Amber Clark: The new principal of GBHS

Principal Amber Clark discusses the policies and values she wants to champion at Granite Bay High School in her first year.

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GBHS Student Gov.

Amber Clark (center) poses with the Grizz Nation leaders at the 2021 Decades Rally.

Out of the 2,046 students attending Granite Bay High School, it is roughly 600 students’ first year on campus. Of course, a portion of that number includes the incoming freshmen, but there are also those who have missed their freshman year entirely, opting to stay online during the pandemic.

Luckily, they’re not alone. 

This year is also newly appointed principal and self-proclaimed Beyoncé fan Amber Clark’s first at GBHS.

Before she began working in education, Clark attended Arizona State University, originally majoring in engineering. Being a female in a male-dominated field taught Clark about the role inclusivity plays in education, a value she wants to champion as principal of GBHS.

“I wasn’t really welcomed in that environment so I jumped ship,” Clark said. “I don’t want people to have to leave for those reasons.”

After leaving engineering, Clark spent time at business school where she eventually discovered her passion for education. Clark graduated from ASU in four and a half years and soon thereafter began teaching in special education.

Clark has worked as an educator for over 20 years, including administrative roles in Pleasant Grove and Florin High Schools.

“I’ve learned a lot about students who just haven’t felt connected when I worked at Pleasant Grove High School,” Clark said. “Learning from the experience helped me understand what my purpose is: to make all people, all students, all staff feel supported.”

According to Clark GBHS was the obvious next step for her after her time working in the Elk Grove Unified School District.

“Everything about Granite Bay drew me in. In the application process it asked questions like ‘do you understand diversity?’ and ‘do you understand inclusion?’” Clark said. “I’m really passionate about equity and inclusion.”

It is apparent how these principles guide her leadership.

“Kids look different, but their hearts are the same,” Clark said. “We are more alike than we are different.”

In addition to inclusion, Clark wants to emphasize communication between students and staff, making sure that students understand the resources at their disposal.     

“Being transparent in communication is going to be really important. It is important to me that students’ social/emotional well-being is cared for,” Clark said. “Please come through and talk to me.”

After a grueling two years of isolation and disconnection, Clark wants to bring back a sense of community, even as the COVID-19 virus continues to taint this year.

“It’s uncomfortable sometimes, but I think we all adapt so that we can sustain this in-person opportunity,” Clark said. “It is amazing to me that we went from having no school to being here together.”

Speaking with Clark, it is obvious that she understands pride-a value GBHS cherishes. She takes pride in her family. She takes pride in her work. She takes pride in being a Grizzly.

“It is an honor to be here,” Clark said. “If I am a Grizzly, my job is to represent Grizzlies in everything that I do.”

As GBHS cautiously returns, Clark wants to give students the best possible year.

“I want to know where there are gaps so we can close those and make things right for everybody,” Clark said. “I’m here to make you proud.”

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