Ron Clark (teacher)

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Ron Clark
Ron L. Clark, Jr.

(1972-10-24) October 24, 1972 (age 46)
EducationBA (East Carolina University)
OccupationEducator, Motivational speaker and Author

Ron L. Clark, Jr. (born October 24, 1972)[1][2] 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[3] 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, along with co-founder Kim Bearden, began the Ron Clark Academy in the fall of 2007,[4] a private non-profit school in Atlanta, Georgia, which follows a unique curriculum.

Pedagogical ideas[edit]

Clark has written four books on education:

  1. The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child (2003)[5]
  2. The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children (2005)[6]
  3. The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers (2011), listing solutions for parents and teachers[7]
  4. Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life (2015), philosophy on types of employees/educators and how to motivate them[8]

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 do not bring Doritos into the school building”.[9] He later proposed eleven traits of excellence: enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation and resilience.[10]


Clark has appeared on national TV shows, including two appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Winfrey named him as her first "Phenomenal Man."[11][12] In 2000, Clark received the Disney Teacher of the Year award.[13] Clark's first year in Harlem was the focus of a 2006 made-for-TV movie, The Ron Clark Story starring Matthew Perry.


In 2019, Clark competed in Survivor: Edge of Extinction, the 38th season of the reality T.V. show Survivor.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2007 Award Recipients". East Carolina Alumni Association. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Hudson, Caroline (February 6, 2017). "Ron Clark visits BCCC, talks education system". Washington Daily News. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Fast Fact". The Ron Clark Academy. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Essential 55". Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Excellent 11". Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  7. ^ The End of Molasses Classes. June 17, 2012. ISBN 9781451639742.
  8. ^ Move Your Bus. June 30, 2015. ISBN 9781501105036.
  9. ^ Clark, Ron. The Essential 55: An Award- Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child. New York: Hyperion, 2003. Print.
  10. ^ Clark, Ron. The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children. New York: Hyperion, 2004. Print.
  11. ^ "Phenomenal Man: Mr. Clark's Opus". November 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Ron Clark Academy, Ron Clark's First Appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, retrieved January 28, 2019
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Holmes, Martin (July 23, 2018). "Survivor Season 38 Cast Revealed". Inside Survivor. Retrieved January 28, 2019.

External links[edit]