From the battlefields of the Far East to the classrooms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, Col. Harry Ray has worn his Army uniform for nearly 55 years. Ray has announced he will be retiring after nearly three-full decades as a JROTC Instructor and administrator in the CMS system.
“I am giving up my CMS email for pgagolf.com!” he said.
Ray spent the first 26 years of his career in active duty after graduating from Virginia Military Institute. After posting in places like Vietnam, India and Germany, Ray retired from active duty and started working at CMS in 1985.
Ray remembers his JROTC instructors being an instrumental part of his life as a high school student.
“I wanted to give back,” he said. “If it wasn’t for my JROTC instructors in high school I may have been in Alcatraz.”
Ray has spent the last 12 years heading the system’s JROTC programs. His accomplishments include opening programs at 11 schools, and creating the Military and Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis. He has overseen system’s growth from 1,100 students to over 4,200.
“Col. Ray has the lowest tolerance for anything short of excellence,” said Ann Clark, CMS Deputy Superintendent. “He represents three words: integrity, team and champion”
Col. Bob Clark, CMS JROTC Deputy Director, will become director after Ray retires.
“Col. Ray is a wealth of information after all these years,” said Clark. “We will miss his expertise. I’ve been here a year and half and I am still learning.”