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Grad Spotlight: Gray Haynes

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series on Louisiana Tech University Winter 2018 graduates. Commencement will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 3, in the Thomas Assembly Center.

  • Name: Gray Haynes
  • Age: 41
  • Hometown: Springhill
  • Degree: M.A. in English with emphasis in technical writing

A coach since he began teaching school nearly 20 years ago, Gray Haynes knows the importance of both practice and good coaching.

The Springhill native has both practiced and coached in the course of his educational journey.

Haynes will be awarded his M.A. in English during Louisiana Tech’s winter commencement ceremony Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center, the completion of a journey that began when he started teaching dual enrollment courses at North Webster High for Tech around 2010.

“You had to take one graduate course a year at Tech to teach dual enrollment,” he said. “I’d always take one or two and before I knew it I was close to a master’s; a year ago I decided to go ahead and finish it.”

The first year he had five students in dual enrollment. He’s up to 65 now. Students are taking his English IV class, English 101 and 102 concurrently.

“The master’s is going to help me with my students, no question,” he said. “It’s kept me more up to date with educational procedures in college, but mainly it’s helped me better prepare these students to go to college. And obviously I can speak from experience.”

Haynes completed a master of education degree from Southern Arkansas University (SAU) after he earned his B.S. in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction from SAU in 2000.

The reason he chose coaching and teaching, specifically English, is because of one of his teachers, another illustration of how just the right teacher at just the right time can make just the right difference.

“Believe it or not, I’m an English teacher who had never read a whole book before my senior year in high school,” he said. “A very special teacher showed me it can be fun. She turned me on to some things. She made all the difference.”