Mr. Michael E. Ray, II
What’s your role?
I serve Frick Impact Academy Middle School as Principal. I am in my first year at Frick and my second full year as a principal.
What’s your background? Why did you choose Frick?
I started teaching at my alma mater of Silverado High School in 2006. I taught English, AVID, Reading Intervention, and African American Literature there for 7 years. I also supported students in Drama Club, Asian Pacific Islander Club, Student Government, and the Safe & Supportive Schools committee.
I was drawn to Frick because of our focus on social emotional learning, and I am passionate about bringing mindfulness and trauma-informed practices to East Oakland. Especially for middle schooI students who are learning new ways to express themselves and their leadership. I feel at home here because of the way the students and staff treat each other like family.
What are your major responsibilities?
The primary focus of my work is on aligning our daily operations to a clear vision for student success. That sounds so vague! What it boils down to is that it is my job to determine what we should focus on as a school, and then to communicate that to the community and various local and government bodies that provide us oversight and support (i.e. grants, the school board, OUSD, CA Dept of Ed., etc.). Then, I take that focus and make it real by drafting plans and managing the operations, human resources, and staff and student culture. Lastly, I am responsible for making sure that every adult and every young person in our community has both the support and accountability they need to do their best work each and every day.
My favorite part of my job is that I get to build deep and lasting relationships with so many people that it forces me to be honest with myself. I deeply appreciate honest feedback, and I encourage you to let me know when I am or am not living with integrity. Integrity is one of my personal core values, and I appreciate that I have an opportunity to model that core value every moment of every day!
How do you spend most of your days?
About a third of my time is spent in developing and supporting our teachers and instructors through coaching, facilitating team meetings, and giving feedback on plans and work. I also have some logistical duties that take up some of my time, like approving things and communicating between our school site and the community. I also like to have a first-hand sense of the experiences of our young people, so the other third is spent in classrooms, the field, and other spaces where students can be found.
What impact do you hope to have on Frick?
I see so much capacity and brilliance in the teachers, staff, students, and families of Frick Impact Academy Middle School. I will feel like I have done my job when every person on campus has full confidence in their own immense power, and feels safe enough to express that power in kind and loving ways in service of our community. We are kings and queens with the resources we need to have a positive impact on our families and community.
What’s the best way to get in touch with you if I need help?
Texting is the best for me! Anyone can text me, including students, families and the community I do my best to be present in my conversations and meetings, and so I do not keep my laptop open to get email alerts all of the time. However, if you need me to respond quickly, I keep my phone on from 5:30am until 10:00pm every day. Please help me manage my personal boundaries by only calling or texting after 8:00pm if it is an emergency.