Newly appointed Great Falls School District Superintendent, Tammy Lacey, recalls "as a very small girl. . . I knew I wanted to be a teacher". Lacey followed her dreams and very soon they came true with her first job as a first grade teacher at Valley View. She says, "I realized that I had some leadership potential during that time and began my master degree right away in educational leadership".
That was her first step to expanding her love of teaching and education to taking on more managerial roles. She became the first ever Great Falls Teacher on Special Assignment, which is a teachers teaching teachers model still used in the district today. She explains, "it's a coaching model where they take teachers out of the classroom and they coach and develop materials and offer training opportunities."
Continuing this leadership trend, she eventually became principal at Fairfield elementary. She says, "I had the opportunity to wear many different hats in the small school district learning about all aspects of public education".
Lacey says, "I had a desire to come back to my home town. I did graduate from CMR". After another stint as a principal, Lacey made the switch to administration being appointed Human Resources Director 6 years ago. She says it was an opportunity to "really learning the business side of a school district".
Wearing all those hats led her to where she is today, the incoming superintendent of Great Falls Public Schools. She says, "I have an understanding of the district as a former student, as a parent, as a teacher, district administrator, and as a community member".
The transition period the last three months has been a whirlwind as she begins taking on her new role. Lacey meets with current superintendent Dr. Cheryl Crawley weekly.
Lacey's top initiatives include Graduation Matters. She says, "getting 100% of our students with a diploma is so important to the future of our nation". The sustainability of early childhood education is another focus. However, most important she says is student achievement. Lacey says, "we have to make sure that all students have every opportunity to reach their full potential".
Lacey says she's excited, nervous, but prepared. Lacey asks the community to be patient because she has a lot to learn and she will make mistakes. She officially takes over as superintendent on July 1st.