Lamar County principal nominated for award


Oak Grove Middle School Principal Dr. Patrick S. Gray was among nominees for the annual Excellence in Education Award presented by the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Each of the 15 universities throughout Mississippi submit nominees for the Outstanding Administrator, Outstanding Intern and Outstanding Educator. Gray said he appreciated his nomination for Outstanding Administrator by the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I am very flattered and humbled that The University of Southern Mississippi thought enough of me and of my practice to recognize me,” he said. “I am honored to represent my alma mater in such a positive way.”

The awards were announced during the recent Elevate Teachers Conference at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Originally from Natchez, Gray is a 1999 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi.  He began graduate studies at William Carey University and received specialist and doctoral degrees in Educational Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi.

Gray was a language arts teacher at Oak Grove Middle School for six years and taught several years in the English Department at Southern Miss. He also served as Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at OGMS before becoming principal in 2012.  

Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a statewide organization affiliated with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Its members include the departments and schools of Mississippi’s regionally accredited colleges and universities engaged in the preparation of professional school personnel.

As a consortium of teacher education schools, MACTE is vitally interested in the support and enhancement of all aspects of education in Mississippi. Its members work cooperatively within the organization, as well as with the Mississippi Department of Education and other statewide education groups.

Other nominees for Outstanding Administrator were Mrs. Alice Morrison, by Alcorn State University; Tracey Taylor Gregory, by Belhaven University; Jamey Wright, by Blue Mountain College; David Adams, by Delta State University; Dr. LaQuanta Nelson, by Jackson State University; Beth West Roach, by Millsaps College; Jana Carter, by Mississippi College; Dr. Eddie Peasant, by Mississippi State University; Kennetra Floyd-Smith, buy Mississippi University for Women; Dr. Mario Willis, by Mississippi Valley State University; Dr. Irene Walton Turnage, by Rust College; Dr. Lorenda Cheeks, by Tougaloo College; and Wesley Quick, by William Carey University.

Dr. Matthew L. Dillon, superintendent of the Petal School District, was named as this year’s Outstanding Administrator with his nomination by the University of Mississippi.