Clark Goossen takes over as Freshmen Administrator

From student, to teacher, to administrator, Goossen is an Eagle through and through

Goossen ventures down the Half Dome Cables (courtesy of Goossen)

Clark Goossen is Arroyo Grande High School’s Area Administrator to all freshmen at Arroyo Grande High School. After over a decade of moving up in the school’s rank from student to teacher to administrator, Goossen has always shown incredible integrity and a motivated work ethic with all he does.

“He was a good kid, a role model for other students to follow,” Scott Shepard, a former teacher of Goossen’s, said. “I could step out of the classroom and he would still be doing his work.”  

Goossen was a well-rounded student, performing well in both academics and on the field.

¨He was well behaved and very conscious of his work.” Shepherd said, ¨…and a very very good quarterback.” 

 Growing up with Tom Goossen, AGHS’s former head football coach as a father, sports have always been a big part of his life.

 ¨[As a little boy] I had always envisioned myself playing professional sports. In a way, breaking my leg a couple of years in a row really grounded me and forced me to think about life outside of sports,” Goossen said. ¨I’ll never say I’m grateful for that experience because it was an awful experience, but I am grateful for how it forced me to become resilient and expand in ways I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Goossen’s kind, yet driven presence followed him into his teaching career and when he later became Area Administrator at AGHS. 

Area Administrators have many roles around campus filled with a myriad of tasks around the office such as attendance, discipline, and working with teachers. Goossen covers all of the 9th grade. 

“He could come in and observe my teaching style and critique it,” Shepherd said, “and I would listen.”  

“I’ve told him to call me Scott, but he still calls me Coach Shepard,” Shepherd said, proving that despite the new dynamic, some things never change. 

The most known and feared aspect of the Area Administrator is discipline.  Goossen tries his best to combine having compassion with being an authoritative figure on campus. Instead of dishing out punishments in a very black and white light, he makes an effort to understand the “why” and get to the root of the negative behavior that was invoked. 

“I came into this job hoping that by working with students on discipline, I can approach it from a restorative lens and corrective one,” Goossen said, “Where it is not about something being wrong with a student but something being wrong with the behavior and how we can correct those behaviors in the future.”

Before becoming the 9th grade Administrator, Goossen was a teacher at AGHS.

“I taught AP environmental science for a lot of years, I taught biology and I taught life science,”  Goossen said. 

Despite having a family in education, Goossen didn’t always plan to follow in their footsteps. 

“I didn’t necessarily think that I’d come back here,”  Goossen said. 

After high school, Goossen went to UCSB and graduated a quarter early with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in education.  

He didn’t plan to get a degree in education, but after one phone call, he changed course. 

“Tom Butler, the principal at the time, asked me to be a long-term sub,” Goossen said. “It was a really challenging class and I didn’t know this, but I didn’t have anything else to do and that’s how I got pulled back in.”  

Later Butler asked Goossen to get his teaching credentials and just teach the class.

“I  did not really know what I was getting into, but it worked out really well,” Goossen said. “I do think having educators as parents prepared me for it somewhat, they grounded me and gave me the perseverance to move through some challenging classes and times.”  

Goossen’s parents were also local educators in the area. His father, Tom Goossen, was AG’s football coach for many years and his mother Teresa Goossen taught as a preschool teacher in Atascadero. 

Goossen hikes West Virginia in the Dolly Sods Wilderness (courtesy of Goossen)

Outside of school Goossens’s interests reflect his easy-going personality. 

“Without trying to sound hipster, I like collecting vinyl records, hiking, and cooking,” Goossen said.  “Cooking is a big passion of mine. I find myself cooking various noodle dishes, kind of just throwing it into a pot.”   

Just as he shapes his creative dishes in the kitchen, Goossen has shaped the lives of many students over the years and still continues to do so.  He understands his part in the upbringing of the future generation and hopes to serve the ¨community with pride and decency and hopefully a strong work ethic.¨

Goossen has continued all the way from student to staff, working his way up to his new administrative position, and AGHS is very lucky to have him.