Dear KSL Teacher Feature Panel,
I am writing to nominate Mr. Eugene Clark of Mountain View High School in hopes that he will be recognized for his profound contribution to the education of the students fortunate enough to have sat in his classroom. Mr. (Dr.) Clark brought to his geology and physics classes a passion for teaching that was made potent by a wealth of practical experience and knowledge from his years as a geophysicist working for the oil industry; Lectures about continental formation were enhanced by personal photos of places like Antarctica and the rarely exposed primordial basement layers of the earth’s crust on the Arabian peninsula. While I don’t believe that you can be overqualified to be a high school teacher, Mr. Clark successfully pushed those he taught to perform at a much higher level and truly prepared students for the rigors of continued higher education.
Mr. Clark places a premium on independent field work and experience. I was reminded of this when, by chance, I crossed paths with him in an airport en route to the Caribbean. He was on his way to study the volcanoes and rainforests of Costa Rica with a group of students. These out-of-classroom experiences combined with skilled intramural teaching have significantly shaped the minds and, in many cases, the career paths of his students. After a year of geology with Mr. Clark, I have never looked at the natural world the same way.
Aside from helping students to prepare for collegiate life, shaping young minds, and exposing (and making accessible) the secrets of the environment, Mr. Clark perhaps most importantly embodies and works hard to instill integrity in his students. I hope someday to be able to know that I have had the impact in my profession that I know Mr. Clark has had in his.
Robert Glazier, M.D.
MVHS class of 1999