Mysterious Mr Chamberlain


Joshua Reeson, Reporter

It’s definitely clear that as many of you are walking through the halls or the school, or maybe even see him poke his head into your classroom and call someone out that may never be there. While he may look like Mr. Hart, he isn’t. That man would be Gordon Chamberlain.

When Mr. Chamberlain was a kid he wanted to become a teacher, and in 6th grade that’s when it really solidified. He figured he wouldn’t be able to teacher the classes he struggled with such as Math, and Chemistry for obvious reasons. So he decided to become an English teacher. When he started here he was also offered the position of Dean Of students, and believe it or not Mr. Chamberlain used to be a menace to some of his teachers. But that would later play out into his benefit, because of the way he behaved in school he is able to identify with kids who are going through hardships. And rather than cracking down and being strict like teachers used to be on him, he’s approaching discipline differently. Mr. Chamberlain states “I remembered teachers who offered grace rather than being harsh. Grace worked a lot better. Some people may see me as too soft, but I’d rather 10 years down the road if I see a kid walking down the road, I wanna be able to have a small conversation and crack a smile instead of them lowering their head and crossing the road to get away from me.”

Mr. Chamberlain holds the positions of Dean Of students and AP Senior Literature teacher. He is the Dean Of students for the first three periods of the day while during fourth, fifth and sixth he teaches his Senior AP literature class.  While he may have only been here at Olympia for 3 years Mr. Chamberlain has been in the teaching field for 43 years, so he’s not really new to what he does. After working for so long he can usually determine what’s the best plan of action. He’s found that one of the best way to approach things is to“always have positive and constructive interaction. I’ve found that is what is most effective”

When the tardiness and truancy becomes a problem Mr. Chamberlain has to inform the parents, so it isn’t just him trying to make the right decision, he can also get feedback or help from the parents too. But he doesn’t just deal with attendance, Mr. Chamberlain also deals with the low level discipline.

What holding the Dean Of students position means is that when a kid repeatedly misses school or is tardy often, Mr. Chamberlain or the Dean Of students will go to one of that students morning classes and talk to them or try to learn as to why they are consistently late. When they find out then Mr. Chamberlain figures out a plan of action to minimize or totally eradicate the amount of absences and/or tardies. Kari Smith (one of the assistants to the assistant principals) said that “he’s also helped families or kids with his own money to help solve the problem.” Mr. Chamberlain will go as far as he can to help the students, to make sure they get the best education so they can better themselves in high school and help prepare them for the adult world.

When asked on if he has a set plan that he applies to every student in every situation he responded with “it changes with every student. Some kids may not have the same advantages as others or may be going through things that may interfere with their schooling and attendance.” When he does make a decision he always checks it with his moral compass, as to make sure that the decision is effective and helps the student. He also stated that “sometimes what’s fair isn’t always right.” which is why he doesn’t have one plan that applies to everything. He changes or alters what he has to do to best help the student as to “make sure there is equity.” He also commented that “I’m not the only one who make sure there is equity. Most of the other Olympia High School staff also strive for it too. Equity and equality is what makes Olympia such a great school.”