HOUSTON – Feb. 13, 2018 – Board trustees, district and campus administrators, staff and students gathered at Claughton Middle School Monday evening, along with the school’s namesake Stelle Claughton-Lacefield, to celebrate the past 15 years and look forward to the future.
Principal De’Monica Amerson opened the program that included current students performing in percussion and flute ensembles as well as former students Sheldon Hadnot – giving the invocation – and Joshua Hadnot, who sang a solo. In addition, four staff members who opened the school in 2003 and are still on staff – Shirlessa Jack, Tom Kocurek, Deborah Price and Deborah Wilson – were recognized for their commitment to helping Claughton students succeed.
“We have a rich history at Claughton, and we believe in a commitment to motivation and success for our students,” said Trustee Justine Durant, who spoke on behalf of the Spring ISD Board of Trustees.
Durant and Trustee Chris Bell both had children at Claughton the first year the school opened. Durant spoke about those early years when she and another parent, Angela Gordon, established the first PTO at the school, where she continues to be involved.
School namesake Stelle Claughton-Lacefield has also stayed closely involved with the school since its opening and acknowledged that there have been many achievements over the past 15 years.
“Tonight we are hearing so many statements about things that you have been involved in, things that have happened, awards we have received, honors that we have received; and we are so proud, so proud of those who started it and those of you who joined in with us along the way and stayed,” Claughton-Lacefield said. “Just think about it. If we can do all that in 15 years, think what the future must hold for us.”
A former educator whose career spanned 42 years with the district, including time as a principal at Bammel Middle School, Claughton-Lacefield spoke from her experience about the uniqueness of middle school students.
“They aren’t little kids anymore. They don’t want to be treated like little kids, they want to have some say in things. But they aren’t quite ready to take on all the consequences of their decisions and behaviors. They still have some things to try, some things to learn, and we encourage them to let their wings go and see what they can really do,” she said.
Claughton-Lacefield commended the teachers for the work they do teaching, not just content, but the whole person. “It is a big job, and our staff here has performed the job so well. I am so proud of the staff and the students and thankful for what you do,” she said.
She also acknowledged the commitment of Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, Board Trustees and administrators. “As long as the superintendent is there working with the board, the community and the school administrators in supporting the teachers, we can accomplish the things that are so vital,” she said. “Our future looks even more sparkling there on the horizon.”
The superintendent thanked Claughton-Lacefield for her legacy and for being a worthy namesake. “It has been great getting to know her and the passion that she has brought to Claughton and also brings to her work with the Spring ISD Education Foundation,” Watson said.