William Gay was the first Superintendent of Schools at McAlester (1900-1909). There was only one school building when he took charge: It was a wooden building with only four rooms. Prior to this time there were only Indian schools from which whites were excluded. McAlester was one of the first towns in Oklahoma to establish a system of public instruction. The first class to graduate from McAlester High School was in 1903 with twelve students succeding in obtaining their diploma.
Mr. Gay devoted his entire life to school work and he was considered without equal in the state as a leader in education.