After 36 Years in Education, BHS Science Teacher Mr. Clark Says Goodbye


As many of you may know, Bethpage High School science teacher Mr. Clark is retiring next year. Mr. Clark is a well-respected science teacher—and all-around good guy—loved by both colleagues and students for generations.

It all had to begin somewhere. Mr. Clark went to Sachem High School, and later attended the University of Buffalo and Dowling College for education classes, and Stony Brook for his Masters.  After college, he had been coaching a swim team, and looking for work. He stated “When I got out of college, there was a recession and not a lot of jobs were available.” While in college, one of his professors told him he would make an excellent teacher, since he was always helping the other students. When he discovered a job opening at Bethpage High School from a friend, he decided to apply.

Mr. Clark has worked in Bethpage High School since 1990, but started teaching in 1981. When asked how the school had changed over the years, he expressed “the students haven’t changed at all. They have always been well-behaved, kind students. The curriculum, however, has most definitely changed.”

In the past 27 years at Bethpage, Mr. Clark took part in many activities mostly consisting of coaching. For a while, he instructed the Soccer Team, Boys’ and Girls’ JV Volleyball Team, and the Boys’ Varsity Swim Team. He later continued to only coaching the swim team.

Making the decision to retire was a hard choice. “I was supposed to retire four years ago,” he said, “but now I’m actually ready.” He is going to greatly miss “teaching in this wonderful school,” as well as his colleagues and, of course,  the students.

One thing he won’t miss, though, is the grading, as there is always work to grade, and he does not miss the prospect of making a mistake while grading. Not having to wake up as early will also be a plus, although he usually would swim in the High School pool in the morning before class anyway.

With his free time in retirement, Mr. Clark will have to figure out what to do, but he will have more time to take part in some of his other hobbies. He enjoys reading and playing guitar, although he claims he is not nearly as good as his eldest son, and his niece.

Or Mr. Malossi, his famed former-rock-singer classroom-neighbor of thirteen years.

Speaking of this, Mr. Clark declared he “taught Mr. Malossi everything he knows.”

Speaking of teaching people everything they know, Mr. Clark is very good at helping others.

“It is true that Mr. Clark taught me so much about how to teach in the classroom,” Mr. Malossi said. “We worked together closely for many years, and his calm under pressure was always something I admired.”

Mr. Clark creates an enjoyable environment for his students. There was a principal who once advised him, “If you have happy kids, everything takes care of itself.” This is something Mr. Clark strives to achieve in his classroom and does very well.

Before he leaves, there is something that should be addressed: Mr. Clark is not related to the Superintendent, despite the rumors that have raged for decades. Both of their families originally came from the same area in Ireland, and they have a lot of family members, so it is possible their families crossed paths, but there is no known direct relation between the two.

Although he will be greatly missed, Mr. Clark will be remembered by all of his students and colleagues. At least he still has the rest of this school year to grace everyone with his presence.

Now to end with some advice from Mr. Clark: “Work hard, have fun, and be happy.”