After two decades as a teacher and building-level administrator, Clark Mershon spent five years as an assistant superintendent for North Kansas City Schools in Kansas City, Missouri. But when the opportunity presented itself to open and lead the district’s fourth high school, one that was “a truly advanced environment for teaching and learning,” For ten years, Mershon held the position of principal of the 1,550-student Staley High School.
“Birthing a new high school has been the most rewarding professional experience,” Mershon says. “From the ground up to today, it has been a magical ride with many defining moments that I will cherish for a lifetime. We have a critical mass of dedicated educators who expect success. We never give up on our students. We inspire them to believe that they can do it and that what we do at Staley High School is important.”
Staley was named a top high school by U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek three times in the nine years it has been open. With a graduation rate of 99 percent, the school has finished at the top in the state on the Missouri School Improvement Program for the past two years. The school’s journalism teacher and school counselor have been recognized at the state and national level, and Mershon has been honored for his leadership by numerous groups during that time.
Mershon retired from his position at Statley in 2017. After 35 years in public education he had this to say about his long term commitment.
“Our work as educators is life’s highest calling. We are empowering our students, staff, parents, and community in a cause that has purpose and meaning,” he says.