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Mrs. Valerie Lowery, Principal

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Mrs. Lowery is beginning her 27th year with the Cherokee County School District. As a lifelong resident of Cherokee County, she graduated from Cherokee High School in 1991 before pursuing her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University. Additionally,  she holds a master’s degree from the University of West Georgia (Media) and a Specialist degree (Educational Leadership) from Kennesaw State University.

During her time with CCSD, she has taught all grades K-5 at Holly Springs Elementary, Tippens Elementary, Hasty Elementary, and Clayton Elementary.  Mrs. Lowery's experience as an administrator began as an assistant principal at Canton Elementary. Most recently, she served as the principal of Boston Elementary from 2018-2023.

 Education is the family business. Her grandfather, LeRoy Tippens, served as the first principal of Clayton, and her father, Danny Tippens, taught at Clayton until his retirement in 2002. Her husband, Clyde Lowery, teaches at Etowah High School. They live in the Clayton Community with their children, Molly and Will. 

Clayton Elementary has always been special to her, and she thoroughly enjoyed the years she spent in the classroom and the Media Center. Mrs. Lowery is honored to serve the community, and she is looking forward to a wonderful 2024-25 school year!

Dr. Susan McQuade, Assistant Principal

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Dr. McQuade is delighted to serve as the full-time Assistant Principal at Clayton Elementary School for the 2024-25 school year! A graduate of Tucker High School and Georgia State University (Music Education), Dr. McQuade received her master’s degree from Lesley University (Curriculum & Instruction with a Specialization in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts), and her specialist degree (Administration & Supervision) and doctorate (Executive Leadership) from Lincoln Memorial University.

Dr. McQuade served as assistant principal at Macedonia Elementary School from 2015-2022 and at both Free Home and Clayton Elementaries from 2022-2024. She began her tenure with the Cherokee County School District in 2012 as the art and music teacher at Boston Elementary after nine years with Clayton County Schools, six years with the Archdiocese of Atlanta schools, seven years with Buford City Schools, and two years as Director of Enterprise Education Initiatives at the Woodruff Arts Center. She has taught all grades K-8.

Dr. McQuade balances her professional career with a close and supportive family. Her husband, Ed directs the Buford Community Girls Chorus and teaches voice, their daughter, Lauren, is the Instructional Lead Specialist at Oak Grove Elementary, and their son, Alec, is the Sales Integration Manager for 11 Alive News. She also has twin granddaughters, Vivian and Nora who will be 2 years old in August 2024. Dr. McQuade is delighted to be a part of the Clayton family as its assistant principal. Her goal is to serve and support a safe and happy environment where all children learn with a sense of wonder and purpose.