Veteran faculty member Brad Clarke, currently serving as Gould Academy’s associate dean of academics, will be the new assistant head of school for teaching and learning.

Veteran faculty member Brad Clarke, currently serving as Gould Academy’s associate dean of academics, will be the new assistant head of school for teaching and learning. (M. Dirk MacKnight)

BETHEL — Head of School Chris Gorycki has announced that Brad Clarke, who currently serves as Gould Academy’s associate dean of academics, will be the new assistant head of school for teaching and learning.

Clarke, who has been a member of the faculty at Gould for more than 20 years, studied political science at UMASS Amherst and earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1997. In addition to his roles as teacher and coach, he has chaired the history department and led the winter term academic program for seventh- and eighth-graders.

As associate dean of academics, he led the professional evaluation and education review (PEER) process, interviewed prospective faculty, helped organize new faculty orientation, supported department chairs, and served on a number of school committees. He is on the steering committee for the NEASC Self-Study and has coached cross-country running, Nordic skiing, road cycling, mountain biking, baseball, softball, and basketball.

“I am very excited that Brad has accepted the assistant head of school for teaching and learning position,” said Gorycki.

“He is both a scholar and a gentleman who, for more than 20 years, has been an important member of our school community. I am confident that his time at Gould, particularly his work these past several years as our associate dean of academics, has prepared him well for this position.”

The pool of applicants for the position was impressive, Gorycki said, with candidates applying from as far away as the Netherlands and California. The committee interviewed 10 semifinalists, both internal and external, and two finalists spent time on campus.

“I see this as a chance to make a really big impact on Gould,” said Clarke, “broader than just my classroom, or the students I teach, but all students and all faculty members ideally. It’s a wonderful opportunity to really think about shaping school and the school culture.”

What still motivates Clarke after so many years? The students.

“When I was a new teacher at Gould, I was given advice by Lucia Owen, a longtime English department chair, who told me, ‘You have to love the kids as much as you love your discipline.’  You’ve got to love this age group. So much of teaching is figuring out how to challenge kids and getting them to rise to things they don’t think they can do. And figuring out how to support them in the right ways. It’s as much an art as a science, which is what makes it interesting,” Clarke said.

And mentoring younger teachers is also something Clarke has always felt to be important.

“A lot of it is taking the best that I’ve seen over 20 years of different faculty members and carrying on that tradition with our younger faculty, who have been here for two, or three, or four years,” said Clarke, “disclosing to them to the wisdom, the examples, the insight of those experienced teachers.

“I’m also someone who is, perhaps to a fault, a lifelong learner, always reading, always learning. I think it’s important to create that kind of climate among faculty, where you’re always developing your curriculum, always learning. We have a lot of faculty like that at Gould,” Clarke said.

But Clarke is most proud of the four children he’s raised with his wife, Beth, who is the principal of Agnes Gray Elementary School in West Paris. All of them have gone to Gould. The youngest, Livy, will graduate this year.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.