Dr. Betty Howell Gray was recently honored with a Retirement Celebration hosted by friends and family for her many years of service as a teacher, director, and principal in Seattle Public Schools. This was a stellar event where Dr. Gray was praised for taking a stand for the education of all children and especially African American children.
The theme was "Leading and Uplifting". Everyone could attest to her leadership in leading and uplifting students and colleagues with whom she worked. SABSE's members and others were praised for launching a public engagement and advocacy campaign to encourage schools and communities to work together to ensure that each student has access to a challenging curriculum in a healthy and supportive climate.
Dr. Gray earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from North Carolina A. & T. State University in Business Education and Language Arts; Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Washington; Educational Leadership Certification from Western Washington University and a Doctorate from the Fielding Graduate University in Educational Leadership and Change. She taught and provided
Administrative leadership at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Her commitment to service and education has earned her a host of state and national awards. She received the 2005 Talented Tenth Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority;
2002 National Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Hall of Fame; the first African American to receive the 1996 Christa McAuliffe Award in School Administration in the state of Washington. This award has earned her many opportunities to serve on local, state, and national boards. She was appointed by Washington State Principals' Association to serve on Seattle University Professional
Advisory Board for administrator preparation. Dr. Gray received the Washington Woman "1998 Power of One Award" for her outstanding leadership in schools, businesses and community working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of children
and society. In 1999, she was appointed by United States Department of Education Secretary Richard Riley to serve on the National Blue Ribbon Panel, a panel that identifies and recognizes exemplary public and private schools across the nation.
Through her national board work, she collaborates with national urban Directors in providing professional staff development activities for Seattle teachers and school leaders
To close the achievement gap. She is a NABSE/NCLB trainer and has conducted numerous workshops for parents, teachers, and principals throughout the Western Region during the last several years.
A few excerpts from: Proclamations received in Dr. Gray's honor:
Quentin Lawson, NABSE…"Dr. Gray has made an indelible contribution to the growth & development of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators, Washington Alliance of Black School Educators and served as a loyal and dedicated member of the Board of Directors."
Governor Christine O. Gregoire……."Thank you for the many years of outstanding service to children, their families, and the Seattle community as a whole. We must work together to improve educational opportunities for your young people, and I deeply appreciate the part Dr. Gray has played in keep Washington accountable to a high standard of excellence. I am proud to know that our state is home to individuals of Dr. Gray's character and resolve."
Mayor Greg Nickels….."Dr. Gray strives for educational improvement and academic achievement. Her dedication to children and the future of education in our community and throughout the nation serves as an outstanding example of leadership."
U.S.Senator Maria Cantwell….."Congratulations for your many distinguished years of service to the youth of Seattle. As a result of your efforts and leadership, many children have been touched and possibilities have been opened to them."
U.S. Senator Patty Murray……."I regret that I cannot attend your retirement ceremony to To congratulate you in person, but please allow me to send my warmest greetings. As a Community leader, educator, and advocate, you have worked diligently to improve the
Lives of our nation's students."
Gary M. Kipp AWSP……"Your leadership as an administrator who has always held improving student achievement as the central mission of every school where you served is to be commended. As the AWSP representative to Seattle University's Professional Education Advisory Board you were able to contribute your insight so as to prepare better educators for urban schools."
Ron Sims, King County Executive………"in honor of Dr. Gray's retirement from Seattle
Public Schools her colleagues, family and the community at large that come together to celebrate her exemplary leadership and dedicated efforts to ensure that every student—-regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background graduates and is prepared to lead a successful life. Dr. Betty Howell Gray has been an outstanding respected leader and educator throughout Seattle and King County for over 30 years, particularly within the African American community and is recognized for accomplishments and and contributions."
Dr. Gray is President/Founder of the Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators (SABSE) organized in 1994 as an affiliate of NABSE to fulfill the needs of Black educators and students in the Greater Seattle Area. Dr. Gray has three lovely children, Frederick, Cedrick, and Kimberly Gray.
Dr. Gray is listed in Who's Who in the West, Who's Who of American women and The Links, Incorporate, Tacoma Chapter. She is also an Active Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Upsilon Omega Chapter in Seattle, Washington.
Dr.Betty Howell Gray leaves a legacy to Seattle Public School with a focus for everyone to take responsibility for educating our children. She strongly feels that communities must come together to form partnerships with schools. Educators and community leaders have the power to put hope back into the learning lives of children. She feels blessed to have had the opportunity to share her leadership, talents and to serve the children and staff in Seattle Public School and the Greater Seattle Area for over 30 years.