About Mr. Gracey
This short bio was written by the website guru, Kelly Williams…
Mr. Gracey began his auspicious teaching career at good ‘ole Jersey High and we are still proud to call him our own. Over the years, he has taught and coached a little of everything: English Literature his first year, then Law, U.S. History, AP U.S. History, World History, American Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics, volleyball, wrestling, track, tennis and cross country. I guess you could say that he’s just a jack of all trades. Either that or he’s just a sucker for anything that involves motivating young people. As you may know, in February of 2003, Mr. Gracey’s school year was rudely interrupted by a call from Uncle Sam. His Army Reserve unit was mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Within a matter of months, he went from teaching about Ancient Babylon to wandering the actual streets of Ancient Babylon! How cool is that!
Mr. G returned to the classroom in the fall of 2004, recharged and ready for action. All was right with the world once again. You could hear the pounding on the desks each morning and the chants from old room 205, and you knew that G and his homies were back together where they belonged. In the spring of 2006, Mr. Gracey received a wonderful surprise when he was awarded the 2006 Silver Medallion Teacher of the Year award. He dedicated the award to his students of course, and continued to raise the bar of excellence, until July of 2007!
This was when Mr. Gracey was offered the opportunity to return to Iraq to work as a civilian for America’s troops. As much as he hated to leave his students, Gracey really felt the calling overseas, and the school district was nice enough to grant him a year-long leave of absence. So in the summer of 2007, G’s boots landed in Mosul, Iraq where he began working in Morale, Welfare, and Recreation for the troops. Donations poured in from the crew back in Jerseyville. Everyone wanted to help, and help they did–providing wonderful gifts for our troops, and showing them lots of support “Jersey style.” It was fun while it lasted, but Mr. Gracey returned for the 08-09 school year, full of energy and ready to tackle another year. In fact, the Class of 2010 voted him Favorite Teacher. WooHoo, they had great taste! Then in 2011, just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, G received word that he had been nominated for the Illinois Teacher of the Year. Though he didn’t win the award, the nomination itself was a huge honor. The 2011-2012 schoolyear promises to provide even more excitement in old Room 206. Good luck to all of those students that get to endure the Gracey challenge.