Sat, Feb. 22

Q&A: Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Jeff Clarke

Jeff Clarke has taught at Beaver Creek School for 13 of his 16 years in education. VVN/Bill Helm

Jeff Clarke has taught at Beaver Creek School for 13 of his 16 years in education. VVN/Bill Helm

RIMROCK-- An expert in his subject matter and effective teaching strategies, Jeff Clarke manages to implement new systems with ease.

That’s what Beaver Creek School Principal Katrina Sacco says about her school’s seventh- and eighth-grade math and social studies teacher.

“He is always learning and looking for new innovative ways to help his students, ‘Sacco also says of Clarke. “His students look to him as a role model, and the younger students anxiously await their turn to be in his class. He embodies the Beaver Creek spirit in everything he does.”

Clarke has been an educator for 16 years, the past 13 at Beaver Creek School. Besides his responsibilities in the classroom, Clarke is also the school’s seventh and eighth-grade basketball coach.

Clarke is also a leader on campus, Sacco says, not as he leads his students but also in how the other adults view him.

“Other teachers look to him for his curricular expertise and his technical assistance,” Sacco says. “But above all, Mr. Clarke is a loving educator who is generous with his time and devoted to the Beaver Creek School community.”

Verde Valley Newspapers: Tell us about your teaching style.

Jeff Clarke: “I would classify my teaching style as a facilitator. Over the past couple of years, I have moved from whole class direct instruction to learning by discovery. The Blended Learning program has allowed me to accomplish this.”

VVN: When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?

Clarke: “When I was in Middle School, I had great teachers and coaches that influenced me.”

VVN: What do you like most about teaching?

Clarke: “Building relationships with students as a teacher or a coach is the most enjoyable aspect of teaching.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about you.

Clarke: “I have been nominated for teacher of the year twice by my peers.”

VVN: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Clarke: “Michael Jordan said ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’”

VVN: Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.

Clarke: “I am the only one in my family to attend and graduate from College.”

VVN: If you were not a teacher, then what would you want to do?

Clarke: “I always loved to cook. I would go to culinary school and become a chef.”

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