Carlos J. Clanton

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Incumbent


Carlos J. Clanton earned a Bachelors of Science from Old Dominion and is a candidate for Masters in Public Administration from Old Dominion University [7]. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Norfolk City School Board since 2018 [1]. Prior to his school board service, Clanton worked in various managerial roles at Bank of America, T-Mobile, and Marriott before joining Norfolk Public Schools as the Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnership in 2009. Clanton currently serves as Vice President of Organizational Development of STOP Inc., a nonprofit organization that runs initiatives to reduce the effects of poverty among economically disadvantaged residents [3]. In July of this year, Clanton was elected as interim chair of the school board [6].

Clanton was the President of the National Urban League Youth Professionals in 2019. He previously served as the Policies and Procedures Chair or NULYP, and was the chapter president of the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals, which won a national award. Clanton was also the Executive Director of the Norfolk Education Foundation, the Senior Director of Resource Development & Community Relations for the Hampton Roads Community Action Program, and the Director of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. He has received a variety of awards, including being named as one of Hampton Roads Top 20 under 30 African American Leaders by African American Today Magazine, and a Top 40 under 40 winner by Hampton Roads Inside Business magazine. Clanton was also named Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Alpha Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the “Anchors of the Community Award” by the Norfolk Admirals [7].

Key Issues


Clanton wants to increase teacher retention by expanding resources, training, and recruitment efforts. Clanton also wants to increase enrollment in advanced courses by expanding access to technology and high-speed internet. He is in favor of free preschool education and workforce certifications [2]. As a member of the school board, Clanton supported proposals that increased base substitute teacher and bus driver pay. Clanton also supported funding for mentoring services for principals and the Grown Our Own Program, which created a pipeline for hiring gifted resources teachers. He also approved a revised health insurance plan that increased coverage for teachers and school administrators. During his time on the school board, Clanton advocated for initiatives that provided English Learner Supports and free, school-based tutoring to elementary students. Clanton also approved funding for free STEM-focused summer skills programs [1]. Clanton has also voiced support for the school division’s five-year strategic plan [6].


Clanton is in favor of using community input to revise existing diversity and equity initiatives [2]. While on the school board, he advocated for the expansion of student meal distribution sites and relaunched faith-based partnership initiatives. Clanton also produced a constituent podcast and spoke at PTA meetings [1]. In the past, he has expressed support for CCEIS, Norfolk Public Schools’ equity conference [5].


Clanton wants to divert resources towards a transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic [2]. On the school board in 2019, Clanton directed the Restart Smart Plan in collaboration with the National Urban League that educated families on reducing virus spread. In addition to producing Ward 3’s weekly COVID-19 reporting protocol, he also approved the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and school supplies for students [1]. As a member of the school board, Clanton wants to continue efforts to expand vaccination sites around Norfolk [4].

Public Safety

Clanton is an advocate for increased safety measures in Norfolk Public Schools [2]. As a member of the school board, Clanton approved funding to add six security officers and provide additional crisis response equipment to support elementary schools [1].


Glenn E. Porter, author


1 Board Member Carlos Clanton
2 Carlos Clanton for Norfolk City School Board
3 LinkedIn
4 Instagram
5 Twitter
6 The Virginian Pilot
7 National Urban League