“Clyde Monma is a founding member of the South Whidbey Commons. He has carried the vision for an intergenerational community gathering place for over 10 years. He quietly demonstrates what he believes on a daily basis, by offering math tutoring/counseling and friendship to any and all South Whidbey students. Clyde is a trusted adult who students can rely upon. The South Whidbey community is so fortunate to have Clyde living with us.”
— Cynthia Shelton, SW Commons board member and volunteer
“For me Clyde defines what being of service means in a small community such as ours … my family has personally benefited from his skillfulness as a math tutor for our son and daughter, from his and his wife Marcia’s college preparatory advice. I am awed by his contributions to the South Whidbey High School students, to transforming the South Whidbey Commons, his work with Whidbey Children’s Theatre and his commitment to preserving valued open space. In what ways has Clyde not made a difference?”
— Dr. Craig Weiner, The Chiropractic Zone
“Clyde is a neighbor and one of the first to welcome us. Our son had a keen interest and aptitude in math so to further his knowledge and satisfy his curiosity we asked Clyde to tutor him, and this grew to five children who met in our home. These sessions gave my wife and me an enlightening opportunity to ‘listen in’ to effective teaching. A small but telling example of his wisdom: our son had a reputation for fooling around so I felt it necessary as a parent to instruct my son that he had better behave himself, meaning stop the tomfoolery and concentrate. The first session he failed to heed and so I advised Clyde that I was intending to remove privileges to obtain the required decorum. To my surprise Clyde’s response was not to do that as that behavior is the way he learns. Heeding this advice, we watched Clyde work his magic and today our son last year won best math student at a school with some 800 students, and he still loves math and physics.”
— Doug Struthers, neighbor and parent
“Clyde is committed to whatever he attempts. He cares about kids. He respects them and they return his respect. He devotes each week to help young people succeed in school and beyond. He tutors in all the South Whidbey schools. He also has served as a board member and advisory board member at South Whidbey Commons where he tutors after school. It is a privilege to work alongside him and be his friend.”
— Sue Haworth, SW Commons board member and volunteer
“Kiwanis is an organization committed to helping the youth in our community and Clyde exemplifies this to its fullest. Clyde is the most focused and dedicated person I know in working, supporting, tutoring and mentoring the youth on South Whidbey. He is passionate about ensuring students who need help and support get it. Clyde’s ability to show a student their inner strength, abilities and possibilities to become successful in school and life is immeasurable. We are truly honored and blessed with a person such as Clyde living and working in our community.”
— Ron Myers, Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor, Div. 20
“Clyde is one of the most generous people I know. He has shared countless meals with me and other AmeriCorps volunteers, past and present, opening both his home and his heart. The world would be a better place if more people lived with the kindness and generosity of spirit that Clyde shows the South Whidbey community every day. I am incredibly grateful that he is my friend.”
— Katie Woodzick, development associate at Hedgebrook
“Clyde has worked in my classroom for at least 10 years. The kids all love it when he comes into class and works on math with kids that struggle and the highly capable. Clyde and his wife Marcia both worked weekly at Langley Middle School helping students get through school. He helps out in other ways, too: field trips, hanging things in the hall, filming, helping in the computer lab and any way he can. What a blessing the day he and Marcia moved to Whidbey.”
— Sandy Gilbert, LMS teacher
“Clyde Monma is a force to be reckoned with! I first met Clyde in the early days of the development of Island Coffee House and Books (today known as South Whidbey Commons). Clyde (in his typical fashion) was wearing multiple hats when he jumped in on the ground floor of the coffee house, as a South Whidbey Commons board member as well as a “Kiwanian” — and his energy, passion and commitment were truly key in getting the coffee house off the ground (along with his fabulous wife Marcia).
I have always had great gratitude to Clyde and Marcia for opening their hearts and home to the many AmeriCorps members that have served in our community over the years.”
— Susie Richards, educator
“Clyde has been a rock in serving youth with counseling (not just math tutoring) but in encouraging our young people to tough out the hard stuff, but to go on to succeed. In serving the South Whidbey Commons as a board member for several years he always pitched in on projects like fundraisers.”
— Jim and Jo Shelver
“Clyde Monma’s heart is as big as his smile. I have always been so impressed when working with him on projects because he truly walks his talk. If it is one-on-one tutoring a youth in our community or in a leadership role on a non-profit board he gives 100 percent plus. He truly is a Hometown Hero.”
— Kathy McCabe, executive director of Good Cheer
Up close and personal
What is your mission statement?
“I have three simple rules: Always be true to yourself, always be kind to others, always be grateful for life’s many blessings.”
What is something hardly anyone knows about you?
“I was adopted.”
How is it important to live your life?
“Follow your heart. Live life fully.”
What is a question you would like to ask God?
“Why? (he will know what I need to hear).”
Who would you like to apologize to?
“My parents, for not fully reflecting their love for me back to them.”
What regrets do you have?
“How long it took me to understand the meaning of the Hawaiian words ‘Aloha’ and ‘Ohana’ regarding caring about others and accepting them into my extended family.”
A favorite quote?
“One of mine is by Leo Buscaglia, ‘Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.’”
What is a pet peeve you have?
“Inaction when action is required. When people act in a manner I feel is unkind or unfair to someone else.”