Monday, August 8, 2016

Associate Superintendents Lead School Innovation, Performance in New Roles

Tyler Ream

Associate Superintendent for Academic Performance and Support Tyler Ream
Tyler Ream knows what the future looks like, and he’s extremely interested in what it holds.

“What motivates me? I’m motivated by the profound potential of our students,” Ream said. “Each child is TBD (to be determined) and our hope for a better tomorrow rests in how we as adults develop our children to become more than our current generations of adults.”

Ream, now associate superintendent for academic performance and support, worked with Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in Charlotte, N.C., and joined SBISD last year as associate superintendent for school performance.

Academic performance is something Ream knows and knows well. After graduating from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., Ream spent his first classroom year as a non-credentialed teacher of second-graders in the Santa Ana (Calif.) Unified School District before teaching fourth- and fifth-graders in the Tustin (Calif.) Unified School District for four years. He was recognized in 2004 as the District Teacher of the Year and later that year he became principal of Marjorie Veeh Elementary School. He spent three years as a principal, helping students achieve outcomes that were all-time highs for that school.

The Los Angeles native moved east to Charlotte in 2007, joining CMS as chief of staff. Over the next eight years, Ream served in various roles, including regional superintendent for two areas of the city. In 2014, Ream approached his superintendent with a request to become the principal of Albemarle Road Elementary, at the time the largest elementary in the state with nearly 1,500 students and a school that had not achieved growth in many years. Ream spent two years as principal at Albemarle Road and through school redesign, student outcomes improved as the school met growth expectations in 2014 and then exceeded expectations in 2015. As a result, Albemarle Road Elementary was removed from the state’s low performing schools list.

In his new SBISD role, Ream is responsible for the district’s schools and all academic-related matters including curriculum, instruction, student support services, academic support services and school administration.

It’s a role that serves school leadership and staff so that the schools can focus on serving students.

“Everyone understands the accountability associated with ensuring that our students are learning at high levels,” said Ream. “But in a support role, my job is to ensure that we (district) are doing everything possible to see that our schools are able to achieve according to the visions that they have set.”

Fast File

BA -- Concordia University, Irvine
MA -- Pepperdine University
EdD -- University of Southern California

Elliott Witney

Associate Superintendent of Research and Design Elliott Witney

Elliott Witney knows that Every Child has potential. The hard part is releasing it.

“Every child’s potential can be unlocked,” Witney said. “We have the chance to do that (in SBISD). And in doing that, we can create a blueprint for other communities across America.

Witney knows what he’s talking about. The new associate superintendent of research and design will be leading a team responsible for driving innovation at the classroom, campus, and district level; improving data/analytics and research/evaluation capacity; implementing the district’s new strategic plan; and, supporting the district’s portfolio of school choice options.

What does all that mean? It goes back to the district’s goal of T-2-4 – the district will double the number of students completing a technical certificate, military training, two-year degree or four-year degree.

“That singular goal requires learning from others, and it also requires creative thinking and problem solving in areas that nobody’s figured out yet,” said Witney. “In a way, we’re charged with helping campuses solve whatever challenges they encounter as they try to unlock the potential of every child on their campuses.”

Several years ago, armed with a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Elliott found education to be his calling when he moved to Houston to teach in Houston ISD.

He soon joined the faculty at KIPP Academy MS, a public charter school and the first KIPP school in the country.  He later served as school leader for ten years and played several key leadership roles (chief academic officer, head of schools) in KIPP Houston and nationally through the KIPP Foundation during a rapid growth phase.

He joined SBISD in 2012 as executive director of strategic initiatives and innovation, where he supported the design and implementation of district strategy, all leadership-related human capital efforts, and targeted innovation – including the SKY Partnership, an innovative partnership with SBISD, KIPP Houston, and YES Prep.

From his unique perspective as a charter school leader and now a traditional public school leader, Witney’s motivation is deceptively simple.

“I want world-class schools for every child.”

BA – English, University of Pennsylvania

MA – Administration and Supervision, National-Louis University
EdD – in progress


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