Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In Memory of Dean Clark

My colleague and friend Dean passed away tragically in a car accident a week ago. We pushed some serious boundaries to what people thought was possible in a new school. He'd give me the tools and I would go - that trust allowed me to develop rapidly as an educator and provided some of the best teaching moments of my career to date.

You always want leadership that inspires and drives you - Dean did both and in spades. Often earning the nicknames of the energizers, there wasn't a lot that would stop us. I'll start with a video I filmed with Dean for my 2015 Lead Teacher Application. 

In it we discuss the mapping of the digital technologies curriculum. The passion Dean had for the junior primary, primary years was clearly evident. There was no surprise that he won the Principal position at Playford Primary the following year.

And why not add a snippet of some football passion - Dean would surely approve!

The following video snippet was filmed in 2013. Dean is just out of shot but you'll know its him at about the half way point (1min 40) - trust me. We were invited to discuss our feedback on the Scootle Community and got sidetracked into discussing technology and its integration. 

That passion to say it how it is and leave it all on the table was something to really admire.

Assembly speech as Acting Principal at the unveiling of the Mark Oliphant College Indigenous Mural in August 2015.

10 day return trip to England - right before the launch of a new school! January 2011
Always happy to laugh and get on with it - we didn't stop for 10 days straight and then back to work to open a new school over the course of 2011 - video filmed in January.

In a few short years Dean was presenting at conferences like ULearn in 2013 (he pushed me to put in a submission and what an awesome experience/trip that turned out to be!)

Ulearn October 2013

Ulearn October 2013

This photo is from a 2014 presentation at our Make Learning Better Conference
In 2018 I couldn't have been more proud to give something back to someone that helped launch my journey in education by providing a platform for Playford Primary to enter the VEX Robotics Tournament this year. 

Dean stopped by the tournament in August and couldn't have been prouder of his students and staff. It is almost as if we had come full circle, as I look back to when he and Lynne visited for my first go at robotics back in 2011 with MOC.
2018 - Playford Primary enters the VEX Robotics Competition
2011 - Mark Oliphant College enters the First LEGO League

When it was time for me to spread my wings and move onto the next chapter of my career I will always appreciate the support and encouragement Dean provided at that time.

To Margaret, his children Rebekah, Thomas and Holly and the entire Clark family my sincerest condolences. Dean Clark, a true educator, mentor and leader. Rest in Peace my friend.

Apple Sydney visit in 2011

Before drones were a thing - May 2011!

Ulearn 2010 - October


  1. Stuart Clark here, Dean's older brother. Wow what a great insight into Dean's working life. Priceless.

  2. True leaders build strength in those around them. Dean was inspirational to many.

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