As the only one from his family with a college degree, Sam Ray, Provo High School principal, has learned firsthand from his siblings what it means to go through life without a college degree. As a result, he is dedicated to ensuring that all his students make it through high school and go on to college.
After his mission in London, Ray joined the military and was sent to Germany, where he served for three years after his training. Upon his return, Ray was stationed in New Mexico, where he served six months. After graduating with a degree in technical education from BYU, Ray moved to Twentynine Palms, California, where he taught for two years.
In 1993 Ray was accepted into the Leadership Preparation program (LPP) at BYU. He also worked as an intern principal in the Granite School District. “My experience in the LLP helped me learn how to teach in a more authentic way,” he said. “It helped me understand that the most important thing for an educator is caring about the kids and nothing else.” After completing his LLP in 1994, he was made assistant principal at Provo High School.
In 2000 Ray became principal of Farrer Middle School. At the middle school Ray’s biggest challenge was working with poor students as well as students with language barriers. Despite the setbacks, Ray and his team of teachers conducted research to help them find effective ways to help their students learn.
In 2004 Ray became Provo High School principal, a position in which he currently serves. With a total of 1,875 students and about 75 teachers, Ray is once again working hard with a dedicated team and finding new ways to maximize the students’ learning experience.
“We came up with a program that helps us target all students at different levels," Ray said. “First we have the ‘fresh success’ program which focuses on all freshmen struggling with English, math, and the sciences. When they make it through their freshman year, those still struggling in different areas are registered into ‘soph. success,’ where they continue to get all the help they need.”
Students who do not do well in a classroom setting are registered into the Provo Academic Unified Studies Program (PAUS), where they learn hands on by actively participating in various activities outside the classroom.
For hobbies, Ray loves going out to the woods and the mountains. He also loves building houses and has built three. He hopes to build a cabin home where all of his children can return for a vacation someday. Ray also loves to travel in his RV and go boating.