Gray signs on as acting superintendent
CRAIG COUNTY – When students and parents arrive for this week’s school open house on Friday night, they will be greeted by several new administrators and people who are in different leadership positions than last year.
Those include Acting Superintendent C. “Chip” Hampton Gray, Craig County High School Principal Matthew Coe and Samuel Foster, who is assistant principal for Craig County Middle School, CCHS and also, athletic director.
Since he arrived Aug. 1 Gray, who is renting a house in Craig while he is acting superintendent, said he has found the people of the county and the Craig County School Board “very congenial and very welcoming. I felt that people across the school community and on the street and in the store were extremely nice people.”
He said he is glad to be of help to the county.
“I have always loved children. I decided if there was anything I could do to help the children of Craig County and the county transition to a new superintendent, I would do it. I have always believed there was no such thing as an ordinary kid. They are all extra-ordinary,” he added.
The school board hired the 69-year-old to be acting superintendent for six months while the board continues to look for a permanent superintendent. Gray took over the temporary assignment after Superintendent Ronnie Gordon’s retirement.
“It’s not my desire to be a permanent, full-time superintendent,” Gray explained in a telephone interview last week from his office next to CCHS. “I am glad to help out temporarily.”
Gray said he appreciates the independent spirit in Craig County. “You know that’s the case and you understand and embrace that,” said Gray, who was a Virginia educator for 32 years. He retired from full-time work in 1999. He was principal of Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania County, which he helped open, Gray said.
Since then he has done consulting work for various school divisions and at Christopher Newport University, Virginia Commonwealth and Bridgewater College.
Gray grew up in Waynesboro and returned there from the Williamsburg area 11 years ago. He and his wife, Sandy, have been married 30 years. They have two daughters: Jennifer, who lives in Miami, Fla., and Michelle, who lives in the Waynesboro area with the Grays’ two grandchildren. They are Avery, 6, and Cade, 3, “who has the brightest red, curly hair,” Gray added. “My wife and I enjoy them very, very much.”
Although he has no leisure time right now, when he does, Gray said the couple enjoys traveling. He is a licensed auctioneer, and he and his wife – who is a watercolor artist – like antiques. “We have a tendency to be homebodies,” he added.