With nearly 40 years of experience in education, Hamilton “Ham” Clark is one of the most respected leaders among independent schools in the United States. He is currently serving as head of school at Avenues’ New York City campus for the 2016–17 school year and will assume the same role at Avenues São Paulo when it opens in 2018.
Ham’s experience includes 11 years as headmaster of Episcopal Academy, a coed K-12 school in Philadelphia, where he led efforts to raise the $100 million necessary for the school to move from its historic campus to a brand new site. In addition to overseeing the completion of a new state-of-the-art campus, Ham also invested significant time and resources in the professional development of the faculty. He considers professional development to be of critical importance, as a demonstrated commitment to excellence and continuous innovative and adaptive learning by faculty members brings meaningful benefits to students and the entire school community. His insights into how to best support faculty success were gained through personal experience. In addition to his time in school leadership positions, Ham has also taught English and ethics, served as a director of admissions and college advising, a financial aid director and a coach.
Prior to his time at Episcopal Academy, Ham spent 15 years as headmaster of Sewickley Academy, a co-ed pre-K through 12 school located outside of Pittsburgh. In that role, Ham worked to lead the school to greater fidelity to its mission by establishing a strong sense of institutional identity, internationalism, purpose and unity, changes that resulted in improvements in diversity, college placement and admissions. During his tenure at Sewickley, Ham also focused on broadening his global educational view, taking a six-month sabbatical to visit schools throughout Asia and Australia and serve as a resident at Central Coast Grammar School in Australia.
The international experience gained on his sabbatical is only part of the global perspective Ham brings to his role at Avenues São Paulo. Before joining Avenues New York, he spent three years as head of school at the American Community School at Beirut and one year as assistant director at the American International School of Zurich.
Ham has many professional affiliations and previously served on the boards of the Country Day School Headmasters Association and the Headmasters Association. He received his B.A. in religion from Trinity College and his M.Ed. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Ham has also been a Columbia University Klingenstein Fellow and a visiting practitioner at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Ham and his wife, Ceci, also a veteran teacher and administrator in independent schools, are the parents of three grown children.