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Jake Clawson, Upper School Social Studies

How long have you been in education? I've been in education for five years. I spent a year student-teaching at Nantahala High School in North Carolina. After that, I began graduate school at Auburn and was an instructor and teaching assistant for 4 years before coming to DWS in 2015.

What are your interests outside of the classroom? I'm an avid runner and I enjoy coaching the cross country and track teams at DWS. I ran cross country and track in high school, and was lucky enough to run in college as well. I love sharing what I know about running and helping my kids achieve their goals. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and my dog (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, appropriately named Barkley for his Auburn roots).

Why did you choose to become a teacher? Simply stated, my passion for history. As William Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." History – and its effect on politics and society – resonates everywhere and every single day. As citizens of the United States, Georgia, and Albany, it's impossible to understand who we are and where we're going without first understanding who we were, where we were, and why we were there. This is something that I think our students need to know if they're going to understand the world around them and how to be engaged and informed citizens. As a history/government teacher, I get to help them along the way, and that's something I value.

Best part about being part of the DWS family? Having not grown up in Albany (and not having visited before my job interview), I've been really blessed to come into a community that is so friendly and welcoming.

What is your philosophy on education and teaching? Be excited, be informed, and be personable. If I can't get excited about what I'm teaching, why should my students? I try to give them as much knowledge and as much energy as I can every day.