Tammy Ridgeway

Tammy Ridgeway

Union High School will have a highly experienced substitute administrator while an administrator is out on maternity leave.

The board of education approved Dr. Tammy Ridgeway to be paid $45 per hour at its September meeting.

“We were very fortunate to be able to find an experienced individual that will be able to support that building,” said Dr. Justin Tarte, the Union R-XI School District’s executive director of human resources, at the meeting.

Ridgeway is working as an independent contractor, according to the memorandum of understanding approved by the board, and will oversee student supervision, attendance and discipline, among other duties. She also will work with other administrators to help meet the needs of 1,000 high school students and 100 administrators, Tarte told The Missourian.

Ridgeway will be filling in for an administrator at the school who is expected to be on maternity leave for 10 to 12 weeks.

Ridgeway, the wife of Union R-XI Athletic Director Dan Ridgeway, was assistant superintendent of secondary schools in the Northwest R-1 School District for four years, retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year, according to Leader Publications. She previously worked for nine years as a principal with the Crystal City School District during a 31-year career in education.

“When you have maternity leave with teachers, you are able to bring in a substitute teacher to fill that slot,” Tarte said. “With administrators, it’s not as easy, especially to find somebody who has administrator experience. I think we’re very fortunate to be able to find Tammy and for her to have some availability to help us out.”

It also is beneficial that Tammy Ridgeway lives in the community and is supportive of what the school district is doing, Tarte said.

“I think it’s a win-win for us,” he said.

Tarte expects Ridgeway to start a couple days before the administrator goes on leave, if possible, which should be within the next month. “That’s pretty common practice. Whenever we have a long-term (leave) for a teacher, we do try to get that long-term sub in there,” Tarte said, “just so they can have some conversation and make sure they are both on the same page.”

Ridgeway will receive personal liability insurance through the district’s provider, the Missouri United School Insurance Council, but will not receive health insurance benefits from the district, and her services can be canceled at any time by either party.

Tarte, who has been with the Union district 10 years, said the last time it had a substitute administrator was at an elementary school during his first or second year with the district.