Humans of CHC: Mrs. Clay

Mrs. Leigh Anne Clay, English and Journalism Teacher



Mrs. Clay is a Virginia Beach local. Along with an older brother and sister, she grew up in Alanton and graduated from First Colonial High.  After earning her degree in English and Secondary Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, she returned home to VB to teach English – first at Lynnhaven Middle, second at Frank W. Cox High, and third at Landstown High. She joined the CHC community three years ago with her two sons, Connor and Campbell.


Ever since she was a little girl, Mrs. Clay wanted to be a teacher. She loves every part of it (except grade deadlines) and spends extra hours making everything as organized as possible. When she is not teaching Journalism, English 8, and Grade 6 Writing, Mrs. Clay enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching movies, and taking naps. She doesn’t spend much time watching TV, except for Arrow and The Flash

Something most people do not know about her:

Frank W. Cox High School was named for her grandfather, who was Superintendent of Virginia Beach Schools for 33 years. Unfortunately, he passed away when she was only 8 years old, but she followed in his footsteps (along with her mom and dad) and became an educator too.

Best Experiences:

The best experiences of her life include spending four fun-filled years at JMU, marrying a guy who makes her laugh every day, and raising two compassionate sons. Her travel experiences also top the list: studying abroad in France and England and skiing in Colorado every March. She is excited to go on her first cruise this summer to the Western Caribbean.


More than anything else, she said her close-knit family and her gratifying teaching career are her greatest accomplishments. They both take hard work and dedication.

Tough Experiences:

In the winter of 2012, Mrs. Clay was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition which was the result of a virus attacking her heart the year prior. After several months of bed rest, medication, and wearing an external defibrillator, her heart strengthened enough to start the slow process of regaining her health. In 2016, the doctors confirmed that her heart had returned to its normal function and health.

Lessons Learned:

Life is better with a dog, even if you have to say goodbye before you’re ready.

There is always – ALWAYS – something to be grateful for.

Hopes and Plans for the Future:

Mrs. Clay hopes her sons will continue to grow and mature as independent, compassionate people. She plans to teach for as many years as CHC will allow.