Cleveland’s Freshest Educators (part 4): Forest Clayton

“We have to give our kids a high quality education in order for us to create a solid, successful future for our city.”

This week’s feature: Forest Clayton
9th Grade Assistant Principal, MC2 STEM High School, CSU Campus

We’ve interviewed some of the freshest educators we know. They operate from a place love, care, discipline and personal sacrifice on behalf of Cleveland's precious students. Let these stories honor ALL Cleveland teacher who do this important work every day!

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at    Fresh Lab Cleveland   .

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at Fresh Lab Cleveland.

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at    Fresh Lab Cleveland   .

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at Fresh Lab Cleveland.

What got you interested in becoming a teacher/principal?

 I have always had a passion for education and had a lot of teachers that made an impact in my life. I always have aspired to be like them since I saw how important a teacher’s influence and support could be on a young person.

What might we catch you doing when you aren’t in the classroom?

Anything to do with the outdoors or staying active, where I love to run, bike, kayak, and hike.

Why does high quality education in Cleveland matter?

Cleveland has been on the rebound and in order to keep it that way, we have to give our kids a high quality education in order for us to create a solid, successful future for our city.

 What is the most challenging thing about your work?

 Seeing the inequities that still exist in the different neighborhoods around the city and knowing that some of my students are not getting the access to important resources that other students do just based off of the location in which they live.

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at    Fresh Lab Cleveland   .

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at Fresh Lab Cleveland.

Tell us about a time that you knew that you made a difference in a young person’s life.

It speaks volumes when I have past students who come to see me or keep in contact after they have graduated and they say something along the lines of, “You kept pushing us and were a difficult teacher, but we now see why.” My goal as an educator is to provide my students skills that will help them be able be prepared and manage life outside of high school. So, when I hear things like that, I know I was successful.

Tell us about a time your life was changed/impacted by a student or because of a student.

My students are an important part of my life and the reason I do this job. There are way too many times that a student has impacted my life and it’s really because of my students that I have an immense passion for fighting against the injustices that many of them face on a daily.

What would be your message to your peers?

 Don’t be worried about the kids of today. They are bright, energetic, and passionate. If we as a community show them that we believe in them, give them love and support, and help them discover their potential, we will be okay.

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at    Fresh Lab Cleveland   .

Photo by Bivens Photography. Shirt printed at Fresh Lab Cleveland.