Hollis Elementary School
Bonny Eagle School District
Clay Gleason has been an educator for over 20 years and has served as principal of Hollis Elementary since 2012. Gleason’s district supervisor describes him as a collaborative and collegial peacemaker who has created a climate of wellness at Hollis Elementary. During his years serving as an assistant middle school principal, Gleason noticed that many students felt disengaged from school and couldn’t wait to be able to become more involved in hands-on, vocational opportunities. When he began as principal at Hollis Elementary, Gleason made it a priority to establish an experiential learning initiative for upper elementary age students to address this issue at the root. The innovative experiential program includes hands-on STEM components, such as coding and robot-building, and high school student mentors regularly help students with exciting, enriching projects. Staff and parents have noticed an increase in confidence, engagement, and excitement for learning for students who participate in this program, and plans have been made to expand the program to accommodate more students who are interested. Gleason has also focused on strengthening literacy for all Hollis Elementary students and is a proponent of mixed-age peer learning groups, committed to making sure each student gets the personalized instruction they need for maximum growth. Gleason holds a Masters from the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor’s from the University of Maine at Farmington.