About Me

Written by my husband, Brian:

Kelly Cray first started her teaching career as an expat in South Korea back in 2008.  She was an ESL Instructor at I Plus One Language Center for two years where she taught eight classes from A1 to C1 levels, ranging from grades K-12, and developed curriculum that both she and the center used.  When she wasn’t training new teachers and leading PDs, she spent her spare time writing two student textbooks for the center and would wander around the city, taking random buses to nowhere to immerse herself in the culture and learn some of the language.  Kelly has always held a passion for learning and is an encyclopedia of knowledge.  When it comes to a hobby or particular interest, she researches and learns everything there is to know about said topic.  This is how she has flourished as not only a teacher, but a human being.  She loves to learn and know all the things.

South Korea gave her a taste of the travel bug and shortly after she found herself in Arizona, waitressing, bartending, and eventually she landed a job at Riverbend Prep Academy as a third-grade teacher.  She taught ELA, Math, History and Science, and conducted PD on Math, and ELA curriculum for new teachers.  It was a difficult job because many of the kids were underprivileged or came from broken homes.  They didn’t always have food for lunch, basic school supplies or the best upbringing, but she was determined to turn the troubled cases around.  She provided supplies and oftentimes gave out snacks and food, and helped instill a growth mindset in these young kids, some of which went on to college to chase their dreams because not only does she share a passion for teaching, but she has a big heart and warm soul, and genuinely cared about her kid’s well-being.  She wanted them to be the best they could be because they were worth it.  Kelly spent three years at Riverbend before moving across the country to Western New York where she met her husband.

They spent some time in Hawaii where she read books on the beach next to sea turtles while her husband packed parachutes at the Dillingham Airport.  She tried to find a vacancy for teaching without much luck, but soon after, found a job as a crew trainer at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  As a kid, she had always wanted to go to space camp, but her parents couldn’t afford to send her there.  She always had a soft spot for Astronomy and it was a dream of hers to go there one day.  She knew the days were long and arduous and she’d need to learn a lot of information, but that didn’t stop her, it only pushed her to learn more, to tackle her dream head-on, and she spent 10 months there, living on-site full time.  She mentored new employees.  She led student and adult teams from all over the world in educational programming about science and space history.

Not long thereafter, on a trip home to visit her mother in Vermont, her and her husband decided to move to a quaint town outside of Manchester.  She researched the schools in the area methodically and tried to find the best way to become a teacher at Burr and Burton Academy.  She worked day and night as a paraprofessional at BBA and a waitress at Barrows House and Dorset Inn and after enough time and continued dedication, she found herself with a teaching position as an ESL teacher, teaching high school students from other countries. 

Over the last four years at BBA, Kelly has developed and taught SOIP ELD classes, provided cultural and linguistic support for her students, written ISPs, WIDA liaison, and language tracking, all while taking graduate classes at University of the People to get her Masters Degree in Advanced Teaching, Education.

She has opened up over the years about her autism and no longer lives in fear by hiding it.  Her goal from the Autist Educator is to spread knowledge on neurodivergence and let people know that they’re not the only ones out there who feel, and think differently, and that’s okay.  She wants to spread identity awareness and equity to bring about equality.  She is full of ideas on how to be more inclusive in the learning environment as a teacher for both neurotypical and neurodivergent children without much change to current curricula.