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IN APPRECIATION TO SANDRA HALL RAY FOR ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SERVICE

WHEREAS, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray began serving her first term representing District Seven on the Alabama State Board of Education in January 1995, served as President Pro Tem from July 2004 to July 2005 and Vice President from July 2005 until July 2007, and will complete her fourth term in January 2009; and

WHEREAS, during her sixteen years of service on the Alabama State Board of Education, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray dedicated herself to the improvement of education for all students as demonstrated by her many visits to public schools in District Seven and statewide; and

WHEREAS, during Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray’s tenure on the Alabama State Board of Education, Alabama public schools have benefitted from the creation and implementation of the Alabama Reading Initiative; the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative; ACCESS - Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide; the Alabama Learning Exchange, (ALEX); the expansion of Advanced Placement courses to every high school in the state through distance learning; Annual Report Cards; Teacher Education Report Cards; Statewide Parent Visitation Month; the Education Ruler; Principal and Superintendent Leadership Academies; Torchbearer Schools; Graduation Coaches; Preparing Alabama Students for Success, (PASS); and, most recently, FIRST Choice to name only some of the many initiatives and accomplishments that took place during the time she served on the Board; and

WHEREAS, as a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray has represented the Board at the annual legislative conferences, southern regional conferences, the 2000 Study Group on Helping Students Move Through School: Alternatives to Retention and Social Promotion and served as a member of the Study Group on Teacher Education; and

WHEREAS, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray has been a loyal supporter of the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program and promoted the program throughout the state serving as a district and state judge; and

WHEREAS, among her many leadership roles, community involvements, and honors, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray is a former elected member and past president of the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education, past local and district PTA president, Phi Delta Kappa Lay Citizen Educator, Director of the Alabama Association of School Boards, member of the Governor’s Commission on Instructional Improvement and Academic Excellence, and Chairman and founding member of The University of Alabama College of Education Board of Advisors; and

WHEREAS, in her own words, Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray has stated, "Every day something occurs that reinforces my belief that education – and good education – is the core element necessary for individual and community growth and success. My colleagues and I on the State Board have worked diligently with educators, legislators, and parents to raise expectations and standards and provide the necessary tools for our students.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Education do hereby proudly and publicly express their deepest gratitude to Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray for her unselfish service and commitment to public education and her professionalism during nearly two decades on the Alabama State Board of Education and for helping to bring public education in Alabama into the new millennium:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we do hereby thank Mrs. Sandra Hall Ray for her service to the schools, students, educators, and parents in the state of Alabama and for her advocacy of high standards, accountability, and overall elevation of the statewide mission of improving public education, increasing graduation rates, and preparing all students to be successful and productive citizens.

Done this 11th day of December 2008.