Clayton lauded in D.C. as State Principal of the Year

MADISON – At a national conference in Washington, D.C., educators commended a Madison principal for outstanding work with students.

Dr. Brian Clayton, Principal of James Clemens High School, was honored as State Principal of the Year at the National Association of Secondary School Principals Institute, an annual event that the association sponsors.

During the institute, Clayton formally accepted his award and discussed the needs of local schools with federal policymakers in the U.S. Congress. The annual institute gathers the ‘principals of the year’ for several days of professional development, community building and advocacy activities. 

“Receiving the State Principal of the Year award was a tremendous honor for me, my school and my community,” Clayton said. “But more important, it gave me an opportunity to share the great things about our school with our elected officials in Washington and to encourage our members of Congress to pass laws that support education.”

During the institute on Sept. 23-26, Clayton met with Congressman Mo Brooks and Sen. Richard Shelby to discuss title funding and the overall perception of public schools.

“We were honored to have so many extraordinary principals gather in Washington D.C. to receive the attention they deserve,” NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti said. “Our goal is to ensure principals are recognized for their work but also to include principals’ voices in the national conversation about education.”

Clayton’s career in education 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 principalsmonth.org.

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