As the summer heat swelters and the kids are out enjoying the pool, working summer jobs and getting ready for college, the staff at North Tama is hard at work in getting ready for the next school year.
Last week, the North Tama County Community School Board officially voted to approve the hiring of a new principal, Paul Rea, who will be providing leadership in the wake of Irv Laube's departure. Laube's resignation came after 12 years of loyal service to the school and community, and will benefit the students at Dike-New Hartford in the coming years.
Here in Traer this week, administrators at the school are working on scheduling for the 2012-13 school year, and Rea is beginning to get acclimated to his new position. Rea was kind enough to take the time to discuss his background, and his plans for the future here in Traer.
Rea comes to North Tama from the Expo Alternative Learning Center in Waterloo, where he taught for three years. The school is for students who have been forced out of Waterloo's major high schools due to academic or behavioral issues, so Rea has experience in dealing with some of the toughest cases out there.
He was also a teacher at Waterloo Columbus prior to that. For Rea, the chance to return to his small-town roots is something that weighed heavily on his decision to come here.
"I'm a small town person, and I enjoy communities where the school is the center of the community," Rea said. "This is the type of town I grew up in."
The chance to work with a broader range of students is also something that is important to him, and he will certainly have his hands full here. He will be serving as both principal and activities director, as his predecessor did.
"I enjoy being able to help a large number of students be successful," Rea said. "That's why I went into administration and that's my goal here in Traer."
In addition to his teaching work, Rea also has a passion for high school athletics, something that the football-crazy Redhawk fans will certainly appreciate. And coming off two years in which the athletic program has made major strides in state competition, Rea's experience will allow him to successfully manage the day-to-day operation of an athletic program.
"I coached football at Waterloo Columbus for a number of years as an assistant coach," Rea said. "I was also an assistant track coach."
Outside of his busy life adjusting to the ins and outs of life at North Tama, Rea is a husband and father who hopes to move his family to town in the not-too-distant future.
"We will be moving to Traer, probably not right away as my son has some extensive speech needs that we have set up with doctors here [in Waterloo]," Rea said. "My wife is a Cedar Falls police officer, so Traer is still within good commuting distance for her."
Traer seems to be a good fit for Rea, and all indications are that he is a good fit for Traer.
"We want our kids to have the same type of community to grow up in that we had," Rea said. "We definitely hope to move to the area and become a part of the community."