Saturday, November 1, 2014
Loading...


Voter's Guide



Neat will no longer be in a school, but plans to continue learning

After 51 years in education, Thomas Neat is retiring.

Posted on June 22, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Starting July 1, Thomas Neat may no longer formally work inside a school building, but he plans to continue several of the themes of those years by traveling, continuing to learn and making friends wherever he can.

Neat, 74, assistant superintendent of instruction for Elkhart Community Schools, is retiring this summer after working 18 years for the Elkhart school system and 51 years in education.

“It’s been a very honored profession and I’ve been very blessed by the opportunity,” he said.

Though he thought after high school that he would pursue a civil engineering degree, he ended up earning a degree from Ball State University’s Teachers College, then moving to Michigan to work as a community school director in multiple school buildings, while taking graduate school courses. He has also been a high school principal in Grand Rapids, Mich., superintendent of Anderson Community Schools and an educational leadership professor at Ball State.

A large part of his job has been staying in contact with public policy makers. He has attended the Third House meetings in Elkhart since he moved to the area, but he’s also been moderating them for more than 10 years. He’s enjoyed being able to hear the varying viewpoints and the discussions through the years.

“To be a true educator, you have to think beyond just your own day-to-day work, but how it all fits together,” he said.

Looking back through the years, he’s especially proud of Elkhart Community Schools’ strides for full-day kindergarten in all its schools and other measures toward promoting early childhood education.

He’ll miss the people he’s been able to work with through the years, but plans to continue to make more friends.

He wants to “just find ways to continue understanding our world and our many cultures and to develop as many friendships as I can,” he said. “That’s what I’ll do, am going to do.”

“This is home,” Neat said, but he and “the other Dr. Neat,” his wife, Sue, plan to travel.


Recommended for You


Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
 Eric Frein, charged with murder of Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Byron Dickson and critically wounding Trooper Alex Douglass Sept. 10, is taken to prison after a preliminary hearing in Pike County Courthouse on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 in Milford, Pa. (AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Michael J. Mullen)

Posted 28 minutes ago
 Costumed characters distribute Hershey candies as trader Edward Curran works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. U.S. stocks are opening higher following big gains in Asia after Japan made moves to rev up its economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Posted 1 hour ago
Back to top ^