Clayton Hall
Years Served: 
2012 to 2013

The young and dynamic Clayton Hall has been blazing an unfettered trail in teacher activism, school leadership and student motivation that has earned him an enviable place in the Jamaica Teachers' Association to be proclaimed the new President-Elect at the official opening of the JTA's Annual Conference on August 22, 2011. He will become arguably the youngest president of the association in the preceding year.

"I was actually born in Buff Bay, I grew up in a very rural community of Banga Ridge and my grandmother was principal of Fairfield All Age School, so I spent most of my time there...I never attended basic school, I never attended pre-school. I grew up in primary school, where I have been going since I was eleven months old, because my 'granny' just brought me along with her so my entire life has revolved around school and education."

His initial steps into the journey of life did not occur smoothly because of personal obstacles he had to endure. "Third form for me was one of my turning point years, as after my grades fell, one of my teachers Mrs. Hazel Holgate decided that enough was enough. She then proceeded to order me to come to her office everyday. She was known as 'teacher English'. My life was a complete turnaround ever since, as she assisted me in improving my outlook on life and subsequently my performance particularly at English."

"Coming out of high school I recognized then that stable employment was the way to go. I somehow got the call based on my immediate and past experiences to make a foray into education."

Clayton, who graduated from the Mico University College in 1999 with a Trained Teachers' Diploma was already making valuable and important strides in his first teaching job at Avocat Primary and Junior High in his home parish.

From there he moved into Kingston and took up another teaching job at Convent of Mercy (Alpha) where he spent a little over a year.

Clayton is Charter President of the Optimist Club of West Portland, Member of the Committee of Friends of Old Harbour and an Executive Member of the Balcarres Community Development Committee.

At 29 years old Clayton became principal of Mount Hermon Primary and Junior High in Swift River, Portland in 2005, a little over ten years after he began his career in education. "It was an awesome but humbling experience. We had eleven teachers and there was only one teacher on staff who was younger than I was." Clayton spent three years honing important management and pedagogical skills at Mount Hermon All Age but from there it was time to move on to another important principal assignment. This time it was in Clarendon at the Four Paths Primary and Junior High "the transition from Mount Hermon to Four Path was unique."

"At Mount Hermon, a small school with a small student population and a small staff of teachers, you find that as principal, you had to do many things. So I spent valuable time during my tenure to learn every facet of the job. At Four Paths it was totally different in that you had a bigger school with more students and larger staff complement and the education dynamic was so much different because you are now in a semi-urban environment, so everything was different and their learning curve was radical."

But more transitions in this educator's life were still being unearthed and following his two year tenure at Four Paths Primary and Junior High, he took up the post of Principal in arguably one of the country's toughest communities: Spanish Town. He has been at the helm of the Spanish Town High School since 2010 and is ready to tackle the challenges and tasks that come with the territory.

Clayton is currently reading for a Master of Science Degree in Public Sector Management at the University of the West Indies. He holds a first class honours degree in History from the UWI and has copped numerous prestigious academic awards in his lifetime. He has received awards for outstanding performance in history education in 2003 and 2004.

He is heavily involved in professional activities within the JTA to include chairman of the JTA's Public Relations Committee.

He also served as President-Elect of the Clarendon Teachers' Association, President of the May Pen District Association, and President of the St. George's District Association.

He also serves on the JTA's General Council and Central Executive and is a member of the Professional Advancement and the Education & Research Committees.

He is prepared to assume the mantle of President-Elect for conference year 2011-2012, as he shares what he considers his vision for education: "I want education to be a liberating experience based purely on merit and talent, I want a unified philosophy of education that reflects in policy that becomes the bedrock of national development."

Among his goals when he assumes the presidency next year are:

  • Improved conditions of service and benefits for teachers
  • Creation of Special Education units across the island
  • Foster improvements in the safety of teachers while at school
  • Enhanced visibility of JTA in public affairs
  • Ensure consultations with every level of the JTA structure
  • Strengthen the JTA through improved communication links
  • Create a lesson plan bank for members' access via the JTA website

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