Security guard Robert Ray is an Elk Grove High School community lifer.
Ray was raised in Elk Grove Village and graduated from EGHS. And now that his 21st year as a security guard is coming to an end, he is ready for a new chapter in his life and is set to retire at the end of the 2020 academic year.
Why spend all that time at EGHS? Ray made his decision based on one thing and one thing only: He wanted to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Ray started his security guard position in 1999 when he got a tip from a friend. He saw it as a perfect opportunity because of his knowledge of the EGHS community in which he’d lived.
“I went to EGHS so I thought the job would be a perfect fit,” Ray said via email.
Ray’s journey throughout EGHS was very family-orientated to say the least. Elk Grove was where he would meet his future wife. It was also a place where he got the opportunity to watch eight of his 10 kids go to school, and he got to coach several of them in various sports.
Although his family has been with him these past 21 years, Ray said he will miss the relationships he’s made with EGHS staff and students. He was not only able to develop these relationships as a security guard, but as a coach as well.
“I loved interacting with the students and staff,” Ray said via email.
Sophomore Maria Losacco is a member of the EGHS girls bowling team and said she was beyond excited when she found out Ray was the head bowling coach.
“He’s so sweet and kind, and he makes sure the girls are okay before putting them to work,” Losacco said via email.
Losacco said Ray’s care for others can go beyond sports. She said that Ray would let kids complete homework at practice if they really needed it done.
“If I were having a bad day in school, I would find him and walk with him,” Losacco said via email. “He would be the one to calm me down.”
Losacco said she believes that Ray’s love for others is his best attribute as a person.
“Everytime you would see him in the hall he would smile and make sure you were doing OK,” Losacco said via email.
Ray said he plans to do a lot of traveling in retirement and wants to enjoy watching his grandchildren grow up like he saw his own kids grow up.
“I will miss just about everything, especially the kids and my co-worker,” Ray said via email. “But, everything must come to an end and the time is now to turn the page and move onto the next chapter in my life.”