Superior. That is a word that many would associate with Jack Gray. From 1970-2000, Mr. Gray taught at SHS where he first served for 13 years as associate director of bands and then for 17 years as director. In every one of those 30 years, the Shelby Symphonic Band earned a superior rating in state competitions. In December 2008, Mr. Gray’s achievements were recognized when he was inducted into the Ohio Band Directors Hall of Fame in ceremonies held at the University of Akron.
Mr. Gray graduated from Kenton High School and then earned bachelors and masters of music degrees at Bowling Green State University. “Mr. Gray was an outstanding teacher and did much to foster music education in the state of Ohio,” said Robert Jorgensen, director emeritus of bands at the University of Akron. “He cared about his students and his work laid the foundation for future generations of band directors in Ohio.” During Mr. Gray’s teaching career he served the Ohio Music Education Association in several leadership positions including two terms as president of District 10, was an adjudicator and was a member of the Adjudicated events committee for many years. He is a recipient of the Golden Apple Award for excellence in education from Ashland Oil Corporation.
Mr. Gray was active with Boy Scout Troop 406 for many years, serving as committeeman and Scout Master, and leading the troop on five high adventure trips. He also directed the Presbyterian Church Choir and the Handbell Choir for 25 years.
After retiring in 2000, Mr. Gray accepted a position with Noteworthy Tours, specializing in student tours for school music groups. In 2004 he waged a battle against cancer and became an active volunteer for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. He has worked on the local, state and national levels as a speaker and advocate for Cancer Survivorship and Research. He organized the first ten Shelby Cancer Rallies, raising more than $135,000. The past eight years he has been invited to the prestigious Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas which honors exceptional leaders and fundraisers. In 2014 the LIVESTRONG Foundation presented Mr. Gray with the national LiveStrong Spirit Award. For the past two years he also participated with Pelotonia to raise funds to support research at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.
He is married to his wife, Christina, of 46 years. They have two sons, Jeff of Rochester, New York and Jon of Austin, Texas. They have five grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Gray live in Shelby.
Nominator: Dave Spangler ’66.