Education feature: New Clovis Christian superintendent planning tougher curriculum

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Former deputy superintendent of Clovis schools will begin her new position as superintendent of the Clovis Christian School Aug. 1.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Former Clovis Municipal Schools deputy superintendent Ladona Clayton is moving up and a few blocks down the street.

She’s the new superintendent of Clovis Christian School.

Clovis Christian School board president Ben Wright said the board selected Clayton for the vacant superintendent position at a meeting July 2.

“She brings to the table a lot of gifts. She has a lot of experience, especially in curriculum development and professional development,” Wright said.

Clayton said she had no previous intentions to move into Christian education. But in researching her dissertation “An Analysis of the Effects of Sacred and Secular Moral Education on Moral Behavior in American Public Education” — she found her new calling.

“The findings in my research, comparing a secular moral framework and a Christian moral framework, have inspired me,” Clayton said. “I now understand the importance of giving voice to the learner’s faith.”

Wright said the board was impressed by Clayton’s work on her dissertation.

“We see the fruits of her work as something that would tremendously benefit the community and Clovis Christian,” Wright said.

Clayton said most children have a religious moral framework learned in the home and church.

When the school also makes the connection to that same moral understanding, it has a gigantic impact on children, avoiding self-destructive and other destructive behaviors, she said.

Clayton, 52, worked with the Clovis schools system for 20 years. She began as a bilingual fourth-grade teacher at La Casita Elementary School in 1989.

Clayton said she has specific goals in mind for Clovis Christian School.

“Academic excellence is essential,” she said. “We will continue to raise the standard for a rigorous curriculum.”

Clayton said advanced placement courses were added to the school’s curriculum this year, and she intends to add more each year. She also plans to make advanced placement courses a requirement for all students.

Clayton said she intends to integrate a Christian Biblical world view across the curriculum and to teach students how to combine reason and faith.

“We would like our children to see life through the lens of a Christian Biblical world view,” Clayton said. “Logic sense is very important. We want our students to be able to take pressing life issues they’re faced with in today’s society and filter them through a Christian Biblical world view.”

Clayton said continuing the successful relationship CCS has with Clovis schools is also important.

“We know we’re just one alternative for the families in this community. No matter what the choice is, it should be academically excellent,” she said.

Teachers from the Christian school have come to Clayton expressing their interest in professional development also.

“They’re saying to me, ‘we’re hungry for new knowledge and understanding,’ and I’m hoping to bring that knowledge,” she said.