Orah Dee Clark
|Orah Dee Clark|
Orah Dee Clark, 1962
Firth, Nebraska, United States
Alaska, United States
|Known for||First superintendent for the first school in Anchorage, Alaska|
Early life and work
Orah Dee Clark was born in Firth, Nebraska. Clark started teaching in 1906, which is when she moved to Alaska. She worked in Kodiak, Anvik, and Tanana, Alaska. Clark was the first superintendent of the first school in Anchorage, Alaska starting in 1915. After teaching in Anchorage, she co-founded schools along the Alaska Railroad. She would teach throughout Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands. She would never marry, per law that women teachers either had to be "married to the students" or leave the field to be married. She was a proponent of desegregated schools where Native American and white students could learn together. As of her retirement, in 1944, she was teaching in Moose Pass, Alaska.
Later life and legacy
Clark Middle School, which opened in 1959, was named after her. In 1962, she was awarded the Scroll of Honor by the Cook Inlet Historical Society. In 1980, the school where she served as the first superintendent, the Pioneer School House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, Clark was named into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Her papers are held in the collection of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Anchorage Women's Club awards a high school scholarship for boys and girls named after Clark. The Anchorage Museum holds a collection of photographs once owned by Clark.
- Engen, Ione, Ardis German, and Julie Skule. Orah Dee Clark, Pioneer Teacher in Alaska: A Biographical Sketch. Committee on Pioneer Women and Research (1957).
- "Photographs, 1962, Photographs of Orah Dee Clark on Orah Dee Clark Day" (PDF). Collection. Anchorage Museum. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Education". Alaska's Heritage. Alaska Humanities Forum. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "History of Clark". Clark MIddle School. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Orah Dee Clark Papers 1913-1962, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form" (PDF). United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Orah Dee Clark". Hall of Fame. Alask Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
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- "Scholarship". Anchorage Women's Club. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Oral history with Orah Dee Clark from the University of Alaska Fairbanks