Matt Hayes receiving an award from Chamber president Jennifer Priddy as Brandi Lee looks on from podium in front of Chamber Dinner Sponsors step and repeat banner

Matt Hayes has been recognized as the 2022 Chamber of Commerce Education Award winner. The award was presented during the Chamber’s  Annual Membership Dinner at Rough River Dam State Resort Lodge. 

With 28 years in education, Hayes has been director of the Grayson County Technology Center since 2017. He initiated the school’s work-based learning program and has been instrumental in growing the number of pathways and career options open to students. He has also played a vital role in both the GCHS Dual credit and Advanced Placement programs.

In presenting the award, GCHS Transition Coordinator Brandi Lee called him a “servant leader to the fullest extent.”

‘When teachers want to revamp their programs - he makes it happen even when there are obstacles in the way,” she continued. ‘He is always looking to provide the best opportunities for the students.”

Lee provided additional testimony from fellow co-workers, including:

“He is the most involved supervisor I have ever worked for. He is always willing to listen and provide solutions instead of just suggestions. He is innovative and constantly trying to find better ways to serve our community and students.”

“He always begins with the kids in mind and it is evident that the students are his priority. He is a huge advocate for our CTSOs such as DECA, FFA, HOSA and Skills, and is constantly challenging us to be better within our program areas! We are blessed to have him as part of our CTE family!”

Hayes believes in the power of Career and Technical Education. He gets to know kids on a personal level. He works with them to open their eyes to possibilities as they navigate Grayson County High School, and how their current choices will impact their future. He works with them to find connections through their classes to create more and greater opportunities for them.

Hayes has earned the respect of the local business and industry communities. He has collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce to provide a recognition event for pathway completers. In addition, the Chamber has implemented a Work-Ready Scholarship, to create additional post-secondary opportunity for CTE students.

Through CTE programs and offerings that have grown during Hayes’ tenure - new equipment, new programs, new staff and pathways, building up of existing programs - community and public profiles have been elevated. Partnerships are even stronger.

And students are leaving GCHS prepared academically and with the technical and soft skills they will need for their next steps – whether college or career.