Celebrating Ticker Alumni: Kellie Clark-Chan

Courtesy+of+Kellie+Clark-Chan

Courtesy of Kellie Clark-Chan

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Copy Editor

The Ticker, founded in 1932, is the student-run newspaper of City College’s Downtown Campus and 2022 is the newspaper’s 90th anniversary. To honor and celebrate the legacy of The Ticker and the members who have kept it running, the News section will be publishing profiles of former Ticker members throughout the years.

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Kellie Clark-Chan – a Baruch College alumnus and former Ticker reporter, sports editor and managing editor – works as an English language arts teacher and department chair at a middle school on a San Antonio, Texas Air Force base.

“I’m teaching, I’m working with parents, I’m tutoring kids, I’m writing curriculum, I’m answering a million emails about a million different things,” Clark-Chan said.

She said that while she no longer works in journalism, she regularly utilizes the time management skills she cultivated at The Ticker.

“I remember in college in my last year I was taking my courses and working at The Ticker, and I had an internship, and I had a part-time job,” she said. “Looking back at that now, when did I

sleep? It just doesn’t make sense to me and that’s kind of how my life feels now. Because I work all day and then I come home, and I have a daughter, and then I go to school some nights and I’m writing papers after she goes to bed, and you just find a way to do a lot with not a lot of time.”

Clark-Chan also emphasized the professional development and social aspect of The Ticker.

“I really learned the importance of making connections with people,” Clark-Chan said. “Working at The Ticker opened up a lot of avenues for me.”

She said that working with other students to create a product they were proud of forged a bond between The Ticker staff.

“I’ve made my best friends in life on The Ticker and when I think back on college I think specifically of my time at The Ticker and how much fun I had there,” Clark-Chan said.

After graduating with a degree in journalism and working in the industry, she realized that it was not her passion and was accepted as a teacher in Teach for America, a prestigious nonprofit organization that places teachers in high-need schools to expand opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged students.

“I taught at a middle school in the South Bronx that I absolutely loved, and I had this principal,

Miss Patricia Bentley, who was my idol in terms of a boss,” Clark-Chan said. “She was this strong presence of a woman when she walked in the room and she really I think took me under her wing.”

During her time teaching in the South Bronx, she said she realized being a teacher was the right path for her.

“I stayed,” she said. “A lot of times people in Teach For America do their two-year commitment and then leave. I fell in love with teaching.”

After moving on from Teach for America, her career trajectory shifted, and she focused on pursuing education.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t be so focused on a plan for after college,” Clark-

Chan advised Baruch students. “You have so much more time than you realize to figure things out, don’t be in any rush.”

Since pursuing her passion for teaching and becoming the chair of the ELA department at her current school, Clark-Chan has studied less conventional ways of approaching the idea of literacy.

“I’m really passionate about thinking about literacy outside of just the traditional pen and paper, reading and writing way but in all the ways that literacy has changed in our society,” she said. “Students are learning illiteracy outside in the world that is not reflected in the classroom and the fact that they understand emojis, or memes or how to post on a social media site that’s all type of literacy to type of communication.”

Literacy beyond the confines of the traditional framework of thinking is something she said she seeks to consider when creating her department’s curriculum. This motivated her to continue getting an education in the literacy specialist field.

“I was working with students, and I still love it, but I actually really love writing curriculum and coming up with lesson plans and choosing novels that I’m going to read the student activities and units that go with that,” she said. “That’s where my passion is, which is why I’m going back to be a literacy specialist because that’s kind of where I see myself in the fut