Staff profile: 1st-year social studies teacher Mr. Matt Ray

Coach Matt Ray (left, on the pool deck) and Head Coach Eric Talsma talk to the boys team last season.

  • Coach Matt Ray (left, on the pool deck) and Head Coach Eric Talsma talk to the boys team last season.
  • Mr. Matt Ray was a competitive swimmer and water polo player in his days at Holland High School.

This is the first year of teaching for Mr. Matt Ray after being a student teacher with Mr. Brant Haverdink last school year.  He is currently teaching World History to juniors.  Mr. Ray attended Holland High School and graduated from Hope College in May.

“Mr. Ray relates very well with students and understands how students want him to teach the material,” Hamilton Principal Doug Braschler said.

While he is in charge of class now, Mr. Ray said he wasn’t always the model student.

“I liked to act like I was behaving,” he said, “but really I was really goofing off.  But I had good grades!”

Not only did he get good grades, but he was also on the swim team and the water polo team in high school.

His ability in the pool helped him in his job as a lifeguard.  He also worked in a hardware shop in Holland for seven years.

He decided to become a teacher after being inspired by his mother, sister, and grandparents, who were also teachers.

Mr. Ray said he wants to be one of the good teachers, and added his other job interest didn’t work out because, “I am too small to be in the NFL.”

He hopes to create a discussion filled, easy going, and fun classroom environment.  Mr. Ray also said that the most frustrating thing about being a student teacher last year was the possibility that he might not be able to come back to Hamilton.

On the subject of the use of cell phones, iPods, or any other technology, Ray feels they need to be used properly.

“They can be great if they are used for learning, but if I have to wait an hour and fifteen minutes to talk on the phone or send out a text, so can you.”

As for homework, students won’t have to worry too much, because he isn’t a big homework giver.

Aside from teaching, Mr. Ray currently helps coach the girls swim team, and he hopes to help coach the boys team this winter.

He enjoys cycling, watching sports, and being on the computer.  He also said he never leaves the house without a pair of sunglasses.

Good luck to Mr. Ray in his new teaching job!

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