MOST students in high school can name specific teachers who made a lasting impression on them. Mr. Clark was that teacher for me. When I started his class last year, I didn’t know what to expect. I definitely didn’t think I would meet one of the craziest, kind hearted, and enthusiastic individuals. I find it absolutely hilarious that he didn’t even know my name for the first whole week. Once he finally got it, I felt like a connection was made. Right off the bat, he joked around with me. During almost every class, Mr. Clark would pull up a chair to my desk and sit with me. Sometimes he would show me a video of Rammstein. Other times he would just make small conversation. Almost everything Mr. Clark did was never serious, which I could really appreciate during such a stressful year. I noticed that he would take the time to ask me how my days were or what my plans were for the upcoming weekend. His efforts made me feel very important. I still look back on those meaningless conversations and realize how valuable they actually are. I wish I could go back and take in every word. It was very clear that Mr. Clark cared for each and every one of his students. He would work with people and refuse to give up on them. Clark wanted the best for all of us.
The presence that Mr. Clark left at Bonny Eagle will never fade. His rambunctious laugh is one that most students will never forget. I think we will all miss seeing him wandering the halls when he was supposed to be teaching a class. Everyone can also appreciate his odd, yet iconic one liners that made absolutely no sense. They made my days nonetheless.
I will never forget Mr. Clark. He made my school days more exciting and brought light and laughter to the halls of Bonny Eagle High School. Brenna Finn
MR. Clark was perhaps one of the most interesting and most wonderful teachers I have ever encountered in my Bonny Eagle experience. Last year I spent every day in his 5th block for AP Language. I always looked forward to having his class at the end of the day. However, that was not my first time meeting Clark. The first time I met Mr. Clark was in my sophomore year during a journalism class. The seniors were playing water pong and none of them had made it into the cups. Suddenly, Mr. Clark burst into the room, cackling and yelling about something. He stole one of the ping pong balls from the seniors and made it in the cup his first try.
Clark wasn’t like most teachers. If you were really behind on an assignment he’d say you were digging your way to China. One day he came up to me and my friend Zoe (at that point we were both quite behind) and he yelled out “Can you smell the egg rolls.” We didn’t understand what he was talking about at first, but he sure cracked himself up. Clark was always cracking jokes, whether you understood them or not, he was always laughing.
There are a lot of things about Mr. Clark that I miss but I think what I will miss most was his contagious laugh. Whether he was right next to you or on a completely different floor, you would hear it and start laughing too. Mr. Clark was the kind of teacher to really want to help you. He would constantly come around the room and try to help students perfect their essays or give them inspiration when they still hadn’t started them yet. Then when you turned it in he would either hold the essay up to his head and yell “FOUR,” or say “I don’t have time to grade this sh*t.” He was also constantly trying to motivate us. AP Lang (as he called it) is a really hard class that requires a lot of motivation, a thing which none of us had. I think my favorite thing Mr. Clark would say to try and motivate us was “Come on guys, I could teach my cat Booboo to do this faster than you.” Somehow in comparing our intelligence to that of his cat Booboo he pushed us to write more essays than I ever thought were possible.
Clark had a lot of funny habits, but I think my favorite thing Mr. Clark did was whenever we had a test, whether it be one he assigned or a standardized test such as the SATs, you could always bet money he’d take that day off. Athen Hollis
MR. Clark used to let me eat lunch in his room because I didn’t want to go to the cafeteria. Before the end of lunch he’d scurry off to the teachers room to get us popsicles as a treat, and he’d giggle like a maniac the whole way there. That iconic laugh is what I'll remember most about him. Chloe Owen
MY funniest memory or Mr. Clark is when he told me what he did one weekend. He had said he planted some BAPs. So I asked him “what’s a bap?” His response was “some big ass pumpkins!” What I'll remember most is "Blowalamer" and how much he cared about his students. Nicole Printy
I remember the feeling of welcomeness Mr. Clark presented to you when you walked into his classroom. He always made me smile each and every day. My funniest moment of Mr. Clark is when I would walk by him in the hall and we would dance by each other. One of us would copy the other. Another time is when he would walk around the halls just to wave to you and he would just go in circles just to wave to you. Aiden Willey
I once brought in a matching set of hotel uniforms to class and we took some photos with him in the uniforms. He asked to keep the uniform and he continued to wear it to school. He was one of the only teachers that I’ve had in my life that could not only understand and tolerate the humor of my friends and I, but also participate in our shenanigans. Benjamin Atkinson
MY favorite memory is the first time he played Rammstein for our class. He then asked us what we thought, and we were silent, and then we all burst out laughing. He then told us we had no idea of what real music was! Sometimes he would say, "You little blowalamers. It's a triple summative!!" Natalie Breault
ONE of my most fond memories of Mr. Clark was his Kahoot-making skills. I remember studying for formative assessments on literary terms that he'd passed out the week before, and I always made sure that I knew the words inside and out. I'd copy down the words over and over to imprint them in my brain, I'd find them in my own writing and reading, and then I'd come to class prepared with the words at the top of my brain. When I got to class, he announced we were doing something we'd never done before. We were going to play a Kahoot as the formative assessment. This was fine with me, because I knew I studied and was eager to show off what I knew. But when the Kahoot began to test us on our knowledge, three out of the four answers were something ridiculous. "What is 'rhetoric?" The possible answers included "teacup," "blowalamer," "a smelly fish," and "persuasive figures of speech and syntax." And this continued for all 20-30 questions. When a question would end and the results would be shown, Mr. Clark would repeat one of his goofy answers, wheezed through a boisterous Clark-laugh. Everyone passed the formative with flying colors, and we all laughed a whole lot while doing it. Especially me.
