Tredway to head RE1J
Longtime Gunnison educator named district’s new superintendent
Originally published 2013-03-28
Sometimes the best answers lie close to home.
Such was the case for the Gunnison Watershed RE1J School Board in its decision regarding a new superintendent this week. After interviewing two district employees for the position Monday, board members voted unanimously to extend an offer to current Gunnison Middle School (GMS) Principal Doug Tredway — a longtime educator in the local school system.
Tredway will replace Superintendent Jon Nelson, who is retiring, beginning July 1.
School Board members had their pick Monday of two current Gunnison principals. Gunnison High School’s (GHS) Andy Hanks was also in the running for the top spot in the local school district.
“I can say that we had two very qualified internal candidates, and we were very excited to have the opportunity to pick someone locally,” said board President Jim Perkins.
Nelson announced his retirement in January after five years at the helm of RE1J. The opening was posted, and by the end of February, 15 applications had been submitted. But the School Board decided to consider local candidates first.
“(Tredway) has been here a long time and has experience at several levels,” said Perkins. “He’s seen the district and curriculum grow and is in the know about what goes on in our district. I think he will do a great job.
“He has lots of contacts in the community and it’s not like he has to get acquainted in every area.”
Education runs in Tredway’s blood. At the age of 4, his family moved to Gunnison, where his father, Dan, had accepted a position at then-Western State College as an education professor. Tredway’s mother, Nancy, also was a longtime teacher in the local school district.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, Tredway began teaching physical education and industrial arts and coaching football and wrestling in Gunnison schools.
He earned a master’s degree in secondary education in 1986 and in 2003 became principal at GMS.
Tredway said that he viewed his pursuit of the superintendent spot as the logical next step.
“I’ve kind of always jumped at those leadership opportunities, even as a teacher,” he said. “I’m really invested in the initiatives the district is involved in.”
That includes a host of measures aimed at improving students’ success — from making better use of data to realigning curricula throughout the district.
Tredway views financial questions facing the district as the greatest challenge in coming years.
“Our state has been under funding education,” he said. “That’s nothing new. People are aware of that.”
Tredway’s wife, Kaylonn, taught social studies and German at GHS for 27 years before recently retiring. The Tredways have two grown children who attended Gunnison schools as well.
President Perkins indicated that while the School Board will ultimately approve the hiring of a new principal to fill Tredway’s shoes at GMS, that decision is largely at the discretion of RE1J’s administration.
“In this case, we’re certainly interested in getting the right fit in there,” he added. “I think it’s something Jon Nelson will have to take the lead on and he’ll probably work with (Tredway). I think we’ll probably have a smooth transition with the new superintendent.”
“We have a solid school district,” Perkins continued. “Good teachers are making the difference every day in the classroom. We certainly want to continue that, and I think we have the leadership in place to make it happen.”
(Will Shoemaker can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org)