Clark makes class interesting

Kayla Chavier, Staff Writer

There are some substitute teachers that come to class, take attendance, and simply monitor the class. Substitute teacher, Jim Clark, goes beyond this expectation by interacting with students. He makes the most out of his time with students by delving into their studies and sharing his wisdom from inside and outside the classroom.

 “I enjoy visiting and talking with the kids and seeing what they can do. […] Westford Academy students are especially focused and hard working. It’s nice to see,” said Clark.

After substituting for Westford Academy for about five to six years, Clark has become acquainted with students of all grades and faculty.

“Mr. Clark is one of the kindest and nicest teachers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  His [personality] is enough to warm your heart,” said junior Stephen Wang.

Clark in the library.
Clark in the library.

Clark is admired for relating to the students and making a regular day with a substitute interesting.

“Even though he’s a sub, he still looks at the class material that we have to try and incorporates his personal accounts and makes it interesting for us so that we’re still learning,” said junior Emily Wu.

Many students have come to know Clark in all types of settings.  Clark is found attending classrooms in all grade levels and in different subject areas.  However, although intrigued by all avenues of education, Clark is most enthusiastic about English and history.

“I’m a Civil War buff. […] It is a really interesting part of history. Every time you read and learn about it, you find more details that are fascinating,” said Clark.

Like the Civil War, there is much about Clark that can be learned after a closer look at his life’s history.

Clark has not only been involved as a substitute at neighboring schools, but he was also once a full-time English and history teacher at Nashoba Technical High School and in Lowell schools.  However, before his teaching career, Clark attended Tufts University and did graduate work at Columbia to study government and international affairs.

Following this, Clark became involved in the Navy and then was employed at an engineering firm in the competitive intelligence, international, and marketing departments. Currently, Clark substitutes at Westford Academy and at Littleton High School and occasionally interviews possible candidates for a naval academy, of which he is extremely passionate about advocating.

All of Clark’s previous occupations were rewarding, but there is something special he admires about working at WA.

 “Westford Academy is a really excellent school, and I really enjoy coming here because the students are so focused and I’m amazed that they’re academically so strong and still find time for the theater, music, and sports.  I don’t know how they can do it,” said Clark.

Clark’s regular attendance, ability to relate to the students, and overall positivity make him a memorable staff member at Westford Academy.

“When I think of Mr. Clark, I remember this quote: ‘Friendly people are caring people, eager to provide encouragement and support when needed most,’” said Financial Assistant Cynthia Peraner.