Thomas Reed Named to 40 Under 40 Class of 2022

Name

Thomas Reed

Company/Organization

Otsego Public Schools

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What Does Your Company/Organization Do?

We are a public school system serving Otsego, Michigan.

Age

34

Accomplishments

I am entering my sixth year as a high school principal – five years at Lawrence Jr./Sr. High School and now one year at Otsego High School.

What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?

Over the next few years, I hope to continue to meet student needs by supporting teachers and establishing a high-performing school community by forming positive relationships.

Education

  • Grace College – B.A. in Elementary Education (2011)
  • Western Michigan University – M.A. in K-12 School Administration (2014)

Residence

Lawrence, MI

Where were you born?

Warsaw, IN

What was your first job?

Teaching middle school math at Eau Claire Public Schools. I had my youngest brother in my first class!

Best advice you ever got?

I worked at a golf course in college and the supervisor had a very inappropriate saying that I’ve always remembered – it reminds me to focus on the important priorities and let the smaller things go!

Who inspires you most?

My parents – they keep me grounded, focused on my own values, and know me best. They’re also honest and quick to tell me when I’m off track.

That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.

I’m a beekeeper – right now I have eight hives.

What do you love to do in your downtime?

I love to be outdoors I have two bird dogs that I spend a lot of time with, and I’m currently turning eight acres of old farmland into native prairie habitat to improve pollinator populations in my local area.

What book are you reading now?

The President and the Assassin, by Scott Miller. I’m working my way through the presidential biographies to try and keep a healthy perspective about our current political situation.

Volunteer activity you love the most.

I’m very involved with conservation organizations like Pheasants Forever and Ruffed Grouse Society. It’s important to me to continue to pass along values that encompass the love of nature and the pursuit of time outdoors.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

The success of public schools and local communities are tied hand and hand. I don’t think one can improve or succeed without the other. I truly believe that public education is one of the components of a democratic society. Selfishly – I also want to leave a better community for my daughter!

What Superpower would you most love to have? (for example, the ability to fly or to be invisible, or incredible strength, etc)

Precognition – I like to know what’s coming next.

What would you like to leave behind as your legacy once you are gone?

Education has changed tremendously in the past few years, and not always for the better. I’d like to set the stage for an improved and more effective public school system.

What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?

It’s an honor to be selected – but the people who have encouraged and supported me over the past years are really the ones who deserve this award!