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Natchez native wins state school administrator award

Dr. Patrick Gray, right, a Natchez native and principal in the Lamar County School District, on Thursday was named Mississippi’s Administrator of the Year. From left are his brother, Dr. Jermaine “Bubba” Gray and his mother, Martha Gray of Natchez. (submitted photo)

Dr. Patrick Gray, right, a Natchez native and principal in the Lamar County School District, on Thursday was named Mississippi’s Administrator of the Year. From left are his brother, Dr. Jermaine “Bubba” Gray and his mother, Martha Gray of Natchez. (submitted photo)

JACKSON — Patrick Gray, a native of Natchez and a 1995 graduate of Natchez High School, is Mississippi’s Administrator of the Year.

Gray, principal at Oak Grove Middle School in Lamar County Schools, was one of four nominees for the honor, selected by the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi Teacher Center. The winner was announced Thursday at a luncheon at the Jackson Convention Center.

Gray was nominated for the award by his fellow principals and assistant principals in the Lamar County School District. Later, he was named district administrator of the year in the fourth Congressional district.

The state’s four Congressional district nominees were up for the statewide honor. The final process included an in depth interview with a panel of Mississippi educators.

The Mississippi Administrator of the Year program honors an administrator who demonstrates superior ability to inspire teachers and who employs exemplary leadership practices. Gray will receive a $5,000 stipend and will be asked to share his expertise through presentations and activities for the improvement of education in Mississippi.

He is the son of Martha Gray of Natchez and the late James E. Gray Sr.

Gray earned a bachelor of arts in literature from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s of education in English from William Carey University, an education specialist degree in educational administration and a doctorate in educational administration from University of Southern Mississippi.