Please join us in recognizing Clayton Ellis, Associate Principal of Eden Prairie High School, for National Associate Principals Month. We asked Clayton a few questions about his motivations as an educator and leader. Here are his responses:
Why did you choose education?
I chose education for various reasons. My grandmother Mary Jackson Ellis inspired me to be in education and to transition to where I am at today in my career. She was an amazing educator who broke many barriers, touched numerous lives, wrote children’s books along with curriculum and was the first full-time African American teacher in Minnesota. Although I never had the opportunity to meet her since she passed before I was born, I think of her almost daily as my spark and drive. I want to make an impact and a difference in many lives through education just as she did.
Additionally, I was enrolled in a course when I was in high school called Study Buddies. It is much like our elementary course offered at EPHS called Elementary Mentoring. I made a connection during that time with a first grade buddy assigned and I knew right away where my focus and career were going to go. Education is a career like no other where I have an opportunity to inspire and make changes so all of our students can succeed in reaching goals daily. You can’t beat that.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What gets me out of the bed in the morning is knowing that students and staff will be coming through our doors ready for what’s next. I find this so exciting and energizing to know that I get to be a part of it. Making connections with students in the hallways, in the office, at events and many other avenues is also a great reason to get out of bed. Lastly, a morning workout daily before work gets me centered and focused.
Stay tuned for more stories about our wonderful associate principals!
- Eden Prairie High School