LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - After 53 years of service to public education, Dr. George Reado will be retiring from the Calcasieu Parish School Board. While he most recently served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Schools, Dr. Reado started as a classroom teacher, spent time as a principal and then as a District Supervisor. No matter the title he held, students have always been his primary focus.
“I’ve done it for 54 years and I have enjoyed every moment of it. But I have realized that I need to spend some time doing other things, other than education," Dr. George Reado said.
“Dr. Reado is a tremendous advocate for children, and he fought for what is right every day,” said Dr. Jill Portie, Administrative Director of Elementary Schools. “Conversations with him are always a learning experience because he listens intently, shares his wisdom, and has such a kind way of saying the hard stuff. His compassion for others goes beyond measure, and he is one amazing leader.”
On Thursday, a surprise drive-by parade was held to show Dr. Reado just how appreciated he is.
“I have never been more surprised in my entire life," said Dr. Reado. “It means the world.”
Dr. Reado is a 1963 graduate of W.O. Boston High School. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and then his master’s degree from McNeese State University. His doctoral studies were completed in 1998 at Colombia Pacific University.
After serving for many years as an outstanding classroom teacher, Dr. Reado became Principal at J.J. Johnson Elementary School. While in that capacity, he was selected as Calcasieu’s Elementary Principal of the Year. Not only did Dr. Reado elevate academic achievement at J. J. Johnson, but he also connected his students and teachers to many community outreach activities. During this time, he received many community-based awards from entities such as the Kiwanis Club, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
When Dr. Reado was promoted to Supervisor of Elementary Schools, he took the lead in ushering in a new era of accountability and increased standardized testing. He was a stern taskmaster and believed in bolstering student achievement through common-sense strategies. When another promotion was earned, Dr. Reado found himself as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for over 26 elementary schools located throughout Calcasieu Parish.
He was a proponent of positive attitudes and traditional education practices, while also earning a reputation as an innovator that could adapt to changing times. Throughout his many decades of service, Dr. Reado maintained a focus on standards-based results for children and quality professional development for teachers.
“Dr. Reado has been a role model for me in my career,” said College Oaks Elementary Principal Willona Jackson. “His poise, grace, and compassion would always shine through in everything he did. He was always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but at the end of the day, all decisions were consistently made with what was best for children at the center of the matter.”
A trusted advisor to multiple superintendents, he provided decision-makers with a unique insight into schools, education, and community needs. A calm, professional manner linked with a steady vision made him one of the strongest institutional assets in the history of the Calcasieu Parish School Board. He has touched countless lives through his good works and example.
“Dr. Reado is a strong and caring man,” said Johnnie Sue Moore, a retired CPSB elementary consultant. “He was incredibly supportive of those who worked under him and was a staunch defender of best practices for students and teachers. Dr. Reado was never afraid to make changes when they were in the best interest of the student’s education.”