Mr. Clark always had high expectations for me. Maybe this was because my mom was a BE Alumni--his own student once, actually-- or maybe because he saw potential in my writing; either way, I always felt compelled to put my 100% into every essay I ever wrote for his class and any other class. He would tell me throughout the year on many, many occasions: "You're gonna get a five on this AP test." It always rose my spirits. When it came closer to the end of the year, he began to tell me about colleges in my AP Lang. class and my advisory with him. "Bates, Colby, Bowdoin. Don't forget it!" All the time, multiple times a week: Bates-Colby-Bowdoin, Bates-Colby-Bowdoin. I never saw myself reaching for those kinds of heights, and even now I'm unsure. But if Mr. Clark taught me anything, it's to never limit myself. Always throw yourself into your work. And h*ll, of course I'm applying to Bates, Colby, and Bowdoin. His ambitions for me will live on, and I'm sure many other students can say the same. He gave students a power over their education that they may not have known they had. I'll always cherish this memory.
VERY few people outside of my parents have made an impression on my life. As I've grown I've come to realize that Coach Clark wasn't just a coach. He was my biggest role model growing up. He didn't just coach. He taught every one of us how to be a man. He would show us, time and again, that anything was possible with enough hard work and dedication.
At any point in my life when I've thought things were too tough, I just remembered wrestling practice, and said to myself, "If I can make it through that, I can make it through anything. "
He always pushed me to not just be a better athlete, but to be a better man. For that I will forever be grateful, and I'll "never stop scrappin!"
Class of 2003
THE title ‘Coach’ will always carry with it a bit of reverence when I use it. I grew up under the guidance of a group of coaches who passed on lessons in ethics, leadership, and developing camaraderie that formed the rock solid foundation of the code I strive to live by every day as an officer of Marines.
Amongst these coaches, Brooks A. Clark stood out. I was lucky enough to have Coach as a wrestling coach, English teacher, mentor, fellow employee at WBACH and friend. He coached and taught with enthusiasm and insight mixed with exuberance and anchored by a remarkable ability to find humor in any situation, no matter how cold, wet, dog-tired, or hungry you were.
It’s a terrible loss, not having him around any more. Most of all I’ll miss stopping by and catching up with him. On top of his genuine curiosity about what I was up to, he always had some new random interesting thing he was excited about; whether it was Rammstein, some newly discovered song lyrics, or some adventure or accomplishment of one of his fellow teachers or former students.
I will always appreciate the times we had and keep trying to see things from his perspective when the going gets tough. Thanks for all you did for us, Coach. Danny Stellar
Class of 2001
WHAT strikes me most about his passing is the quiet. The hallways seem empty in the absence of his booming laugh, the meadow between our houses subdued without the echoing of Ramstein and Dylan. When I walked into what had been his classroom for the first time, I wasn’t greeted by a freestyle riff about participles and Peter Wolf.
Brooks was an incredible, unique, and passionate educator whose wit and brilliance were evident in every piece of writing and in every conversation we shared. His support meant everything to me in high school, and my time spent in room 210 “keeping the riff-raff in check” remain my fondest memories of Bonny Eagle.
Almost every week, I would open my inbox to find a carefully selected passage of T.S Elliot, Melville, E.B White, or Thoreau, annotated with his clever commentary. They broadened my world and reminded me of the power in storytelling. As he once put it, “It is a mouthful, like much of the language of Moby-Dick, but somehow it nourishes me and seems to become part of who I am.”
Sometimes, his messages were shorter, though, like when he demanded I bake him a Tofurky or suggested that I hijack my Biology class to teach Moby Dick; but they were helpful nonetheless. Brooks’s humor and joy for learning were infectious, and his influence is evident in every essay I have written since.
His copy of Moby Dick has lived on my desk and in my heart every semester of college, as do the words he helped me select for my senior quote: “Eat a peach!” In short: live your life, and do not let fear of the unknown hold you back, but instead “go to it laughing.” He gave me the courage to live and write honestly, and I am so grateful. A passage of Moby Dick best encapsulates his spirit: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes and they come back to us as effects.” Today, we remember the effects Brooks had on our lives, through his generosity and dedication to teaching, his humor, and his penetrating understanding of the world.
It is my hope that we can all apply a little of this kindness to our own lives, to help one another, and to give back to the world in the same way. “For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by the horrors of the half-known life.”
Class of 2018
MR. Clark, I loved hearing your laugh from the classroom next door and having you interrupt Mr. Murphy's class by walking in unannounced—without apology.
I loved the little messages you would leave at the bottom of my posts that made me smile and laugh. I even loved the love you held for Melville's Moby Dick, one of the dullest books on the planet (in my opinion).
I ESPECIALLY loved whenever you played Rammstein for me so I could translate it, and stared at me with such intensity before suddenly headbanging along to the music.
You were the one who encouraged me to do things at which I thought I would fail, but am now grateful to have done.
I am also reminded by one of the messages you left for me in my yearbook—and don't worry, I will always continue to write. I'll make sure to dedicate one to you soon enough. Thank you for letting me know my talent.
Class of 2018