Where Are They Now?
Featuring Kyle Wray
Kyle Wray is one of the newest inductees to the Sand Springs Education Foundation Hall of Fame. Kyle is currently the Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs at Oklahoma State University and has worked in various positions at OSU for the last 18 years. As a product of the Sand Springs school district, he attributes his career’s success to the people and community surrounding him during his upbringing in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
Kyle spent his early developmental years at Pratt Elementary, where he walked to school from his parent’s home every day. He has fond memories of his kindergarten teacher and how they took interest in him. He and his family attended the Sand Springs Church of Christ, in fact he shared a personal story that shaped his career:
“My parents didn’t make a lot of money – so they cleaned the Church building on Monday evenings. After we were done with our chores – the pastor would put me behind the pulpit, give me a bible verse and then would ask me to read it aloud and tell them what I thought. That’s where my public speaking began – I also sang in church and eventually spoke before the congregation on Wednesday nights.”
The Sand Springs Church of Christ wasn’t the only place or community group that prepared Kyle for his career. He shared an extensive list:
- Clyde Boyd Middle School – Several teachers took a personal interest in Kyle as a student that helped him succeed.
- The teachers within Sand Springs Public School taking their jobs so seriously really shaped work in the classroom and beyond after leaving Sand Springs.
- Those responsible for his education would put him in leadership positions that helped him grow.
- Larry Elliot (Past Principal) had a large impact on Kyle’s Life.
- Paula Therman
- The Konser Family
- HIS PARENTS
- His first job at TGNY, the Walmart before Walmart.
- There were so many more, but the one individual he talked about most was Tommy Ghan.
Tommy Ghan, Football and Basketball Coach, and his wife Leah Ghan, Biology Teacher, taught Kyle about hard work and leadership. He even shared a letter from Coach Ghan that he still had from high school. One of the things that makes Kyle and Coach Ghan’s relationship so special, is when Kyle moved up to the high school from Clyde Bord, timing worked out that Coach Ghan moved as well. The relationship began to grow even further as Ghan encouraged him in his athletic endeavors and career. Kyle and Coach Ghan still talk to this day and are very close.
While Kyle no longer lives in Sand Springs, he still visits his parents often and enjoys driving the streets of his childhood. “I spend a lot of time in Sand Springs, I get a chance to drive there often and I go down memory lane – I always pass my favorite store Mock Brothers Saddlery. My parents bought my first pair of boots from there,.” said Kyle, “ I feel like I go back in time.” He also has fond memories of Shell Lake, “Coming down from Shell Creek Lake into the Arkansas river. If it flew or swam then I hunted it out there!” said Kyle. After a walk down memory lane, Kyle shared some words of encouragement for the next generation of Sandites:
“There are three things that I live by:
- Do what’s right
- Do the best you can, effort is hard to beat
- Treat other people as you would like to be treated, It doesn’t take a lot of time to be kind to others “
We are so proud to call Kyle a Sandite. “Being inducted into the Sand Springs Hall of Fame is an honor, it’s very special,” said Kyle. As some last words during our interview, Kyle shared that because of the Sand Springs community he has lived his life focused on other people. He believes that the foundation and fabric of Sand Springs is being the person who is focused on helping the foundation be strong by helping others and staying humble.
Make sure to watch our interview at the top of this article! There are so many great things we simply couldn’t fit in this article like the full letter from Coach Ghan!
Read more articles about community members here.