Inspiring educator remembered at Coeur d’Alene meeting

Coeur d’Alene School Board trustees hosted a special recognition ceremony for the family of longtime teacher Clark Campbell, who passed on July 18 while mountain biking.

A 33-year-veteran, Campbell began his career with the district in September 1990, teaching kids at several elementary schools across the district. He had been teaching PE at Dalton and Hayden Meadows elementary schools for the past several years.

“All that I’ve heard and what I’m about to read just continually speaks to what a great man he was and is, and has been for 33 years in our district,” trustees said in a statement read to Campbell’s family. 

Longtime educator Clark Campbell of Coeur d’Alene was remembered during Monday’s school board meeting. Campbell passed away in July while mountain biking.

“I’d like to take a few minutes to recognize Mr. Clark Campbell, beloved elementary physical education teacher who taught across our district for 33 years. Mr. Clark inspired whole generations of kids over his long career. He was a passionate educator and modeled lifetime fitness and a love of the outdoors for the students he taught and the people he worked alongside. He brought a level of enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring his students challenged themselves and succeeded, instilling in them the belief that they could do anything they put their hearts and minds to. This approach to teaching and learning earned Clark the respect and the affection of students, staff and community members,” the statement read.

“As a district, we remember him with kindness, his infectious smile in his stories, and we will continue to model his enthusiasm for teaching and his dedication to our communities and young people. This community is better off having known him. He was a kind soul and he will be deeply missed.”

New high school math remedial courses

Trustees adopted three new high school remedial math courses to help students who are not prepared for standard math courses. 

“I do have concerns,” said trustee Lesli Bjerke. “But I would feel okay going forward if we revisited this at the end of next year to see if we have perhaps less students than we have in the incoming year. And see how kids do in these concept classes.”

Trent Derrick, assistant superintendent secondary, said, “The data is concerning. We do think that we would like to see fewer kids enrolled in those courses.”

“In light of that, the math concept classes are more of a short-term intervention, rather than a long-term solution. We need to take a look at our sequence K-8 and why we have students entering high school not prepared to take and be successful at math 1,” he said.

The beginning remedial “math 1 concepts” course is for students who might have struggled in eighth grade math or might be repeating math 1 for credit. The course grants one credit in math 1 for each semester passed. Students will master only the essential standards needed to succeed and advance to math 2, according to district documents.

Students have the ability to move out of the remedial track and into the standard track. Board trustees voted unanimously to accept the new courses.

During the public comment period, Erika Hayden wrote, “Please also consider how the recent implementation of new secondary math materials might be hindering student success and putting them on a path to need remedial courses like this. Instead of adding new remedial courses, how can we better support students before things get to this point?”

Darren Svan

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan has a background in both journalism and education. Prior to working for military schools at overseas installations, he was news editor at several publications in Wyoming and Colorado. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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