MNPS Voices: Clifton Mitchell

Clifton Mitchell, Campus and Community Marketing Director at Hillwood High School
Posted on 09/02/2021
Clif Mitchell
When Clifton Mitchell joined MNPS as a campus supervisor at Bellevue Middle Schooll, he knew he had made the first step toward his goal: to make a difference at his alma mater, Hillwood High School. Mitchell, a 1984 graduate, ultimately joined the Hillwood staff in 2018 and hit the ground running.

“My focus coming in was to give back by helping Hillwood overcome the challenge of assumed support,” said Mitchell. “Due to our location, most assume we are well supported in donations and volunteerism, but the opposite was true.” Clif Mitchell

Mitchell tapped into his career background of sales and marketing and put together a business plan that included Hillwood’s first-ever annual fund campaign. Mitchell’s plan also included marketing to an amazing yet overlooked alumni base and growing strong relationships with business leaders, community members, churches, and civic organizations.
Mitchell’s hard work has been successful. Hillwood’s arts and athletic programs’ operating budgets are in the black. Their student-athletes have new uniforms and receive nutritious pregame meals from area restaurants, including the Hillwood Country Club. Alumni partnerships are more than financial; they include donations of time and services.

Hillwood Cluster Community Center

Mitchell and the community partners he’s brought on board also have contributed to efforts by Hillwood’s Community Achieves team to create the new Hillwood Cluster Community Center, which will launch with an event Thursday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. The new center offers food, clothing, school supplies, baby accessories, and other resources for West Nashville families who need them.

Jeremy Quinonez, the Community Achieves site manager at Hillwood, said Mitchell “was instrumental in the beginning stages of this initiative. His partners have provided beautiful signage for our community center as well as a large freezer.”

Mitchell’s efforts have also earned him a change in job titles at Hillwood. He’s now the campus and community marketing director, a position he hopes MNPS will adopt for all high schools.

Inspired by Educator Father

Mitchell’s inspiration comes from his father, Albert Mitchell, a retired 30-year MNPS teacher and coach. He is frequently reminded of his father’s impact on others, and he often shares these words: “Passion inspires interests, interest inspires involvement, involvement makes a difference, making a difference inspires others to do the same.”

Mitchell has already been successful at Hillwood, but he has more lofty goals for his beloved Hilltoppers. He plans to secure funding for an arts and athletics activity school bus so every student can participate in after-school teams and clubs, no matter where they live in the city.

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