Meet Angie Clarkson!
I came to LWPB in the summer of 2010, just after the birth of my second son (it’s 'Testosterone City' at our house!). I’d been at LWPB for about a week when it became clear that this is a great place to be a working parent – my previous employer didn’t provide the flexibility and family-friendly environment that is LWPB’s trademark. Wrangling two small children and managing a full-time job was suddenly much more manageable!
Originally, I was brought on for my expertise in government projects and healthcare design. I enjoy all sorts of design problems and was happy to contribute to these sorts of projects. However, as soon as I was afforded the opportunity to work on a K-12 project, I fell in love. I’m a public school teacher’s kid. I often joke that, while I adore child development (cognitive, emotional, and physical), I lack the temperament for classroom management – I never would have made it in the classroom! I’m not equipped to shape future generations the way that teachers do, but we can all use our unique talents to contribute in other ways. Being a teacher is one of the most challenging professions on Earth. Education is hard. School administration is hard. Public education is changing all the time, with schools taking on more and more responsibility for the health of their communities – and public school districts are taking on these imperatives with fewer dollars per student. As architects and school planners, we can’t fix a lot of these things. What we can do is devise and craft learning environments that remove barriers and increase flexibility. We can also help aging schools identify ways to improve their existing facilities. When we create learning spaces that can be changed and shaped to support the teaching and learning of the future, we empower teachers to do their best work.
Over the last decade at LWPB, I’ve been given the opportunity to make a difference in my community and in the State of Oklahoma. It’s a vocation and not a job to me, and I find myself excited about even the smallest renovation projects. It’s exciting to have found a niche that speaks to my heart so strongly and mentors that encourage me to grow and learn.