Lily Kleinhenz is a Senior at Clayton High School Missouri. She is a Chief Digital Editor and a part of Photo Journalism. Lily loves writing and reading, taking photos, shopping,...
November 21, 2022
Sean Doherty is a familiar name for many Clayton students and families. Until recently, we knew him as the Superintendent.
Now, he’s taken on a new role as the Vice President of Education at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
“I started my teaching career at the Botanical Garden, and to be able to come back in this role is kind of a dream,” Doherty said. While his new position still involves education in a major way, he noted that the move was definitely a change.
“Here, we’re able to have a little more freedom in terms of what we’re able to offer our audience and our learners,” he said. However, the added freedom doesn’t come without its drawbacks.
“Something I miss is the daily interactions with students,” he said. Doherty went on to say that he was happy at Clayton, but that he needed to take a chance on something new. He stated that while education will likely always be some part of what he does, the role of
Superintendent is very intense.
Although he thoroughly enjoyed his time as Superintendent, he said that he doesn’t see himself going back to the same environment he was in. Instead, he intends to take his previous experiences and put them to work in his new job. “I am making sure I get more experiences with individual students,” he said.
There has to be this national campaign about how teachers are integral to the success of our world. The value of a teacher needs to not only be in the way we treat teachers, but also how we pay teachers.”
— Sean Doherty
His goal is to take his current role and modify it to be what he wants it to be. The new challenges he faces are what he loves about the job. Yet, he postulates that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic are the very thing that has driven teachers off, both in and
out of the Clayton district.
“There has to be this national campaign about how teachers are integral to the success of our world. The value of a teacher needs to not only be in the way we treat teachers, but also how we pay teachers,” Doherty said.
As things get more and more difficult for teachers, Doherty fears that potential educators
will be put off the career. That spells disaster because as people stop going into education, the quality of schools will drop.
“I’m hoping there’s going to be a point where people are going to see [that] educators are
so integral to the success of our country and success of our world,” he said.