As I drink my morning coffee here in Kent County, Del., I can’t help but think how fortunate the citizens of Fayette County are to be able to elect a man like Gary Ray to the Fayette County Board of Education.

Why would a resident of Delaware care about a local school board election in West Virginia? As the executive director (retired) of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association and past president (2012-13) of the National Federation of State High School Associations, I had the good fortune to work closely with Gary Ray on a local, regional and national level. I watched Gary in action as he shaped national policy on education-based activities. And through many conferences and visits to his home, I was blessed to get to know Gary, his family and his community on a personal level.

Here are a few of my observations about Gary Ray I’d like to share:

• Gary loves his family.

• He is a man of faith.

• Gary takes great pride in West Virginia and in the people of Fayette County.

• Gary understands the importance of community and its involvement in educating our children.

• Gary is highly respected at the national, state and most important, the local level.

• Gary has strong traditional core values and believes in principles like hard work, discipline, accountability, ownership and team work. I’ve witnessed Gary stand true to his core values as he assessed new ideas and helped shape new policies affecting our children’s future.

With 45 years of experience at all levels in education, Gary knows what works and what doesn’t work in Fayette County schools. And he understands the importance of a strong educational system to the future of our children and to the vitality of our communities.

As a resident of Delaware, I realize that I don’t have a “dog in this fight,” but I felt it important to reach out to the citizens of Fayette County and share what I know, and what I’m certain many of you already know: Gary Ray is the perfect choice for the Fayette County Board of Education.

Kevin Charles

Camden, Del.

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