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Helena Public Schools superintendent to step down in 2021
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Helena Public Schools superintendent to step down in 2021

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Helena Public Schools Superintendent Tyler Ream announced Tuesday that he is resigning at the conclusion of this school year.

Ream made the formal announcement during Tuesday's school board meeting. He cited the need to focus on his family as the reason for stepping down. He and his wife Thi have two kids in the Helena School District.

“To me it’s a very personal decision,” he said in an interview. “I’ve given everything I can and continue to give everything I can to Helena and to the school district, and that comes with personal ramifications and whether or not I can do that and do the job I need to as a husband and a father.”

Ream described the job of superintendent as “all encompassing” and a full-time commitment in terms of availability for decision-making. Dealing with COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges a school district typically faces, and Ream said he had to come to grips with how much time he was missing with his family.

His candor about his reasons for leaving came from a desire to be honest with the community, he said.

“I know we’re in a difficult school year and I absolutely want to make sure I’m doing the best for our students, our parents, our educators, but I have to be honest with everybody on the other side of this and I’ve got to be a better dad and husband too. That’s the hard truth,” he said.

Ream was hired in 2018 after previously serving as associate superintendent at Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston. He recently signed a contract to continue as Helena’s superintendent for the next three years.

Ream said he remains fully committed this school year. He is unsure what will happen after the year ends but wants to remain in the state.

“I have been and continue to be incredibly honored to serve here in Helena,” he said. “My family truly loves Montana. I don’t know the next steps but I hope it’s here in Montana.”

Helena School Board of Trustees Chair Luke Muszkiewicz praised Ream Tuesday.

"Superintendent Ream has done an incredible job leading our district," he said. "His work during this pandemic has been nothing short of extraordinary. I am both thankful for his accomplishments and grateful that he will continue his leadership through the end of this school year.

"Make no mistake, I am saddened, and I do not want him to go. Yet I know he has made this decision carefully, and I know that he is making this decision for the right reasons."

Muszkiewicz said the board and the district will now begin the search for a new superintendent.

"Our search for the next superintendent will commence in earnest, and I'm confident that our next leader will build upon the progress that Superintendent Ream has made during his tenure," he said. "Helena Public Schools is full of wonderful educators, caring families and the finest students in the state, and this board will work hard to ensure we meet the expectations of our community."

Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin

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