Improving academic achievement, graduation rates and school attendance is a nationwide goal amongst school districts. In order to understand how to implement changes and improvements, school districts often collaborate in what is called “partnering districts”. Together, they take part in ongoing research and feedback efforts as well as strategically organized structural changes to shift towards improvement and higher success rates in the classrooms.
Thomas Gaudreau has traversed many roles within the educational structure to serve his partnering district. The school districts as well as each individual school has benefited greatly from each of his contributions. His participation in the educational system and growth in leadership proficiency can be seen in three phases – classroom teaching, administration and finally assistant superintendent of schools.
Leadership was an evident focus in Thomas Gaudreau’s career, seen as early in his first job as an educator in rural South Dakota. In a rural area with a large migrant worker population focused on sheep ranching, Tom immersed himself in the community and learned about Hispanic culture through teaching, coaching and community involvement. Thomas learned all that he could from his first teaching position and utilizes his in-classroom experiences today to understand the learning environment and how to improve it. He was recognized within his school and encouraged to expand into administration.
In order to maintain a competitive career and stay current with the developing generations of students attending school, teachers and staff should expect to continue expanding their own education. At this point in his career, Thomas took responsibility for several projects including curriculum committees, parent involvement efforts and then decided to obtain a degree in administration. Meanwhile he also completed an internship.
Thomas Gaudreau served as Assistant Principal and then Principal of a middle school in Wisconsin. The campus saw significantly reduced levels of drugs, violence, and disruptive behaviors. Academic performance increased as well as student achievement.
Assistant superintendent of schools
After gathering experience both in the classroom and at the head of the school, Thomas Gaudreau was chosen to serve as the Assisted Superintendent of Schools for CUSD #223. His leadership helped lead two school districts to achieve “adequate annual improvement” status under the No Child Left Behind legislative initiative. He now serves as the Founding Director of Chance Light Education Center in Rockford, IL. His focus is serving students with special needs who indicate requirements for low teacher/student ratios, intensive socio-emotional counseling, individualized education plans, collaboration with community services and ongoing support to foster transition for students back to regular schools.
The impact that Thomas has made through his service to a partnering district has been a growing and compounding impact built from passion and leadership initiative throughout his entire career. His time in the classroom fostered the knowledge and attention to the environment in which students will thrive. Transitioning into administration allowed Tom to create influence within the school itself, and he expanded the reach of that influence as he served as assistant superintendent.