Friday, August 31, 2012

Rest In Peace, Mr. Gray

John Gray, 68, the widely respected and beloved principal at Barrington High School for 29 years until 2009, died on Tuesday, Aug. 28, from pancreatic cancer.  He was married to Cheryl (Kottler) Gray for 44 years.

Gray most recently served in Barrington for a half year as the interim principal at Nayatt Elementary School. He also served as the interim principal at East Greenwich High School for six months last year.
Gray oversaw a $14.1 million renovation project in 2000 at the high school that was the first significant improvements to the school since it was built in the 1950s. He was credited with bringing the school up to blue ribbon status.

The announcement of his death was made to the Barrington Public Schools community in an email circulated by Superintendent Michael Messore late Tuesday afternoon. It has been “a very difficult time” at the high school since the announcement, according to a staff member at the school.
The email read:
“John was truly an innovative educator and always an advocate for our children. His level of commitment and dedication to education was always focused on each and every student.
“John set the bar high and expected the very best from everyone as he demonstrated this by example. He was the first to recognize the accomplishments of teachers as well as students and never took credit for himself but always gave credit to others. He was extremely supportive of our District and our community as he considered both to be partners in the educational process.”

[DCD] - I saw Mr. Gray in Eats restaurant on Rte 6 within the past year.  He recognized me and asked after our family and was so sweet.  I just recently found out he was ill - happy I had a last opportunity to see him.


Octopunk said...

Aww, that's too young. He was a good guy.

Oddly enough the first thing I thought of was the one time I got called into Mr. Gray's office for being bad. My fellow debate hooligans and I had mildly damaged a hotel room, the kicker being that we'd flushed a lightbulb down the toilet. The lightbulb didn't work, and the following morning the toilet didn't work so good either.

We managed to bluff our way through the encounter on a combination of lies, bluster and our sterling reputations. We couldn't totally talk our way out of some obvious bad behavior, but Mr. Gray was cool about it.

We'd also had some booze with us, but the following morning I'd fortunately had a moment of paranoia and decided we should sneak out the empties and toss them somewhere anonymous. That's called criminal genius.

AC said...

i love your story, octopunk. i don't seem to remember mr. gray. my fam moved to ct in 1981, so he would have been principal my sophomore year at bhs, but even tho i was on the debate team, there was insufficient hooliganism in my cohort to bring us to his attention.

DCD said...

I went to the memorial service today. Mr. Tobias spoke, very touching. It was really nice.

Catfreeek said...

Mr. Gray was actually the one principal I never got sent down to see. I always thought of him as a nice, quiet and respectful man.