Brad Lampe, long-time Clarke High School Band Director who has performed as an Instructional Coach for the district for the past five years, will take retirement from Clarke Schools at the end of the 2020 – 21 school year.
Coming to Clarke Schools in 1987 as the high school band director, Lampe started out with a total of 37 band members. He challenged himself to build a well-rounded program and made significant advances over the course of his career. Under Lampe’s leadership, Clarke saw the creation of its first jazz band and began earning high marks at concert band and marching band competitions, growing to a consistent membership of over 100 students each year.
“Earning a level 1 at State competition was always a big goal, but it was about reaching a higher level of musicianship,” said Lampe. “Did the students reach a level of musical ability they could be proud of? Did they make music together, create connections, and build memories they can take with them? To me, that’s so much more important than winning a trophy.”
Lampe spent 29 years leading the Clarke band program and could have retired several years ago, but didn’t feel quite ready. He felt he had taken the band program as far as he could, and wanted to take on a different challenge where he could have a larger impact on the community where he was so deeply invested. When the opportunity to become an Instructional Coach, helping teachers find ways to facilitate the improvements they wanted to make in their classrooms, he saw a new way to make a difference. As an Instructional Coach, Lampe has worked with teachers, helping them work on in-class improvements, observing and giving objective feedback. The work has been rewarding, but he misses the students and the music, and hopes to potentially get back in a classroom someday.
“My passion is in teaching, but I also relish the flexibility to spend time with my family that retirement from Clarke will afford me,” said Lampe. “I look forward to stepping into a new role, maybe as a substitute teacher or a part-time instructor. I may even look into running for the School Board in the future. I’m invested in the growth and success of our community, so you’ll still see me around.”
After more than three decades, the Lampe name will be missed in the halls of Clarke Schools. Since he announced his retirement on Facebook a few weeks ago, students from years past and present have come forward to share memories and their love for the cherished instructor.
“School districts love educators like Mr. Lampe,” said Steve Seid, Clarke Schools’ Superintendent. “He not only fosters a love for learning, but really helps build confidence and community in any role he takes on.”
At the end of this school year, Mr. Lampe will close this chapter of his professional career, opening a new one with his growing family and opportunities to give back to the community. So, be sure to extend a big congratulations and best wishes next time you see him around town, and thank him for his long commitment to the students of Clarke Community Schools.