Mr. Gaines, Principal
I am Scott Gaines, and I became principal at The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in June of 2006. Here, I am fortunate to work with wonderful teachers, support staff, and administrators on a daily basis while helping young adults learn to make better decisions about their futures. I enjoy the small size of the student body each semester, which enables me the rewarding experience of getting to know most of the students personally as they transition into the next stage of their lives.
I started my educational career as a teacher assistant in Anderson District 1. Then, after college, I began teaching at Swansea High School in Lexington District 4 as a special education teacher. After eight years of teaching and coaching high school sports year round, I left the classroom to become the State Transition Coordinator at the Governor’s Office of South Carolina where my main duty was to work with state and local education agencies on providing quality information and best practices in the area of transition to the special needs young adult population of South Carolina. Upon completion of a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and a couple years in state administration, I realized that I missed daily student interaction. So, I entered school administration, joining the team at Wil Lou Gray.
My education background includes a high school diploma from Palmetto High School in Williamston, SC, an A.A. from Tri-County Technical College, a B.S from Lander University in special education, and a M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) in educational administration. I am married to Bridget Gaines and we have two kids, Caitlyn and Cooper. I enjoy thrift store shopping, spending time with the family and watching sports.
Now entering my 13th year as principal and my 24th year in education overall, I look forward to working with all the at-risk students from around this great state that choose Wil Lou Gray this year!
Ms. Graham, Academic Coordinator
I am Catrina LaNell Graham formally from Greeleyville, SC. I was born in Charleston, SC. I am an only child, the greatest gift given to my wonderful mother, Vernell Graham. I am a 1993 graduate of Kingstree Senior High School. At Kingstree Senior High, I played the flute, and I was an awesome female Drum Major for the Kingstree Senior High Marching Brigade, as well as a star student. I attended Winthrop University and earned my BS degree from Benedict College.
I am a current resident of Hopkins, SC where I reside with my three children, ages 19, 16, and nine. My three children are my world. I enjoy the great outdoors, family, and sports. My favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys.
I have worked for several businesses from high school through college and beyond, which include: Allen’s Grocery Store, Pizza Hut, Carowinds, McDonald’s, Serta, Maxway, Williamsburg County Schools, Embassy Suites, UPS, and Richland County School District One. Since 2001, I have been employed here at the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, first as a substitute teacher, then WIN Coordinator, and medical assistant. Now, back in the Academics department, I am the Administrative Specialist for the department. I also serve as Registrar. I am the certified test administrator and the special education administrative coordinator. I always dreamed of becoming a teacher, but since I’m not, all this hard work behind the scenes puts me right where I want to be. Mr. Harley always says, “I Love My Job.” I really love my job here at the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School.
Mr. Ready, Guidance Counselor
Born and bred in South Carolina, I attended Booker T. Washington and Dreher High School. I had the good fortune of being a scholar-athlete (soccer) at the College of Charleston. Upon completing college, I experimented with several careers: construction, the hospitality industry, and banking, before settling into manufacturing. After two years at Mack Trucks (Winnsboro) and 10 years at TCM Manufacturing (forklifts), I realized my dreams and aspirations were not being met, so I sought the help of a career counselor. After much questioning and prodding from the counselor, I had an epiphany. I wanted to do what he was doing! I enrolled in the counselor education program at the University of South Carolina. Ironically, it was my coaching (that I had always treated as a hobby) that brought me into education.
I began my counseling career at White Knoll Middle School through a coaching opportunity at the new high school. I also coached boys and girls soccer for several years at A.C. Flora. 2018 marks my 19th year in education and my 17th at Wil Lou Gray. I could not be happier than I am helping these young adults discover their passion and avoid the pitfalls of working an unsatisfying “9-to-5” job. On a side note, I am also the ropes facilitator that challenges students’ integrity and courage in the trees and on the zip-line.