Thursday’s school start marked a big day for Principal Brian Clayton at James Clemens High School.
He was surprised in pep rally-like fashion for being named Alabama’s top school principal.
The honor was presented in the main landing area of the school with faculty, media, and hundreds of arriving students looking on. Dr. Clayton was unaware of the award when he entered the area packed with an impromptu audience, proud for their beloved principal.
Vic Wilson, executive director of the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals, drew cheers when he announced Clayton as 2018-19 Alabama Principal of the Year.
Dr. Clayton took it all in stride when realizing the crowd was there for him.
“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. It’s a team effort – great students, great people working with us, a very supportive Board of Education, very supportive superintendent and Central Office staff. They say we have a lot of 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.”
Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker, the MCS Board of Education and Alabama School Board Representative Mary Scott Hunter attended along with other school leaders.
“Dr. 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,” said Wilson. “I am thrilled to know that Brian
Clayton will take his place among the great past winners of this award, and that he will be a fine example for the new principals to follow for many years.”
Dr. Clayton will be honored during the CLAS (Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools) convention this summer in Mobile and will travel to Washington D.C. to vie for national NASSP Principal of the Year.
Dr. Clayton has been principal at JCHS since it opened in 2012. During his 24-year career in education, he also has been a math teacher, assistant football coach, assistant principal and middle school principal.
Superintendent Parker said he is very proud for Dr. Clayton and for the Madison City School System for having the state Principal of the Year award.