An Update on Corbet Clark

By Teddy Siker

Corbet Clark, the interim Head of Upper School, has around eight meetings a day — some lasting up to two hours long — meaning that he attends about 80 hours of meetings a week. While they are useful meetings (“A lot of work gets done,” he says), Corbet is ready to go back to teaching.

Here’s how Corbet sums up his goals: “ I am trying to let both faculty and students have a voice in the direction of the school. I want to make sure people have a voice.” He has been working with both the student council and the faculty, looking at the honor code, and most importantly, visiting a lot of classes. He has visited half of the Upper School classes so far.

Corbet believes that the most challenging parts of his job are issues with discipline, complaints and difficult choices.  As far as priorities go for the school, however, Corbet said, “Curriculum revision, inquiry based classes, how we continue to keep the essential competencies, diversity, cultural understanding, how do we better coordinate the classes.

“This year so far there have been a lot of complaints about a few of the new teachers being too hard: they are either teaching material that is too difficult for the students or they are giving unreasonably low grades on tests. What are your thoughts?” I asked Corbet.

“There is always a period of adjustment for a new teacher. Coming to OES can be a tough transition. The new teachers work closely with me and I have been impressed by their work. They have new styles and students need to learn to adjust to different studies of teaching.”

Would Corbet like to stay as the Upper School Head? “No, I only want to do it this year. I plan to teach again next year.”