Tammy Ridgeway, the Northwest R-1 School District’s assistant superintendent of secondary schools, is retiring at the end of this school year, after four years with the district and 31 years as an educator in public schools.
Previously, Ridgeway worked nine years as a principal for the Crystal City School District.
Ridgeway, 54, of Union said she was eligible for retirement this year and felt the timing was right.
She is being paid a $125,550.40 annual salary this school year, said Chuck McPherson, Northwest’s coordinator of communications and community relations.
While Ridgeway doesn’t have any big plans for retirement, she said it will be nice to have more time to spend with her family, including her husband, Dan Ridgeway, who is the athletic director at the Union School District and also is close to retirement, as well as three adult children.
“Public education is something that’s very near and dear to my heart, and it’s hard to kind of think about what’s next, but there will be something next,” she said.
Northwest superintendent Desi Kirchhofer said Ridgeway will be missed.
“Dr. Ridgeway was reliable, hard-working, dedicated, and most importantly, student centered,” he said. “She was very enjoyable to work with and approached each day with a positive attitude. She has a great balance of getting the work accomplished with a sense of humor. She is a great thinker and problem solver and we appreciate her contributions over the past four years.”
Kirchhofer said Ridgeway wore a lot of hats in her job at Northwest.
“Her work at Northwest included supervision and development of our secondary principals,” he said. “While doing so, she was also in charge of revising and updating curriculum as well as serving as the district assessment coordinator. She was also highly involved in the A+ programs and Missouri’s virtual school programs.”
Ridgeway started her career in education in 1989 in Lawson and then worked in Apache Junction, Ariz., as an assistant principal before moving back to Missouri to work for the Crystal City School District. Ridgeway left Crystal City in 2009 and worked as an assistant superintendent of secondary education in Jefferson City, before taking the job at Northwest.
“I think everywhere I have been, I think the thing I’m most proud of is the relationships I’ve built with families and with parents and with teachers,” she said. “I think the heart of education is building relationships with those you work with and empowering them to be better than they ever believed they can be.”
Kirchhofer said Ridgeway’s position has been posted and the district is reviewing applicants. Interviews are expected to begin soon.
Ridgeway said she hopes to help train her replacement.
“I want to be a resource and assist the next person coming in to be the most successful they can be because that’s what our students and teachers need,” she said. “I will do anything to set them up to be in the right place to be super successful.”