Bulletin News

ACE Program Coordinator Named


Carol Clarke, who directed administrative operations for the Webster Central School District in Webster, N.Y., was named coordinator of the Access to College Education (ACE) program. She began her duties on March 1.

Employed by the Research Foundation of SUNY, she replaces Michael Ouckama of Ithaca, N.Y., who coordinated the ACE program for 13 years and retired on Feb. 29.

ACE helps academically capable high school students overcome social, financial and emotional barriers to a college education. Based at SUNY Cortland, the program works in partnership with 11 local school districts to reach students, starting in the eighth grade. The districts are: Candor, Cincinnatus, Cortland, DeRuyter, Groton, Homer, Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield, South Seneca and Tully.

More than 25 ACE-sponsored programs on skills training, motivation, and academic support are offered annually to approximately 800 ACE students and their families. Additionally, the four participating institutions of higher learning — Cornell University, SUNY Cortland, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College — offer special admissions consideration at the four institutions after successful completion of the ACE program and satisfaction of admission criteria.

Michael Ouckama
Michael Ouckama

The ACE initiative reflects one of SUNY’s statewide goals: The creation of a seamless education pipeline that prepares students for eventual success in college and the workforce. 

In the Webster District, Clarke directed administrative operations from 2006 to 2010. Prior to that, she was principal at Spry Middle School since 1994. Since joining the district in 1989, she also was curriculum supervisor in mathematics and computers K-12, assistant principal and director of secondary programs.

She previously was employed with the Mexico Academy and Central School for 13 years, first as a mathematics teacher and later for four years as the department chair.

Clarke has served as an evaluator for the New York State Administrative Certification Exams since 2009.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master of science in education and a certificate of advanced studies from SUNY Oswego.

She and her husband, Glen Clarke, associate director of research and sponsored programs at the College, live in Cortland.

During his tenure with the ACE program, Ouckama focused his energies on program assessment, revamping communication materials, spending more time with the clients and continuing to strengthen relationships between the partnership schools and colleges.

He previously served 24 years as an elementary school principal in the Ithaca (N.Y.) City School District before retiring in 1998.

Ouckama resides in Brooktondale, N.Y., with his wife, Katrina. He has three grown sons, Jonathan, Anthony and Patrick, and four grandchildren.