R. Melvin Gateley was born in Oran, Missouri, and graduated from Oran High School in 1944. He attended Southeast Missouri State College and receiving his B. S. degree in 1950. He received his M.A. in School Administration from George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1956. In 1977, he received a Specialist in Education Degree from Southeast Missouri State University. Melvin’s career in education began in 1948 as a teacher in Oran, Missouri and continued for 38 years. He retired in 1986 as the principal of L. J. Schultz Middle School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is very active in civic groups, local government, and the economic development of this community and his church.