WYANDOTTE — Troy Gray came to Wyandotte thinking he might be there for maybe two years.
But that turned into a 29-year stay.
Going from social studies teacher and coach to high school principal and now superintendent, he will retire Tuesday, June 30.
Gray will transition to middle school principal in the McDonald County School District in Anderson, Missouri — just over a half-hour away.
“It’s just been a blessing for us,” Gray said. “It’s been good to our family — we’ve brought three great kids through the system and we’ve developed a lot of connections.
“It’s bittersweet. There was only one job I felt I would really look at and this was the job.”
One of the biggest lures that drew him was the fact that some of his grandchildren go to school there.
Brad Wade, who has been at Braggs, has been hired as Gray’s successor at Wyandotte.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 29 years, made a lot of decisions. Luckily, the board has trusted me as superintendent and gave me the opportunity,” Gray said. “Man, have I had some good mentors when you think about it: Bobby Martin, Don Barr, Joe Lippe and Carroll Brookshire.”
He also gave Duane Thomas, a veteran coach and administrator, lots of credit. “I’ve had so many good people to look up to,” he said.
“That was a blessing for me: all the kids. That’s what it’s all about. That’s really why I am making this move. I am not at all unhappy with where I am. I have a fantastic board. They extended my contract. I’ve had a wonderful staff. The kids are great. I just miss being around the kids and teachers. You can get disconnected. You don’t mean to as a superintendent. I am excited to be back in the hallways.”
A Colcord native, he coached at Oaks for one year then was hired by Jay Hurt as a football assistant. He also took over a baseball program that had been struggling and turned it into a consistent winner.
He spent a year as WHS principal then moved into his current position.
The biggest problem facing Gray now: he needs to redo his wardrobe: “I don’t have one thing red in my closet!”
The Mustangs’ school colors are red and white.