Thomas J. O'Roarke was born in 1943 in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1972, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from LaVerne College, LaVerne, California. In 1975, he received a Master of Education Administration degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He began his tenure with the Clark County School District in 1973. He served as a teacher, dean of students, and administrative aide. He served as a Principal for 24 years at J.E. Manch, Red Rock, Ruthe Deskin, Vail Pittman, and Dean LaMar Allen Elementary Schools. In 1994, Mr. O'Roarke was selected for the "Clark County School Librarians' Association's Elementary Principal of the Year." In 2003, he was the recipient of the Clark County School District's Excellence in Education Hall of Fame Award.
Mr. O'Roarke served on the National Association of School Principals, the Clark County Elementary Principal's Association, and the Clark County Association of School Administrators. He served as president of the Elementary Principals' Association; served on the Parent Teacher Association and Parent Teacher Organization.
He served many years in various capacities in the Las Vegas 22nd Ward and the Meadows' Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Under his direction, he and his stake members performed extensive volunteer work for Opportunity Village from 1992-1996, and were instrumental in the inception of the Magical Forest. He also volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America and the Down's Syndrome Organization.
Thomas J. O'Roarke retired in July 2003 after 30 years of service. During a 12-year battle with cancer, Mr. O'Roarke continued to provide inspirational leadership as a school Principal. He passed away November 2003.