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Dr. Sean Doherty Announces Retirement

On Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, Superintendent Sean Doherty announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Read his letter and the Board of Education's letter to the community below.

Sept. 11, 2020

Dear Clayton Community,

When I was nineteen years old, I bought a one-way ticket to London. At that point in my life, I had never been on a plane or traveled outside of the midwest. I unenrolled from college (without telling my parents), took the money I had saved for school and went to London with my best friend - not knowing what was going to happen. I explored Europe over the next few months, experiencing different cultures and growing tremendously as a person. It was during that experience–my personal gap year–that I decided to pursue my interest in teaching. I knew that education was my passion. That trip gave me the confidence to follow it. I continue to be grateful for the important decision I made back then.

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to let you know I have made another one of those important decisions. On Sept. 9, 2020, I informed the Board of Education of my intent to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

This was not an easy decision because so much of my identity is tied to being an educational leader. However, I have reached a point in my journey where I’ve realized it can’t be the only thing that defines me and I need to prioritize other aspects of my life. As someone who is always emphasizing the importance of work/life balance to our teachers and administrators, I recognize I need to do a better job of taking my own advice. Please know I am not leaving because I am unhappy or because I do not feel supported by the Board of Education or our community. On the contrary, I have felt tremendous support and trust from students, colleagues, parents and the Board. These years in Clayton have been the best in my life and I have grown in so many ways.

I started in Clayton as the principal of R.M. Captain Elementary in 2010 and had the privilege to serve in different roles within the District, some at the same time. In November of 2015, I was appointed interim superintendent while also serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. I was honored when the Board appointed me as the Superintendent in 2016.

Throughout my time in the District, I have served with integrity, maintained a growth mindset and remained dedicated to the personal growth of all stakeholders: students, staff, parents and community members. I assure you that I will serve with the same passion and commitment until my last day in June 2021. We have great work to accomplish and I do not plan to be a passive leader during my final year. We are enacting a new strategic plan that will take us from excellent to transformational and I plan to lead the District in that direction and through this pandemic. I will also assist our Board as they launch their national search for the next superintendent.

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for my time in Clayton serving as superintendent. As I reflect on my tenure, I can look back and feel pride in what we accomplished together. I have been able to learn so much from so many different individuals and have always found that even our most difficult challenges were opportunities for growth.

What is next for me after this year? Truthfully, I don’t know. However, I do know I will remain passionate about learning. I might even take another gap year to think about which path I will take next in my life’s journey.

Thank you!


Sean N. Doherty


September 12, 2020

Dear Clayton Community,

By now you will have received Dr. Sean Doherty’s email announcing his retirement at the end of this school year. Earlier this year, we unanimously voted to extend Dr. Doherty’s contract because we support and believe in his work. This past Wednesday, Sept. 9, Dr. Doherty informed the Board of Education of his intent to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. While we regrettably accepted his decision, we also support his desire to find a new path at this point in his career.

Dr. Doherty has dedicated the last ten years of his educational career to our students in Clayton. Every member of the Board of Education who has served while he has been superintendent knows how much time and energy Dr. Doherty gives to the District. We sincerely appreciate everything he has done to ensure our students have the opportunity to learn and grow.

We recognize this school year presents unique challenges, and Dr. Doherty is fully committed to leading the District through the end of the current academic year. We look forward to accomplishing great things together this school year.

Dr. Doherty has provided us ample time to conduct a thorough national search for Clayton’s next leader. Hiring a superintendent is the most important job for a Board of Education. We have already met to begin the process of searching for a candidate who will continue the legacy of strong leadership and educational excellence this community expects.

We are confident that the School District of Clayton will continue to be an exceptional place to work and learn for many years to come.


The School District of Clayton
Board of Education

Joe Miller

Amy Rubin
Vice President

Jason Wilson

Gary Pierson

David Gulick

Kimberly Hurst

Stacy Siwak