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Dr. Dawn Clayton​                                    


Dr. Dawn Clayton’s life’s dream is to see all children empowered and reaping the benefits that a quality education can provide. She has spent her career supporting this goal in a variety of settings.  Dr. Clayton currently serves as the Director for Academic Intervention Programs within the Sarasota County School District office. In that role she shapes Alternative Education Programs, Drop-out Prevention Programs, Discipline Strategies and the district’s efforts to increase the district graduation rate. In 2020, the district reached an all-time high graduation rate of 93%. Prior to this role, Dr. Clayton served as a Principal at Emma E. Booker, a Title I school in Sarasota, Florida since May of 2008.


Over her tenure at Emma E. Booker Elementary, the school community has realized tangible learning gains as evidenced by Federal Adequate Yearly Progress reporting and within the current State of Florida’s grading system.  Under Dr. Clayton’s leadership, the school recently earned a school grade of a “B” – the ELA and Mathematics learning gains are amongst the best in high performing school district of Sarasota, Florida. With an intentional shift on exploring deep science content with creative community partnerships, science scores on state standardized assessments jumped 13 points in under two years. Prior to her appointment at Emma E. Booker in 2008, Dr. Clayton spent 5 years as an Assistant Principal at Fruitville Elementary School, also in Sarasota County.  At Fruitville, Dr. Clayton developed a love for working with special needs children and the educational professionals that support their diverse needs. 


Dr. Clayton was born and raised in the Bronx, New York where she attended New York City Public Schools.  In 1995, Dawn graduated from The City College of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.  Dr. Clayton spent the next 8 years of her professional career teaching elementary age children in several diverse school settings.  While working on her Master of Arts degree from Manhattanville College, Dr. Clayton was an Intern Teacher at a prestigious all-girls academy in Greenwich, CT. After earning that degree, Dr. Clayton sought a vastly different teaching experience within the public-school system of The City of New Rochelle.  Dr. Clayton also taught in the suburban school district of Pocantico Hills, New York.   Dr. Clayton earned a Master of Science in Education, in Administration and Supervision from The College of New Rochelle in 2002 before she re-located to Florida.  In 2016 Dr. Clayton successfully defended her research study, “Teacher Expectancies and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: A Study of an Urban School.”  In May of 2016 Dr. Clayton was the first in her family to be awarded an Ivy League Doctor of Education degree from the prestigious institution, The University of Pennsylvania. 


Dr. Clayton’s proudest accomplishments her children. Dr. Clayton is the VERY blessed Mother of Arianna age 16 who was also a student at Emma E. Booker during her elementary school years and David, age 6. Both Arianna and David attend Sarasota County Schools.   Dr. Clayton is actively involved in her church where she is serves on a teaching team for children with special needs.  

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