SEA-DISC loses longtime social studies teacher


Hannah Levenson

After 17 years, social studies teacher Steve Bluestone will leave the SEA-DISC academy.

Started by Chemistry and Environmental Science teacher Sue Fox in 1995, SEA-DISC is a program for juniors and seniors designed to teach the scientific and political side of environmental issues.

Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, social studies teacher Michael Clune will teach U.S. History, Government and Economics, and the internship program in place of Bluestone.

Clune, who joined the school staff last year, currently teaches Government and Economics and is also a social studies teacher for the Learning Collaborative. He has a strong background in environmental studies and activism.

“I minored in forestry at UC Berkeley and then I ended up in the forestry field and I did research for the fire lab at Berkeley, and I worked at other places in the forestry world as well, collecting data and doing research,” Clune said.

There are several reasons behind the change. One is to ensure that the program continues in years to come.

“Knowing that he is someone who is younger, he has more time to learn. Knowing his passion and experience, it was the perfect opportunity,” Bluestone said. “He can be brought in smoothly, and when Sue Fox decides to leave, she can also smoothly make the transition and bring someone in to replace her as well, and we will be able to continue the program for many years to come,” said Bluestone.

Clune will miss many things about teaching in the Learning Collaborative, but he is excited for the change.

“I am excited to get up to the upper division, and SEA-DISC does a lot through field trips and placing students in organizations to allow students to get experience with issues that are beyond the walls of Drake. It also helps to get older students prepared for college,” said Clune.

SEA-Disc teachers do not want anything to fundamentally change about the program, and Bluestone does not intend to retire or leave the school anytime soon.

“I expect to stay plugged in, and I want to stay involved on some level with SEA-DISC. I assume that I’ll be teaching History and Appreciation of Film as well as Government and Economics or U.S. History next year,” he said.

Fox is also looking forward to the changes in the program.

“I’m really excited for the energy and perspective that Michael Clune will bring to SEA-DISC,” she said.