City system bids farewell to class act
Superintendent Dr. Wayne Ray officially announced his retirement yesterday during the Russellville City Schools board meeting.
Ray has totaled more than 43 years in the system as a teacher, coach, administrator, including the past eight years as superintendent.
The respect among the teachers, staff and administrators in the city school system was evident during the meeting, and Ray was described as a man of character and wisdom by his coworkers.
During his regular report, Ray took the time to thank everyone for their support instead of reviewing his career, which is filled with many achievements.
"They say there's a time for all seasons," Ray said. "I've been greatly blessed to work in a single system this entire time, and if I had to do it all over again, I would.
"I told the staff today that not many people have had the opportunity to work in one place, and I want to thank each and everyone of you because it has been a blessing for me."
Ray was named Superintendent of the Year by his fellow superintendents in 2007. Under his leadership, the city schools have posted improved graduation rates and test scores, generated more scholarship offers and decreased drop-out rates. The system was also the first in the state to have a 100 percent rate of highly-qualified faculty.
Despite holding a pressure-packed position, Ray is known for being accessible and friendly, and he is passionate about improving conditions for his students and employees.
Ray is a class act and his shoes will be difficult to fill in the coming months.