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Social studies teacher leaves mark inside, outside WLHS classrooms

by: SUBMITTED - Clark Hoss of Lake Oswego will retire at the end of the school year. He has taught a variety of social studies classes at West Linn High School for the past 37 years.Social studies teacher Clark Hoss, 63, will retire after 37 years of teaching at West Linn High School. The announcement was made to staff on Nov. 30; however, Hoss will continue teaching for the remainder of the school year as a long-term substitute.

The longtime teacher will leave behind an impressionable dent both inside and outside of the classroom.

Hoss graduated from West Linn High School in 1967. He went on to play collegiate basketball and football at Oregon State University. He also spent several years playing professional football with the New England Patriots, with the Philadelphia Eagles and on teams in the now defunct World Football League.

“I was good enough to get there but not land the multimillion-dollar contract,” Hoss said.

He was hired as a social studies teacher and football coach at West Linn High School in 1976, and the rest, he said, is history. In his tenure, Hoss has taught a multitude of courses — everything but psychology, economics and Advanced Placement classes — within the social studies department.

“One of my passions is U.S. history. That’s the class I teach most often,” he said, noting the subject is never quite the same. “Today you have to teach it in different context, reopen discussions and look at items in more modern contexts.”

The subject matter — including topics like gun control, women’s rights, the separation of church and state and the collapse of the stock market — is far from dry, he said.

Outside the classroom, Hoss has coached football and basketball, and served as track meet director. He is currently the junior varsity women’s basketball coach.

“I had opportunities to go to other schools through coaching, but this is a great place to work,” he said. “In this district teachers are treated with a high degree of professionalism.

“I enjoy coming to work every day and I enjoy teaching. One of the things about working with young people and coaching is it keeps you young in spirit. Their energy is contagious, their curiosity keeps you generally active, but after 37 years it’s time for a change.”

Hoss currently resides in Lake Oswego. He and his wife plan to retire “in the middle of wine country” in Dundee. Hoss is something of a wine connoisseur.

The couple is currently building a log-style home in Dundee, and they have plans to open a bed and breakfast. Hoss said his wife is designing the space. He will be the concierge, directing patrons to wineries and places of local interest.

“Maybe on the first day of my retirement I’ll walk a quarter of a mile down the street to The Four Graces Winery and have a tasting,” he said.

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