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After a stop at Arlington High School, Durley returns to MCHS as the man in charge

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Clint Durley Principal 6-12 Clint Durley with team 2006

Almost 10 years ago a fresh face teacher arrived to the new Millington Central High School and was handed the keys to a classroom and a soccer program.
Clint Durley established himself as a teacher and led that Trojans to its best finish in soccer reaching Sub-State. Fast forward from 2005, the MCHS building will be open for 10 years this December, the Millington Soccer program is still on solid ground and Durley has been handed the keys to the entire school as the new principal.
“It was humbling to be able to come back to where you started,” Durley said. “You’ve watched me grow as a coach, an educator in the five years that I had served here. We’ve done some great things here. When the opportunity was presented for me to leave, it was a tough decision. To be able to come back to where you started, it hits home as a person.”
The Tyro, Miss., native started his education career after completing his undergraduate studies at Northwest Community College and Ole Miss. MCHS was his first professional stop, then Arlington High School came calling.
Durley’s personal education continued at Trevecca Nazarene for his Masters and Freed-Hardeman for his EDS. Now he is earning his Doctorine at Arkansas State University.
The 38-year-old’s best education on how to run a school came at Millington and Arlington. During his four years at AHS, Durley handled responsiblities ranging from discipline to finances.
“During my time as an educator and during my time as a student at the five colleges that I’ve been to, I’ve learned nothing replaces the value of a teacher,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what country, state or what school, nothing can replace the value of a teacher.
“I was kind of thrown in week one,” Durley recall of his start at Arlington. “I was blessed with a principal that did not micromanage. He said, ‘Here, these are the things I want you to do.’ Like he said, he loaded the mule down and wanted to see how far it can go. I’m thankful for that. You look back at times and say, ‘Man, how in the world did you get through all of this.’ But those things you survive tend to make you stronger and give you a unique perspective.”
Durley said in his nine years of working in the education industry he has learned the people inside the building make up the school. When he arrived to Millington the first time, the building still had a new smell and Durley was the father of Zack and Cameron.
Now the MCHS building has some history and Durley has added to his family with Miller and Beckett. Other changes since 2005, MCHS is no longer a part of Shelby County Schools. When the doors open to the students in August, MCHS will be a part of Millington Municipal Schools under the direction of Dr. David Roper.
Durley said he has grown as an educator, a professional and person in that time span. While working as an assistant principal at Arlington, Durley kept in contact with the administration and staff at MCHS.
Also Durley made several visits for athletic events or to see colleagues and check up on students.
From his days as a teacher at MCHS to now, Durley said no group compares to the Trojan student body .
“There are no harder working children,” he said. “The students here don’t expect to be given anything. They’re willing to work for whatever they’re looking for or whatever they want to achieve. They overcome doubt and I’ve built a connection with those students I haven’t been able to experience anywhere else. The connection with the students here is genuine and it comes from the heart.”

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