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Remembering a Contributor to Adult Education History – Lee W. Clark

Posted on 04/06/2015

Lee Clark

One of the participants in The California Adult Education Oral History Project External link opens in new window or tab and a well-known figure in the Bay Area adult education field, Lee W. Clark passed away on March 13 2015.

His service in education was recently summarized by Mrs. Susan Clark, his wife. "After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Lee Clark invested 70 years in the field of Adult Education and Career Technical Education. His tenacity, optimism, intensity, and humor, as well as his ability to select, challenge, cultivate, and support amazing educators at all levels has had an impact on countless thousands of lives-for generations to come.

"1963 - 1979 Established and served for 16 proud and exciting years as Director of Metropolitan Education District Adult Education (MAEP), a five-district coalition of Adult Education programs, enrolling up to 115,000 individual students and graduating as many as 500 adults with fully accredited high school diplomas per year. Many ground-breaking programs were started and became hallmarks to be emulated across the nation. For those fortunate enough to recall them, these were the 'hey days' of Adult Education.

"1970 - 2009 He found great joy and satisfaction training, mentoring, encouraging, motivating, and challenging, thousands of Bay Area Adult Ed and Vocational/Career Tech Ed teachers to 'Be the Best in Their Fields!' These teachers then dispersed into all levels and venues of education carrying with them the mantra, 'Never Lower the Standards, Always Lower the Difficulty of Learning!' These teachers now serve in Preschools, Jail and Prison Programs, Schools for Developmentally Disabled, the full spectrum of Adult Education programs including Literacy, GED, ESL, Adult High School Diploma, Personal Enrichment Programs, Career Development, and Older (Senior) Adult Programs. Furthermore, they teach in Community Based Organizations, their churches, and businesses. Some teach online or independently while others teach in Community Colleges. Hundreds teach in Jr. High and High School Career Tech Ed programs, working with young people to help them gain employable skills, explore the world of work, bridging them into college or university, and more significantly, mentoring them through adolescence and helping them develop essential life skills that will prepare them for 'the real world.' This is Lee's greatest professional legacy - changing the lives of the families of the students that his students teach.

"2009 - 2015 Unwilling to stop contributing, he continued serving and motivating teachers by counseling and assisting them as a credential analyst until the last days of his life."

According to Mrs. Clark, who herself has also contributed immensely to the Bay Area adult education field and wider, Mr. Clark's proudest legacy are his four children and seven grandchildren.

As another of their joint lasting legacies, at least one OTAN staff member will forever remember from her training with Mr. and Mrs. Clark the abbreviation HDIATTMP. The Clarks would always urge the aspiring adult education practitioners to think this in every aspect of their lives: How do I apply this to my profession?

PLEASE NOTE: Credential services continue to be offered through Lee Clark's office with the same high standards, skill, and personal attention that Lee and Susan have exercised for all these years. You may feel confident referring colleagues, friends, and potential teachers for the Adult Education or Career Technical Education credentials. visit http://www.leeclark.org External link opens in new window or tab or call the office at (510) 509-9639.