Terrence Clark, superintendent of the Bethpage School District for the past nine years, announced his retirement effective June 2018. Mr. Clark has been with the district for 32 years, beginning his tenure with the district as a social studies teacher at Bethpage High School in 1986. From there, Mr. Clark was promoted to various administrative positions including supervisor of social studies and technology, director of technology, and assistant superintendent for instruction and technology.

“I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world to have been hired by the Bethpage School District 32 years ago,” said Mr. Clark. “I have the greatest appreciation for the students, parents, Board members and colleagues whom I have worked with over the years. They have made this a great joy for me.”

Among the highlights of Mr. Clark’s career are the formation of the Student Civic Association (the high school’s community service club), starting the first Senior Citizen Prom in 1990 and introducing some of the major technology milestones to the district (being one of the first schools to have Internet access, introducing the FIRST Robotics Club, initiating the district’s Chromebook program). Other accomplishments include authoring the plan to adopt full day kindergarten, overseeing the expansion of Advanced Placement course offerings and working with teachers and administrators in grades K-12 to raise SAT scores. Mr. Clark also created the popular 21st Century Scholars Program that affords students unique educational experiences in all five schools and was the person who envisioned new STEM Labs for each of the elementary schools. He also was key to the broadening of the special education program, determined to make sure that students could find a place in their home school district.

“My goal as superintendent was to get parents, students and staff to dream and then to put in place the ingredients for them to achieve those dreams. We set out to raise expectations and I think our community responded to that challenge,” Mr. Clark said. “We have a fantastic K-12 school district that is nationally recognized. Our high school is among the finest in the country, we have received a Blue Ribbon Award from the federal government and the New York State Education Department has called us to ask how our students are able to do so well by all measurements.”

Mr. Clark has received numerous personal awards in his career. Those include the national Leaders in Learning Award, the Nassau BOCES Partner in Education Award, the Administrator of the Year Award from the Nassau Library System, the Innovative Educator of the Year Award from Phi Delta Kappa, the Innovative Administrator of the Year Award from InterCounty Teachers’ Center, the PTA Distinguished Service Award, the Kiwanis Everyday Hero Award and the John Masino Award from the Bethpage American Legion.

“I am indebted to everyone in this community for making this such a fulfilling career. I would particularly want to thank the Board of Education for always putting the needs of students above all else,” Mr. Clark said.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, we thank Mr. Clark for an outstanding career at Bethpage and wish him continued success in retirement,” said Michael Kelly, president of the Bethpage Board of Education. “During Mr. Clark’s 32-year career at Bethpage, he has continually raised the bar on academics. He is admired by former and current students, staff and community members. Mr. Clark treats everyone with respect while never losing his focus on what is best for the students.”

Upon retirement, Mr. Clark hopes to remain active in the Bethpage community through his work with many of the local civic organizations and the Bethpage Educational Foundation.

The Board of Education will keep the community updated as to its next steps in finding a replacement for Mr. Clark.