Mary joined the Center for Child and Family Policy in April 2019 as a senior research aide for Efficacy of the DCCS Program: ESL and Classroom Teachers Working Together with Students and Families study. The goal of the project is to design an innovative professional development program for English as a Second Language and classroom teachers to work collaboratively to develop skills in language and literacy instruction for Latino English learners. The program emphasizes the importance of incorporating Latino families’ cultural wealth into the classroom and increasing the language and literacy outcomes for Latino English learners in kindergarten through second grade.
Prior to working for the Center for Child and Family Policy, Clayton was an instructional facilitator for the Durham Public Schools and the language arts coordinator for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. She served as a reading recovery teacher leader, reading specialist, and classroom teacher in the Durham Public Schools, and is a former board member of the Durham Literacy Center. She is a graduate of Tulane University, received an M.ED. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Reading Recovery Teacher Leader certification from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.