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John Clarke with sudents

A Legendary Educator Retires: Celebrating the Legacy of John Clarke at James Sheahan Catholic High Orange

James Sheahan Catholic High School Orange prides itself on its Catholic faith and traditional values. The tight-knit community exists because of the bright students, dedicated teachers and supportive staff.

The mission of James Sheahan Catholic High School is to provide a Christ-centered learning community that is inspired by the traditions of its founders, Catherine McAuley and John Baptist de La Salle. The school strives to achieve high levels of learning for all students by offering opportunities for excellence, growth and success in a caring environment.

The vision of the school is to value belonging, compassion, courage and hope, and to prepare students for a changing world. James Sheahan Catholic College is committed to inclusivity, embracing and encouraging students from all backgrounds, abilities and aspirations.

The educators at James Sheahan uphold the principles and values of Lasallian education. They provide high-quality education, fostering academic, personal and spiritual development. Their supportive and inclusive environment helps students thrive and reach their potential. Committed to the Lasallian mission, they promote values like faith, service and community. Dedicated to continuous professional growth, they strive to improve teaching practices and meet student needs. Overall, James Sheahan Catholic High School educators embody the spirit of Lasallian education by emphasising holistic development and nurturing a caring and inclusive learning environment.

In the realm of education, there exists a remarkable educator named John Clarke, who has dedicated nearly four decades to the esteemed James Sheahan institution. Last year, we witnessed a significant event - his retirement, signifying the conclusion of an extraordinary 57-year-long teaching journey.

John Clarke began his teaching career at Blayney High School in 1967, but in 1989, he made a significant move and joined James Sheahan Catholic High. Throughout his impressive career, Mr. Clarke taught a range of subjects including History, Geography and Economics. He was a lifelong learner and decided to challenge himself by independently mastering the Japanese language. With his newfound fluency, he started teaching Japanese classes at the school, earning the affectionate title of "sensei" from his beloved students.

Mr Clarke's influence was felt strongly by his students, who organised a guard of honour in his name on the day of his retirement. Known as a legend at James Sheahan, he not only inspired the students within the school, but also his own children. Three of his daughters followed in his footsteps and became teachers themselves, working alongside their father at the Catholic high school. Mr. Clarke even proudly (and humorously) notes that two of his daughters became his bosses at work.

As an exceptional teacher, John embodies the qualities of a good teacher, which are cherished in the Lasallian heritage. He is patient with his students, taking the time to listen to them when needed. He generously shares his wisdom and finds great satisfaction in seeing his students grow and learn.

Current students and alumni hold fond memories of Mr. Clarke's classes, particularly appreciating his compassion for them. While the subjects he taught were not always easy, students valued his efforts to make the classes engaging and enjoyable. As they learned Japanese, he offered humble guidance, knowing what it was like to be a student of the language himself. Mr. Clarke's dedication to being one of the best teachers at James Sheahan will always leave a lasting impact on the student body.

In his retirement, John Clarke is looking forward to travelling and exploring the world. He is especially excited about no longer having to set early alarms and being able to sleep in. His absence from James Sheahan Catholic High Orange will be deeply felt by students, families and staff. Although his departure marks the end of an era, the community wishes him well and recognises his well-deserved retirement.