As Clark Magnet High School readied to open its doors in September 1998, Principal Doug Dall knew he would have to work efficiently to turn the experiment into something with staying power.
“When the idea was broached to have Clark Magnet come online, there was a lot of doubt about whether it would succeed or not,” Dall said. “In fact, a lot of things we did from a design standpoint was to design it as a general comprehensive high school. The idea was, should it fail, to gerrymander the [high school] attendance areas.”
He accepted every student that applied, and the more senior of the two inaugural classes — which included 150 sophomores and 300 freshmen — adopted the motto “Where no one has gone before.”
Next year’s newcomers might consider “Where many want to go.”
Now, 14 years after it opened, Clark Magnet is the district’s highest performing high school. It’s a National Blue Ribbon nominee that logged an Academic Performance Index score of 909 last year.