With over fifteen years in the field of education and youth development, Claytisha Walden is an energetic, passionate and dynamic leader who has worked with young people from diverse backgrounds, levels and ages. A former principal and elementary, middle and high school teacher with a heart for young people describes her varied educational background. She has an expertise in child and adolescent development, instructional technology and organizational change. Claytisha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Purchase College; Bachelor of Arts in Ministry from NY Lighthouse Christian College and Seminary; Master of Science in Urban and Multicultural Education from College of Mount Saint Vincent and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Baruch College and Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from California Coast University and as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education from Newburgh Theological Seminary. She has an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from New American Fellowship Church. She has also studied at Harvard University through the National Urban School Leaders program.
Claytisha Walden, affectionately known as Dr. Clay, is a change agent and pioneer in the field of education. Claytisha Walden possesses National Certification as a Principal Mentor/ Trainer K-12. She has served as the first youngest African American female principal of the Biondi Elementary School and Frederick Douglass Academy. Prior to these roles, Claytisha was the first female African American principal of William J. Gaynor Middle School since its opening in 1936.
Prior to her principalship, Claytisha served as assistant principal and teacher. She was instrumental in increasing the level of literacy of Juan Morel Campos Secondary School where she supervised English Language Arts, Special Education and the arts departments. She was the first African American female assistant principal in that school as well. She sits on the board of The Bridge, a non-profit organization that has developed into one of New York City's premier rehabilitation agencies, offering mental health, substance abuse treatment, housing, vocational training, job placement and creative arts therapies.
Claytisha is a member of several national organizations such as PDK where she was selected as the 2010-11 Class of Emerging Leaders (an educational equivalent of a 40 under 40 Award), The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Theta Chapter, National Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals, National Council of Negro Women Flatbush Chapter, Church Women United, the National Alliance of Black School Educators and the Association of Black Educators of New York where she was recognized as the 2008 Women’s award recipient. Claytisha speaks before many audiences – serving as keynote speaker at graduations as well as lead presenter at national conferences. She was invited to speak at the 2009 Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in New Orleans, the 2010 National ASCD Conference in San Antonio, and the 89th Annual National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference in Houston. She has recently visited nursery, primary and secondary and universities aboard in Dublin and London.
She can be reached at claytishawalden.com