Cassell Gray was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina where his mother taught him the importance of having perseverance and excellence in all that he does. Those fundamental principles have aided him throughout life and are essential to his work as an educator of 16 years. Principal Gray is passionate about ensuring that all students receive superior educational experiences to not only help them thrive academically, but beyond the classroom as well.
Mr. Gray graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and began his career as a music teacher at Emma Hutchinson Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. While teaching in Atlanta, Mr. Gray also earned his Reading Endorsement Certification and was instrumental in increasing reading student achievement on the campus. He conducted action research on the importance of extending enrichment content into the core academic subjects to increase student outcomes and presented at state and national conferences. After eight years in Atlanta Public Schools, Mr. Gray relocated his growing family to his wife’s hometown of Dallas, Texas where they currently raise four children.
Mr. Gray joined Dallas ISD as a music teacher at Umphrey Lee Elementary School, one of the first ACE campuses. After one year, the school went from “Improvement Required” to having four academic distinctions. Within three years, the campus received a Breakthrough “B” rating from the Texas Education Agency with six academic distinctions. Throughout his time there, Mr. Gray served as a house coordinator, teacher leader, and distinguished teacher.
During his tenure in Dallas ISD, Mr. Gray was accepted into the Future Leaders Academy in partnership with the University of North Texas at Dallas where he received a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. He was also selected as a member of the first cohort of the Future Principals Institute where he honed his skills as a servant leader. Additionally, Mr. Gray earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with a Specialization in Instructional Technology from Nova Southeastern University.
For three years, Mr. Gray has served as an assistant principal at Nancy J. Cochran Elementary School. After two years, the Cochran Colts achieved a Breakthrough “B” rating from the Texas Education Agency and two academic distinctions. Mr. Gray is excited to continue the legacy of hard work in the Cochran community. He believes all students and teachers should have joyful, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences every day.
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