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Durley ready to validate Board’s selection with dedicated approach

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Clint Durley Principal at grad 6-19

During the May 5 Millington School Board Meeting, the announcement was made that Clint Durley would be the next principal at Millington Central High School.
The decision by the Board was bittersweet for the educator. The good news was Durley would be able to come back to the place where his professional career started in 2005. MCHS was the place were he build lasting friendships, connections and bonds before working at Arlington High School for four years.
Durley noted whoever was selected for the job would have a passion and dedication for the students of Millington. The bitter part for Durley was being selected over colleagues he calls friends.
“That’s tough when you’re in a candidate pool with people you know, people you worked with,” he acknowledged. “To be honest, its kind of difficult. It tears at your heart a little. What I tried to do was focus on what I think is best for the school.
“Sometimes you have to set personnel relationships aside,” Durley continued. “You have to do what’s best for you and yours. When I was named, I didn’t know anything about Dr. Roper. But once I met him I knew his mission and philosophy was one I wanted to follow and emulate. I like his work ethic. I like his abilities to go out there on a limb and make the tough decisions that has to be made when no one else is willing to make them. Those are the type of people I want to be able to work with.”
Since the announcement of Durley as principal of MCHS, he has been building his working relationships with Board members CJ Haley, Cody Childress, Dr. Louise Kennon, Jennifer Carroll, Chuck Hurt Jr., Don Holsinger and Chairman Greg Ritter.
Also Durley has had discussions with Director of Schools for Millington Municipal Schools Dr. David Roper. In December Roper was named as the man to guide the Millington Municipal Schools of E.A. Harrold, Millington Elementary, Millington Middle and MCHS.
Before Roper started Jan. 20, he built a resume featuring a Master Clinician from Middle Tennessee State University. He trained teacher candidates in the areas of planning, assessment and curriculum to ensure they enter classrooms prepared to be effective teachers.
Roper has served as a superintendent of schools for Elizabethton City Schools, Roanoke City Schools and was an executive assistant to the superintendent of Birmingham City Schools.
Roper is a Covington native and Durley grew up in Tyro, Miss., before graduating from Independence High School in Mississippi.
Durley attended five colleges and is current working on his doctrine from Arkansas State University. His teaching career began in 2005 at MCHS. After five years in Millington, he moved into administration work at Arlington High School serving there for four years.
Now Durley returns to Millington among all the changes from Shelby County Schools to Millington Municipal Schools.
“I think my experience and educational background have helped prepare me for this,” Durley said. “Every person is not ready for every situation that comes his way. We have a great group of people at the central office. They’re experienced educators and experienced leaders. They’re proven over their years of service. They’re the type of people I’ll look to in times of question to reference. I don’t back down from a whole lot of challenges.
“Dr. Roper asked me, ‘At times you can be stubborn?’” he added. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Give me an example of one of those time.’ If I feel like somebody is doing a child wrong or a child is not necessarily getting what they need, it’s during this time you’ll probably see the stubborn side of me.”
Durley said he will be a leader who allows personnel to shine and he’ll compliment their skills with the knowledge he has obtained over the years.
“I don’t tend to do other people’s jobs,” he said. “But I at least like to know what they’re doing inside the building, that way I can offer a different perspective and compliment somebody else’s work ethic.”
For five years Durley built relationships at MCHS and throughout the Millington community. The 38-year-old said he is ready to devote time to reinforcing those bonds in the community and the schools. And Durley said his top priority will be the children of Millington, especially those attending MCHS.
Already spotted at the Spring Football Game and 2014 MCHS Commencement, Durley said it’s good to be back home.
“2005 I can remember getting telephone calls telling me not to come to Millington,” he recalled. “I was a new teacher candidate and I did not know anything about this community. I did not know anything about the students. I did not know anything about the town. It made me curious. I believe in the old Chinese proverb, ‘Don’t listen to what people say, go and see.’
“Having said that when I came here, I developed relationships that have impacted me for the rest of my life,” Durley concluded. “So much so that after I went to another school, I don’t think my heart really ever left Millington. That is why I say it is good to be back home. This is where I feel at home. I love the people of Millington and I love the children of Millington.”

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