2015 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Since the start of his career in the Bethpage school district, Terrence Clark has devoted himself to the continuing improvement of education, forever finding new ways to expand students' horizons and enhance instruction.
Early on, as a social studies teacher and student advisor, Mr. Clark realized the value of collaboration between school and community. He founded the Student Civic Association, through which began one of Long Island's first Senior Citizen Proms, now in its 25th year.
Mr. Clark also founded Alumni Day, which brings graduates back to share their college and life experiences with current students. Understanding the value of mentorship and peer engagement, Mr. Clark began the Read to Achieve Program, providing high school mentors to elementary students.
Upon filling the newly-created role of Director of Technology in 2001, Mr. Clark launched a state-of-the-art technology program in Bethpage that soon became the model for districts throughout Long Island. He made Internet access and networking a priority, and under his direction Bethpage became one of the earliest districts to provide students with home access to the school network, transforming learning into a 24/7 experience.
As Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Technology, Mr. Clark launched the groundbreaking 21st Century Scholars' Program, aimed at developing more well-rounded students. Each student maintains an electronic portfolio of after-school activities in a wide range of academic areas, from arts and literature to business and technology. The program includes engaging activities, such as online courses, book discussions, seminars conducted by teachers and alumni, and field trips to museums, operas and plays.
In 2009, Mr. Clark took the helm of Bethpage Schools as Superintendent. Under his leadership, the district has found a balance between technology and traditional learning, with every student in grades three through nine receiving a Chromebook computer. He launched the new grade-five initiative, "Be an Expert," in which every student receives a backpack of books on a topic of their choice as a way to develop vocabulary in context.
In 2013, Kramer Lane Elementary School was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School and designated an Exemplary High- Performing School. Newsweek named Bethpage High School one of America's top high schools. And Bethpage students ranked in the top 15 of Nassau County on all 12 New York State assessments, with third- and fourth-graders snagging the top two spots in English language arts.