What was your most important initiative?
I couldn’t possibly nail it down to just one. There were many programs we, as an entire staff, put forward to help students. The change to the school day to incorporate lunch/study hall, greater access to level IV and V classes to under-represented students, the on-site Transition Program with the addition of the Transition House, garden and coffee shop, and the upcoming 1:1 program to name a few have all been critical to student success.
What are a few things you are most proud of?
Our capital projects, strong fiscal position and high financial ratings have always been points of pride for the district. I inherited a smart and beneficial practice of issuing bonds for major capital improvements, along with excellent fiscal conditions. More than a decade later, I am happy to be able to pass along these same circumstances.
What was your most eye-opening moment?
On my first day, I hadn’t been sitting in the superintendent office more than three hours when our Community Relations Coordinator knocked on my door and said, “Tim, CNN is on the line.” It was at that moment I knew this job was going to be full of challenges. Fortunately, it has been just as rewarding.
What were some of your biggest challenges?
Preserving tradition while moving forward isn’t always easy. LT has valued traditions, many of which bring families back to LT, generation after generation. Those same families also expect new and innovative education. Marrying the two – the new and the old – may sound easy, but it can be difficult.
What would you change about the position?
I would love more time with students. My door was always open, I walked the halls, and made it a point to know students, but politics has increasingly crept into education and it tends to distract superintendents from the real mission.
Did your job turn out as you expected?
While I didn’t know with 100% certainty what to expect, I have been in education for so long and worked alongside several outstanding superintendents, I knew many of the pitfalls and plusses of the position.
What will you miss most?
That’s easy – without a doubt, the students and the staff.
What are your three wishes for LT?
1. Harmonious dealings. Work together for a common purpose
2. Embrace the invaluable and continuous support from LT communities and alumni
3. Maintain strong partnerships with our associate school districts and local municipalities
All three wishes really center around the fact that LT doesn’t work in a vacuum. We may be the flagship of the 11 communities we serve, but we must work together inside and outside the school for what’s best for all students.
If you had one piece of advice for incoming Superintendent Dr. Brian Waterman, what would it be?
We have some of the best and brightest administrators, teachers and staff. They are willing to share their time and talents. Surround yourself with bright people and they will deliver. That goes for students, too. Our student body is remarkable and capable of great things. Collectively, LT can tackle anything.
What are your plans for retirement?
First and foremost, I will re-engage with my family, mother and brothers. I owe them some of my time, and I look forward to making good on my debt. I will continue to work, but when, where and what I am not sure.