Abbott “Tre” Bray III running for Lexington District Two Board of Trustees
Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) - Abbott “Tre” Bray III is running for a seat on Lexington School District Two's Board of Trustees. Bray is the son of the late Coach Abby Bray who was a teaching and coaching legend in the Cayce and West Columbia areas of Lexington County. The older Bray was revered for his work with students at Brookland Cayce High School. He also served in office on the West Columbia’s City Council. Abby Bray died in the spring of 2013 after a short bout with cancer.
Tre Bray, 36, is married to Diane and they live in the Avenues off Cayce. The couple have two children, one who is 6 and the other 4. The Bray’s children are currently finishing out a program they started while the family was living out of South Carolina that uses the Montessori learning process. Once they have completed that program, they will be transferring into Lexington District Two schools.
Bray is with the Army National Guard where he supervises 200 employees in 54 States and US territories. He oversees the guard’s suicide prevention, substance abuse resistance, and the resiliency programs. His work helps keep soldiers and their families healthier and more resilient through training, leadership awareness, and the development of prevention and intervention programs.
After graduating Brookland Cayce High School, Bray served in the National Guard. He was deployed in Iraq and later held leadership roles during many humanitarian missions across the country. He served in South Carolina during the 2015 historic flooding. From 2016 through 2019 he worked as a civilian consultant with a company in Washington DC. He and his family moved back to Cayce last year and he has since been working full-time with the guard.
Bray said during a recent interview that he has a deep and abiding love for Lexington District 2. “There is a sense of home and belonging here that is unparalleled,” he said. “I am running for the school board to give back to a district that has given so much to my family for decades.”
“If elected I truly look forward to bringing a better level of transparency to the district,” Bray stated. “The school board is doing the people's work and that work needs to be done in the light of day. I fully understand that some things must be done behind closed doors, but we need to do as much as possible in clear view so that people can be fully aware of what is going on.” He went on to say that having a clear, concise, factual message is very important to keeping the community informed about what is going on with their schools, their children, and their tax dollars.
“I also feel like the board will benefit from a younger outlook and my human relations experiences,” Bray went on to say during his interview. “I grew up in the information age and understand the challenges of dealing with modern technology issues our teachers and students are now working through. I also regularly work with young soldiers that are experiencing the problems that other young Americans also face. The board should represent the diversity of the district’s residents and as the father of young children, I think I bring a different outlook and perspective with me.”
Bray said he believed District Two needed to do a better job of promoting itself and letting people know about all the great things going on. “Areas west of the Congaree River are booming because of the great quality of life. We need to make sure that people understand that the schools here are great too.”
When asked if there was a perceived or actual disparity between the spending and attention given to the district’s two high schools Bray said, “I want to represent the entire district. Whether there is a disparity gap or there’s not, perception is reality and that can’t be allowed to continue. Every student is equal in my eyes and all students and schools deserve the same attention and opportunities.”
Bray described himself as an independent thinker and says he will not be someone's second or third vote. “In all cases and with all issues I plan to consider our options and do what is best for our kids.”
On his Facebook page Bray recently wrote, “Our district’s guiding principle should focus on holistically developing every child that walks through the doors of any Lex2 school through education, love, and emotional/social/behavioral support. I am confident the only way to accomplish this is to EMPOWER those who make the biggest impact, our teachers. I believe a good teacher is the most valuable asset in any school system. ”He also said that retaining good teachers is as important as recruiting them. “We don’t need to burden them with programs that don’t work. I believe in analyzing data to ensure that every hour they spend in our schools are productive hours. Teachers don’t need to dread data, it can relieve them of failing requirements that simply hinder them from doing what they should be doing, teaching students.”
“I welcome people who’d like to speak with me about this race and issues involving the school board. People can call me on the phone, email me, or send me a Facebook message. I promise they will get a response in a timely manner. Tre Bray can be reached by phone at (803) 513-0122 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Abbott.Bray.Lex2/.