Helena superintendent Ream talks about decision to step down next year

Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 20:44:04-04

HELENA — Helena Public Schools Superintendent Tyler Ream says he loves his work, but that it is time for him to reconsider his priorities.

“There are only so many years, especially with young children, and I really want to make sure that I’m serving the best that I can as an educator, but also in other roles – father and husband – that are really important to me,” he said.

Ream has decided to step down from his position next June, at the end of the school year. He made the official announcement at a school board meeting Tuesday evening.

“I was thankful for the opportunity to be honest and be able to explain to our trustees – really our community, and certainly all of my colleagues – my very personal decision,” he said.

Ream and his wife have two children, currently ages 10 and 8.

Ream became superintendent in 2018. He has overseen the district for just over two years – an eventful period that saw the opening of three new elementary schools, the transition of East Helena high school students out of the district, a challenging budget situation and the debates over the future of school resource officers. Most recently, he has been heavily involved with planning the district’s response to COVID-19.

He said he announced his plans now to give the board time to find a new superintendent, but that he was committed to seeing the district through this COVID-affected year.

“I’m dedicated to make sure that we work our way through this year,” said Ream. “This is going to be a difficult year. I think we all knew that going into the year, but we can get through this together.”

Ream said he hasn’t decided what he will do after June 2021. He said he has made his whole career in education, and he’s now in an unfamiliar position.

“I don’t know what the next step is,” he said. “I love education, my family loves Montana, and I’ve tried to be very open that, if it can be in Montana, somewhere local, I think that would serve our family needs very, very well.”

After Ream’s announcement, board chair Luke Muszkiewicz told MTN he was thankful for Ream’s leadership and sorry to see him go, but that he respected Ream’s decision. He said trustees will now begin the process of looking for his replacement.