Page 19 - Salem Magazine Spring 2016
P. 19

Our Schools
   The Salem School Division’s Teacher of the Year for 2016 is living proof that anything is possible. In just a matter of days, Derek Wray went from being up to his elbows in engine oil to teaching in a high school classroom in the Roanoke Valley.
“I was working as a shop foreman at an independent repair shop in Roanoke when Arnold R. Burton Technical School asked me if I would be willing to teach,” he says. “Their primary teacher had been activated through the National Guard and several people had recommended me to fill the position.”
need that I have to a higher calling.” Wray’s ability to relate to his students and help them absorb material has made him more than just a master mechanic. His successful methods of imparting wisdom have earned him the respect of his teaching peers at Salem
receive in the community, the more the kids will benefit.”
By Mike StevenS
finder and an invaluable resource for hundreds of young adults entering the automotive industry.
High School.
“I never expected anything like
“Being able to assist these students makes me feel better than turning wrenches and simply fixing someone’s car,” he says. “I like the feeling of giving back and helping kids and teaching fulfills the
               His boss during that time in 2004
told him it was an opportunity he couldn’t afford to turn down so, with just four days to get his lesson plans straight, Wray became a teacher. Now, a dozen years later, he’s also a mentor, friend, job-
this and it is truly amazing that I would receive this type of recognition,” he says. “I just hope this honor brings recognition to the program, because the more credibility we | SPRING 2016
  Salem High School’s Derek Wray is named Teacher of the Year.

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