Michael Andrew Clarke

Michael Andrew Clarke Ph.D is a native of Barbados. He started his formal career in education in 1981 as an assistant Music teacher at Harrison College in Barbados. He also taught Mathematics and Computer Science at the Lodge School in Barbados where he initiated the Cambridge O-level Computer Science program. He continued his teaching career at the Barbados Community College where he taught Mathematics and Chemistry and assisted in the creation of the curriculum for the associate degree programs in Science and Applied Science. He is a former Director of the Cavite Chorale of the University of the West Indies and choral director for the University Choirs of the University of the West Indies at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.


 While teaching A-level Chemistry at the Barbados Community College he was recognized by the Cambridge University Local Examinations Syndicate as an exceptional science teacher based on the exceptional performance of his students. Dr. Peter Sykes, the investigator puzzle over the fact that the only students in the world who attainted a similar level of performance on the Cambridge A-level Examinations were students from Singapore and in both instances the performances on the practical examinations were not nearly as stellar as the students’ theoretical work. Michael responded that scarcity of resources for practical study was the main culprit but if given the necessary physical resources he could also remove that anomaly for his students.

Michael emigrated from Barbados to Washington, DC area in 1992 as a graduate student in Chemistry at Howard University. While at Howard he studied piano with Prof. Thomas Flagg, and he was an organ student of Roy Parker (himself a former student of Leo Sowerby). During his time at Howard Michael was also a member of, and soloist with, the National Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. Michael earned the Associate diploma of Trinity College of Licentiates
(UK) in Recital piano under Prof. Flagg and the American Guild of Organists’ (AGO) Service Playing Certificate under Roy Parker. Later Michael studied organ with Dr. Dale Krider earning the Colleague Diploma of the AGO.

Currently Michael is living in Cambridge, MA where he is a student in the Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Michael is a member of the Harvard University Choir, and he serves as Organist for the Episcopal Chaplincy at Harvard University, and as the Episcopal Musician at the Harvard Divinity School. Before leaving the DC Metro area for Cambridge he served as the Organist-Choir Director at Calvary Episcopal Church (1995-2010) and Organist-Sanctuary Choir Director at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church (2006-2010), both in Washington, DC. On the academic side Michael spent nine years as a teacher, department chair, and administrator at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts before serving as the Instructional systems Specialist with responsibility for Math and Science Standards and Assessments in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for Washington, DC.

During his time at OSSE he created a plan to bring the state assessment system into federal compliance and re-articulated the State Science standards for the assessed grades, found here.

Michael’s expertise in education extends beyond classroom instruction, standards, and assessments to include program evaluation and school accreditation. To date he has chaired accreditation teams for five high schools in the middle states region. Michael was also the 2011 winner of the prestigious Harvard Graduate school of Education Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for a student in the Special Studies Program.

As a pianist, organist, singer, and choral director Michael has performed in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe. Michael is married to Gail Hewitt-Clarke, Assistant Vice President of Academic Records-University Registrar at the Uniformed Services University of The Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Michael and Gail maintain a home in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, MD and are the proud parents of their twin son and daughter, Michael and Michaela Hewitt-Clarke. Click here to read more about Michaels experiences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Return to Speakers Page