Ray Gandy named Teacher of the Year at St. Mary’s Catholic School

Bryant “Ray” Gandy Jr., a middle school math and social studies teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches, was named the recipient of the Em W. Knipmeyer Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2023-24 school year.

The Em W. Knipmeyer Excellence in Teaching Award is the highest honor bestowed on a member of the St. Mary’s Faculty.  This award has been given for 19 years. It is presented annually by Mrs. Joe Stamey, a 1952 St. Mary’s graduate, in honor of her sister Em W. Knipmeyer, a 1941 SMS alumna and a former teacher and principal at St. Mary’s. 

Gandy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science Education in 1990 from Northwestern State University.  He continued his education at NSU and earned his Master of Science in Educational Leadership in 2005.  He has a total of thirty-two years’ educational experience in both teaching and administration.  He has served as both assistant principal and principal within the Natchitoches Parish School Board.  After retiring from Natchitoches Parish Schools, he joined the staff at St. Mary’s as a middle school math and social studies teacher.  He has taught at SMS for seven years.  Mr. Gandy also serves as one of the faculty sponsors for the high school student council, as well as the sponsor for the junior high Beta Club.

“Mr. Gandy is not someone who only teaches, but inspires, encourages, and is committed to his students’ academic and spiritual growth,” said Principal Stephen Wren.   “His dedication, commitment to fostering a love of learning, and impact on the lives of his students and this school, make him the embodiment of what a truly exceptional educator should be.”

The award was presented to Gandy by Mrs. Stamey and Principal Wren on Oct. 4 after an All School Mass at the school during Homecoming Week.

Pictured (l-r):  Principal Stephen Wren, Ray Gandy and Mrs. Joe Stamey.