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Clayton named Alabama Principal of the Year

MADISON – Dr. Brian Clayton, principal of James Clemens High School in Madison, was presented the award of 2018-2019 “Alabama Principal of the Year” in a surprise rally on the Madison campus on Jan. 4.

Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals selected Clayton for the honor. American Fidelity sponsors the recognition program. Vic Wilson with Council of Leaders for Alabama Schools or CLAS in Montgomery visited the Madison campus the deliver Clayton’s award.

For the surprise ceremony, students and faculty assembled in The Landing commons area. Organizers encouraged staffs with Madison City Schools and James Clemens to invite guests and Clayton’s relatives to join the gathering.

“We’ve had a lot of great accomplishments and things that make me very proud of our students. I can’t do this kind of thing by myself,” Clayton said. “It’s a team effort — great students, great people working with us and a very supportive board of education, superintendent and Central Office staff.”

Clayton said the board and superintendent have “high expectations but we have a lot of high support. I don’t want to say that makes it easy to be successful but it’s not quite as hard.”

“Dr. Brian Clayton is an exceptional leader, and he is very deserving to be recognized by his peers and the selection committee as the 2018 Alabama High School Principal of the Year,” Dr. Vic Wilson said. Wilson serves as executive director of the principals’ association.

“I am thrilled to know that Brian Clayton will take his place among the great past winners of this award. He will be a fine example for new principals to follow for many years,” Wilson said.

Parker echoed that endorsement of Clayton and MCS for the state honor.

Clayton will be recognized at the CLAS Summer Convention’s awards luncheon on June 12 at Mobile Convention Center, along with the principals’ fall conference in November.

Clayton then will advance to represent Alabama in judging for “National Principal of the Year” in Washington D.C. The event sponsor is National Association of Secondary School Principals. Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals will pay for Clayton’s travel expenses.

During Clayton’s 24-year career in education, he started at Greensboro West High School as math teacher for grades 7-12 and assistant football coach. He then worked as assistant principal, head girls’ basketball coach and math teacher at Hale County High School in Moundville.

Clayton transitioned to principal at Thomasville High School, along with Tuscaloosa and Rock Quarry middle schools. In 2011, Clayton became principal of Liberty Middle School. Clayton joined James Clemens’s staff as principal, soon after Madison’s second high school opened.

At the University of Alabama, Clayton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education/math, along with education specialist and doctorate’s degrees in administration.

His wife Karen Clayton works as a counselor at Liberty. The Claytons’ sons are Battle, a student at James Clemens, and Landers, who attends Liberty.

For more information, visit clasleaders.org.

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