by Nick Lednicky
Eagle Editorial Board
In August, a large portion of the student body was concerned about how well the new dean of students was going to be able to fill the shoes of former dean Mike McConnell.
Frankly, McConnell left such an impressive mark on the school that it was hard to expect any successor to be able to live up to him.
Current dean Tim Clarkson faced not only the monumental task of succeeding a legend but also of helping oversee the successful implementation of the tablet program and keeping the largest student body in recent memory in check.
Thus far in Clarkson’s inaugural semester, he has been tremendously successful in these endeavors.
The most notable of Clarkson’s achievements has been helping to keep the student body focused on academics when they have a very easy way of distracting themselves in class. He has managed to keep the students in line, while at the same time not coming across as menacing or overbearing.
Clarkson warned students at the beginning of the semester that random tablet audits will occur throughout the year, and there is no argument that he has made the consequences of having games more than clear. These consequences are fair. If a student gets in trouble for having games on his tablet, there is no argument that it is nobody but his own’s fault.
It is inevitable that a dean of students will have to utilize some sort of sternly-worded warning to keep students from acting foolishly.
Clarkson, however, has been able to maintain the perfect balance of being firm, fair and understanding.
He has a friendly yet professional attitude toward students, which both adds to the school’s sense of community and fraternity and honors their maturity. Moreover, this friendly attitude has helped students look to him with a high amount of respect.
Another problem that Clarkson continues to face this year is keeping the abnormally large student body under control. This year’s student body, which is the largest in more than five decades, has been very tame so far.
Obviously, there is no way of proving that the student body’s good behavior has been solely a result of Clarkson’s policies, nor would it be intelligent to argue so. However, his watchful eye has surely encouraged many students to be on their best behavior.
A final issue that he has handled very well is the off-campus lunch situation.
Despite the rumors all of the seniors heard that we would not be granted off-campus lunch at all, Clarkson and the administration came up with a very fair compromise that reaffirms his faith in the students.
Specifically, the handling of the off-campus lunch situation gives me confidence in his ability to react to adversity and to compromise.
Mr. Clarkson has been a tremendous asset to the school so far this year. His confident leadership, friendly professionalism and assertive authority have proven to be deeply engrained in his character.
Through the manifestations of these traits in Clarkson’s actions, he will surely serve the school in a lasting way.