Michael Clark, a teacher at HISD’s Bellaire High School, was honored on May 3 with a Lifetime Achievement award at the secondary level through H-E-B’s 2015 Excellence in Education Awards.
Clark was named HISD’s own Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2011. He has been an educator for almost a quarter of a century, with the last 15 of those years spent at Bellaire High School teaching Advanced Placement government and economics courses.
“Mike Clark is the type of teacher I wish I had in school,” said Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough. “Both his content knowledge and preparedness are unmatched. His class is one that students look forward to enrolling in and his varied teaching strategies allow for every type of student to find success.”
“His commitment outside the normal class day is another example of what makes him such an amazing teacher,” added McDonough. “Whether leading the Personal Finance Challenge teams to consecutive state titles or coaching the National Champion Economic Challenge team last year, his students learn economics in a way that is both relative and exciting. He is a leader among his peers, and Bellaire is a better school for kids with him on our team.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to recognize an educator with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. In addition to the $1,000 Clark received for himself and his school for being a finalist, he and Bellaire will also receive $25,000 each.
Clark plans to use his a portion of the prize to underwrite a summer vacation trip to Washington, D.C., but he’ll also be sharing the wealth his some of his colleagues.
“When H-E-B gave me the original $1,000 check, I used some of it to purchase gift cards for some of the support staff, because sometimes people forget how important they are,” said Clark. “So, I’m sure I will be buying a few more gift cards. But I also want to put some of the money into an IRA, so I can model the behavior I try to teach my kids about personal finance.”
Clark also plans to talk to the principal about create scholarships for students to go on Close Up trips.