Kevin Clark Retires After 31 Years at Perpich
July 16, 2021
Kevin Clark, English Instructor, is retiring from Perpich after 31 years. His last day at Perpich will be Monday, August 9th. Kevin started at Perpich in 1990 as a German instructor. In 1994, he became a full-time English instructor.
When asked to reflect on his time at Perpich, Kevin offered this: “There is a certain ‘normalcy’ about the life of a teacher. All elements of society think that they know exactly what teaching entails: a little planning, a little song-and-dance, a conference or two, and a long, long summer to do nothing. Wow.
In the face of all that, I have loved teaching, and I have loved teaching at PERPICH. This school, with its focus on creativity, ‘walked the walk’ in terms of supporting students to learn the skills of a thinking artist.
For 31 years, I have taught classes that I loved to students who – like it or not! – knew that they needed communication skills. My initial stint as a German teacher focused specifically on language as a communication system with a strong reliance on culture (this will become even more important later; there will be a quiz!). My love of German film led to the development of a half-credit elective (Foreign Film) that explored culture in art beyond the example of American films… with writing, lots of writing!
The application, practicality, and – say it with me! – fun of the class led to an expansion – Foreign Film became Analysis and Criticism, a full-credit, three-section-a-year class that truly valued art, culture, and communication. If there is a jewel in my crown, this is it.
I helped to plan and taught COMM1101, a College in the Schools class through the University of Minnesota. It offered college-level public speaking practice, and Perpich students tackled the challenge. (I do believe that I could list every single one of your names, former CIS students! You were present for the work and for each other.)
ARTiculation is a relatively recent elective class; it directly challenged students to communicate not only through their artwork, but about their artwork in speaking and in writing; the chance and responsibility to communicate with an audience is an essential component of art.
Like ‘normal’ teachers, I also had opportunities outside the classroom. I worked with student speakers to craft their remarks, traveled to Germany, Russia, and China with student groups, contributed to the day-to-day planning and big-picture dreaming of Perpich, and cued DVDs…lots of DVDs!
3,639 green pens have willingly sacrificed their lives to provide feedback and support to students over the length of my teaching career. A former colleague told me in 1990: green ink suggests; red ink screams. I embraced green and never looked back.
I don’t know how much of my career was ‘normal,’ but it reflects intentional communication. Onward!”
We thank Kevin for his years of service and wish him the best of luck in this next adventure.