Viall constitute the core of leadership that makes things happen at BV West. They and many other fathers have become involved supporters and doers in serving and contributing to the enthusiasm and richness of the life and culture of the school. Like Clay, each of these dads has a title or role in serving in the Father’s Club mission. But they would all quickly say that they cannot do what they do without Clay’s inspiring and dynamic leadership that creates community. That leadership is how things get done.

Consider some of the activities the Father’s Club conducts during the school year that contribute to the quality of life and positive relationships on West’s campus. Besides the concession activities in the fall, the group also leads and participates in:

  • Spring Prom activities;
  • School Assemblies;
  • Senior Movie Night;
  • Hosting a Wild Way Coffee event for teachers;
  • Jaguar Grill to provide lunch to students and teachers;
  • Fist Bumps for Food (FB4F) events;
  • Senior Sunset…and the list goes on.

Clay Norkey’s Impact

Clay Norkey Receives 2024 Father's Club Shovel Award In many ways, Clay Norkey’s fingerprints appear on all of these activities. Most notably, you will find him with sleeves rolled up to be an integral part of each event. As if his life wasn’t already busy enough with being a dad for nine children, practicing law, and serving on the Blue Valley School Board, according to Saylan, Clay continually practices the Father’s Club mantra of “#Justshowup”, which, of course, provides inspiration for so many West dads to be part of what’s going on at the school.

This statement from Dan Viall captures the essence of the character and leadership of Norkey: “A lot of people know him as a chapter lead and civic leader, but very few know how much time and effort he spends doing tireless and thankless work behind the scenes…” Danny Mayer adds that “Clay is a staple inside (BVW Father’s club). He’s always present and available to help and engage with dads, faculty, and students.” Kevin Saylan praises Clay’s value to the organization with this statement: “Clay is and was the backbone of BVW Father’s Club. His leadership, energy, and passion inspired, not only me, but others to become part of Father’s Club.”

As noted earlier, Clay will be stepping away from the Chapter Chair position which he has held since Father’s Club inception. However, true to his character, he will continue to be in the middle of activity at Blue Valley West in the years to come.

We pay tribute to Clay Norkey, the 2024 Shovel Award winner!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *