Ray revives family recycling tradition

Math+teacher+David+Ray+takes+out+the+recycling+he%E2%80%99s+collected+over+the+week+and+prepares+to+drive+it+out+to+a+recycling+center.+He+decision+to+begin+recycling+resides+in+a+desire+to+get+a+head+start+on+his+son%E2%80%99s+college+funds.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Ray revives family recycling tradition

Math teacher David Ray takes out the recycling he’s collected over the week and prepares to drive it out to a recycling center. He decision to begin recycling resides in a desire to get a head start on his son’s college funds.

Math teacher David Ray takes out the recycling he’s collected over the week and prepares to drive it out to a recycling center. He decision to begin recycling resides in a desire to get a head start on his son’s college funds.

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Math teacher David Ray takes out the recycling he’s collected over the week and prepares to drive it out to a recycling center. He decision to begin recycling resides in a desire to get a head start on his son’s college funds.

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Math teacher David Ray takes out the recycling he’s collected over the week and prepares to drive it out to a recycling center. He decision to begin recycling resides in a desire to get a head start on his son’s college funds.

CAITLIN TRAN

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






RHS math teacher David Ray has continued his grandfather’s tradition of recycling cans with a transformed purpose: to save for his children’s college textbooks.

When his eldest son, Dylan, was born, Ray began to think about the prospect of paying for his future college education, and realized that his solution was to start saving as early as possible, even if it was in small increments.

“It’s the idea of a whole bunch of ‘littles’ adding up to a lot,” Ray said.

Part of Ray’s solution and the source of this savings fund comes from his decision to put a recycling bin in his classroom and make trips every few months to the recycling center.

He believes in the benefits of recycling waste and values the financial cushion it offers.

“That’s waste that’s actually not waste anymore,” Ray said. “Only good comes from it. I can’t see any negatives. It feels good to put that money in their savings accounts.”

Each trip earns $50-60 for Ray, who has collected over $3000 for each of his two children. Ray hopes to save $10,000 for each of them by the time they reach college.

“I’m not on pace, so I am going to start matching the funds I put into their accounts each time,” Ray said.

His financial goal is aided by the fact that the college savings accounts he utilizes for his kids possess 2.4% interest, a rate he says is hard to come by nowadays.

Ray understands the financial burden of college tuition and materials his children will face, so he hopes to ease their stress by providing them with the funds for textbooks and whatever other college related costs they will face.

He also aims to expose his kids to the idea of recycling early on in their lives in order to teach them the importance of individual actions.

“I have taught my kids the idea of acting locally and thinking globally,” Ray said.

Ray’s holistic philosophy is shown not only through his effort to recycle, but also in the advice he offers his IM2 and Honors Pre-Calculus students. He believe that seeking progress in small doses, like getting math several times, even if for just a few minutes, can make a big change – exactly in the way that several small monetary rewards from recycling will help his children a lot in their future.

Ray’s classroom neighbor and friend, fellow math teacher Miguel Quinonez, fully supports Ray’s practice by encouraging his own students, as well as students attending Tiger Tutoring, to recycle and then giving Ray the chance to collect those recyclables.

“I think it’s commendable that he makes the effort to pick up the recycling from his classroom and mine,” Quinonez said.

Ray’s student, Nick Kimball, believes in the importance of Ray’s efforts to recycle.

“We should be doing whatever we can to help save the environment,” Kimball said.

Ray is able to fondly recall the days of going on walks with his grandfather and collecting bags of bottles and cans to recycle along the way.

“I believe in doing the most good I can regarding the environment,” Ray said. “It’s a bit nostalgic for me, too, because my grandpa was a recycler. Everytime I grab a piece of recycling I think of him.”

Ray hopes that his kids will one day feel the effort he put into saving for their education, and positively influence them to carry on the tradition.

“When they are ready to have their own children, they are going to have to reflect and say ‘I’m either going to not save for my children,’ or ‘I’m going to save for my children,’” Ray said. “I hope they choose the latter.”