For Dr. Ray Thompson, education is an avenue to serve his fellowman and to impact the lives of students for good. It is a particular joy and intrinsic reward to see anyone learn new and exciting information that will result in achievement. Dr. Thompson joined the faculty in the Educational Leadership Department at Texas A&M University – Commerce in 2012. Dr. Thompson teaches graduate-level superintendent leadership and doctoral educational administration courses. Additionally, he oversees the superintendent certification internship program. He also supervises research and serves on dissertation committees. Prior to his appointment at Texas A&M University- Commerce, he was employed by Letourneau University and worked in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies as an Assistant Professor, Director of the East Texas Educational Center, and then as the Assistant Dean.
Additionally, Dr. Thompson has worked as a special education teacher at Overton Independent School District for students in grade levels 7-12, while he was working on his doctorate at Stephen F. Austin State University. Prior to that, he worked for the Texas Education Agency as a program specialist in the Accountability and Evaluations Division and as a TEA appointed superintendent to a low-performing charter school.
In 2002, Dr. Thompson retired from public education after seven years of teaching in the elementary school and 19 years as a school superintendent. He served as superintendent to Harmony ISD and Caddo Mills ISD.
For Dr. Thompson, educational leadership is a multifaceted endeavor to influence others in a context of trust and relationship. His administrative experiences, along with extensive educational training, have contributed to core beliefs underscoring that all that is done in the educational setting must be focused on the learning of the student. These values and beliefs are the result of years of educational leadership, extracurricular and consortium leadership, and service to community organizations, parents/guardians, and students. For Dr. Thompson, educational leadership is not static, but an ongoing process of individual and group dynamics, processing real-world issues, and the acquisition of current and useful knowledge to construct a professional learning community. The challenge is to maintain relevance with the ever growing study of learning, which involves aspects of study learning styles and cultures, a teaching role that facilitates and guides student learning and achievement, and a servant and steward leadership approach to all stakeholders.