Ron Clark (teacher)
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Ron L. Clark, Jr. (born 1972) is an American educator who has worked with disadvantaged students in rural North Carolina and New York City and founded the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Clark is a New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker on the topic of inspiring educators.
Clark attended school in his earlier years within the Beaufort County school systems in the town of Chocowinity, North Carolina. Clark was an outgoing student who later graduated from Chocowinity High School with the Class of 1990. After graduation, Clark's goals were to become an educator at East Carolina University through the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. Following his graduation, he traveled for a time and then began working in Aurora, North Carolina. Four years later he began teaching elementary school in New York City's Harlem and saw the difference he could make, enabling change in the lives of less-fortunate children. Clark began the Ron Clark Academy in the fall of 2007, a private non-profit school in Atlanta, Georgia, which follows a unique curriculum.
Clark has written three books on education:
- The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child (2003)
- The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children
- The End of Molasses Classes (2011), listing solutions for parents and teachers
- Move Your Bus (2015), philosophy on types of employees/educators and how to motivate them
Clark proposed fifty-five essential rules for success in and out of the classroom, many of which focus on respect and school policies. These include “Make eye contact, respect others' ideas and opinions, always be honest, and be the best person you can be”. He later proposed eleven traits of excellence: enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation and resilience.
Clark has appeared on national TV shows, including two appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Ms. Winfrey named him as her first "Phenomenal Man." In 2000, Clark received the Disney Teacher of the Year award Clark's first year in Harlem was the focus of a 2006 made-for-TV movie, The Ron Clark Story starring Matthew Perry.
- "2007 Award Recipients". East Carolina Alumni Association. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- Gutierrez, Bridget (September 3, 2007). "Former Disney teacher Ron Clark, inspired film, opens Atlanta school". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007.
- "Fast Fact". The Ron Clark Academy. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- Clark, Ron. The Essential 55: An Award- Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child. New York: Hyperion, 2003. Print.
- Clark, Ron. The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children. New York: Hyperion, 2004. Print.
- Clark, Ron (2003). The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0001-4.