| November 6, 2009
Cape Hatteras Elementary’s Ray Gray is Dare Principal of the Year
Hatteras Elementary School Principal Ray Gray is the 2009 Dare County
Schools Principal of the Year in a program sponsored by the North
Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wachovia, a Wells Fargo
Gray, a Manteo High School alumnus, earned his undergraduate degrees at
College of the Albemarle and Elizabeth City State University.
He began his career in Dare County in 1979 at the K-12 Cape Hatteras
School as a second grade assistant. For the next six years he taught
sixth grade at Pasquotank Elementary in Elizabeth City. He then
returned to Dare to teach at Manteo Middle School for a year before to
transferring to Cape Hatteras to teach fifth grade.
During this time he earned a master’s degree and Principal Certificate from East Carolina University.
From 1991-1997 he remained at Cape Hatteras as assistant principal for
curriculum. In 1997, he was named principal of Cape Hatteras
Elementary, and in 2002 he led the transition of the school to its
current location in Buxton Woods.
During his career, Gray has been recognized for outstanding educational
leadership. He was nominated three times as Outstanding Young Educator
and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1985. Twice previously, he was
voted Dare County Principal of the Year in 1998 and 2003.
Under Gray’s guidance, Cape Hatteras Elementary School garnered
state and International acclaim when the school’s collaborative
teaching model was named North Carolina Impact School of the Year for
2006. In the spring of 2007, CHES received the International Reading
Association’s Exemplary Reading Program award.
Most recently, Cape Hatteras Elementary was Dare County’s top
performing school in the state’s accountability program, earning
Honor School of Excellence status for 2008-09. On end-of-grade tests in
reading and math, 92 percent of students performed on and above grade
Gray says he became interested in education largely because of the influence of his fourth grade teacher, Mila Meekins.
“I remember her being so kind to me. I learned so much from her
and understood, even then, that every child has potential and will
realize that potential if given half the chance,” Gray said.
“My Principal of the Year honor should go to my entire staff. It
is through their hard work and patience that our school is
successful,” Gray continued. “We decided that by maximizing
our students’ opportunities for enrichment and intervention
during the school day that more of them could experience success. Our
goal is to make the school day the most meaningful experience possible
for our students.”
An avid surfer, Gray has traveled to Costa Rica and other top surf
locations. He currently writes a surfing column for a Hatteras Island
publication, The Island Breeze. His son, Alex, a member of Cape
Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies Class of 2005, is a
student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.