Russell Clark Named Maine Career and Technical
Educator of the Year for 2018
On Friday, October 5th, Mr. Russell Clark was named Maine Career and Technical Educator of the Year for 2018. The announcement was made in front of Career and Technical teachers from throughout the state at the annual Association of Career and Technical Educators’ Conference in Lewiston, Maine.
Russ is the teacher of Engineering and Architectural Design at the Sanford Regional Technical Center. In the five years that Russ has been a part of the SRTC staff, his program has evolved from the “CADD” program to “Engineering and Architectural Design”, with two 3-D printers and a laser cutter/engraver to allow students to bring their designs to life. Although we have been fortunate to have the funding to bring these tools to students, Russ’s enthusiasm, advocacy and knowledge have helped to make these purchases a priority. These tools have given us the ability to “hook” students, but it is really Russ’s excitement for the field that draws students to him and has allowed Engineering and Architectural Design to become one of the most popular programs at SRTC.
In addition to adding excitement to the program in the form of content, Mr. Clark has also worked to create an environment in which students are challenged and feel that they are gaining something valuable by being in the EAD program. Students now have the option to earn 15 college credits through this one program from York County Community College. This is a testament to Mr. Clark’s reputation as an educator and his hard work to make this a possibility for students. Russ is also extremely proud that his students have successfully passed the SolidWorks Mechanical Design Exam at the Associate level routinely for two years. Most of all, Russ is happy to offer these opportunities to his students; he often remarks that his goal is to make a program that is among the best in the state for the benefit of the students and the school as a whole.
It is difficult to put Russ’s enthusiasm into words. He is always looking for ways to bring new and greater opportunities to his students and to our school. For example, he was instrumental in bringing the Additive Manufacturing contest to Skills USA, Maine this year and had students compete at the national level this summer. Russ sees the future of additive manufacturing and helps students to imagine the connections between this science and their other interests such as construction, medicine and engineering. When students come to visit this program, their eyes light up when they consider that they could design the next generation of prosthetics or lead the way in a completely different form of construction. Russ sees the potential in every student and encourages them to explore their interests through his program; he can often be heard praising the most recent design by one of his students. It is rare that one enters Russ’s classroom without hearing about the amazing things that the students are doing.
Thank you, Mr. Clark, for your contributions and CONGRATULATIONS!