• 54°

Ray chosen as Heritage’s outstanding staff member

MADISON – LaJeanna Ray’s fervor for children’s fitness led to work as physical education aid at Heritage Elementary School. She is Staff Member of the Year at Heritage.

 “I love seeing the kids’ faces when they improve a skill, attain a goal or find out they really like something after trying it for the first time,” Ray said. “It brings me joy to help them find joy in something active.”

As PE aide, she helps Coach Robert Carter plan activities. She’s also “the compassionate tear-wiping, shoe-tying, Band-Aid supplying, crazy dancer, Golden-Rule-speech giver, exercise demonstrator, jump-roping phenom, music playlist developer … and, last but definitely not least, a positive influence for these kids,” Ray said.

Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and PE at UNA and taught in Lake Charles, La. before returning to Alabama. She worked in the fitness industry for 20-plus years while raising four children. She joined Heritage’s staff in 2013.

“When a job was available with Madison City Schools as a PE aide, I jumped on the chance to combine my love for fitness and kids,” she said. “I take my job very seriously.”

“The teacher that impacted my life the most is my high school math teacher, Hisham Durdunji. He has such a gift,” Ray said. “He made learning math fun for me and taught me not to give up.”

“His genuine care for the students and wanting them to succeed was very evident. He made such an impact that I became a math teacher,” she said.

A native of Russellville, she married her “high school sweetheart Tom. We have lived in Lake Charles, Louisville, Ky. and Hattiesburg, Miss. We always returned to sweet home Alabama!” she said.

Her husband Tom works as an engineer for the federal government on Redstone Arsenal.

Their children are Jacob, 21, a junior electrical engineering major at University of Alabama; Mckenna, 19, sophomore at University of North Alabama and Lady Lions’ softball player; Dylan, 16, Bob Jones High School freshman; and Brayden, 13, Liberty Middle School seventh-grader.

LaJeanna’s hobbies include watching her children in sports and workouts at Crossfit Madison. 

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

Madison

Editorial: King’s words speak to all

Madison

Petition for Madison special election on city manager issue submitted to probate judges

x