Incoming Helena superintendent Ream visits community, reacts to Rossiter flooding

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:00:39-04

HELENA – Helena’s incoming school superintendent wrapped up a week-long visit to the community Friday, just over a month before he will officially start managing the school district.

Tyler Ream spent the week meeting with current superintendent Jack Copps and other school administrators, speaking to community leaders at the Hometown Helena forum and touring the construction sites where three new elementary schools are being built.

“It’s been a busy week, but it’s been a blast,” he said.

Ream’s visit was planned weeks ago, but happened to coincide with serious flooding in the Helena Valley that displaced students and employees from Rossiter Elementary School. On Friday, he visited the campus, along with district maintenance leaders. He said he’s been impressed by the response from the district, local governments and volunteers.

“I think the piece that is most impressive is the human effort,” said Ream. “That human effort comes from those that serve publicly and those that are private citizens, that are really working hand in hand with their neighbors and doing what’s right to help protect property.”

The Rossiter building has been closed all week because of rising water that cut off access to the school. Fourth- and fifth-grade classes have been held at Helena Middle School. Starting Monday, Carroll College is providing space for all Rossiter students and employees, through the end of the school year.

”To be here over the last few days and see how our team has responded and the thoughtfulness that has gone into this, to see the amazing partners that are Carroll College and their leaders, and the generosity to take our kids in and take our staff in and help us feel at home in that facility, it really has been an impressive situation,” said Ream. “While I would have never hoped for this, I’m really thankful that I was here and I could experience that firsthand.”

Ream’s trip also came as voters in the East Helena School District officially voted to build a high school of their own. East Helena residents will stop paying taxes to the Helena School District in July.

Ream said leaders have been preparing for months for the possibility that East Helena could break away from Helena Public Schools. He said he’s looking forward to serving East Helena students and families for the next few years, until the transition is completed.

“They have made their voice clear through their vote,” he said. “I wish them the absolute best, and commit our resources and support in making sure that we get this right for their children.”

Ream’s first official day as superintendent will be July 1.

“We will be counting the days for our return and to become residents of Helena,” he said. “We’re really sincerely excited and honored to have that opportunity.”