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Carey Rainey Gray, F.C. School Teacher, Dies at 34

careyraineygrayCarey Rainey Gray, a reading specialist at Falls Church’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, passed away Saturday after an 11-month battle with cancer. She was 34.

Carey Rainey Gray, a reading specialist at Falls Church’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, passed away Saturday after an 11-month battle with cancer. She was 34.

“As the reading specialist at TJ, Carey worked with students who needed additional help,” Superintendent Lois Berlin said. “She was the embodiment of a caring spirit, and she inspired her students to become successful in the most sweet, gentle manner. She will be missed.”

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Carey Rainey Gray (Photo: Courtesy Falls Church City Public Schools)

Gray was a 10-year veteran teacher and a 2005 nominee for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. In her nomination letter, then TJ Principal Trudy Taylor described Gray as, “a team player whose warm and trusting nature allows her to set a comfort level in her classroom that encourages her students to take risks with their attempts at learning.”

TJ students also wrote letters of support describing Gray as, “someone who is nice and funny and is honest and fair because she splits things equally.”Gray’s teaching career started in September 1999, when she was hired to teach first grade at Merritt Academy in Fairfax. She signed on with the Falls Church City Public Schools two years later, serving first as a 2nd grade teacher and later as the reading specialist at Thomas Jefferson ElementarySchool.

Gray was a 1998 graduate of North Carolina State University where she earned her Bachelor of Artsdegree in communications. She earned her licensure in elementary education in 1999 from Meredith College and she earned her Master of Arts degree in education from the Virginia Tech in 2006. Gray was also a graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington.

Gray is survived by her husband, Trevor, and her son, Carter. Visitation will take place from 4 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8 at Murphy Funeral Home located at 1102 W. Broad Street in Falls Church. The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston. In lieu of flowers, the familysuggests memorial contributions in Carey Gray’s name be made to the Mary Riley Styles Public Library at 120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church 22046.