Creal will continue being education advocate
Mary Gales Askren
Published: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Retiring school superintendent Tim Creal may be passionately committed to education now, but he wasn’t when he started college.
“I had aspirations of being a professional baseball player,” he said with a grin.
Scouts had recommended he play college ball, so he went to Black Hills State University where he started pre-pharmacy, but “majored in baseball.” Somewhere along the line, his focus shifted and he graduated with a degree in education and math.
He taught both in South Dakota and Oregon before beginning a master’s degree in education administration. At the time, he was teaching in New Underwood and had been approached by board members about the possibility of becoming the school superintendent.
“I think it was the right time for me to move from teaching to administration,” Creal said, explaining he was getting stagnant and needed a new challenge.
Education administration has been challenging. From the beginning, school funding has been an issue. In New Underwood, because of the low tax base, capital outlay was always a challenge. In Custer, with the strong local tax base, that isn’t a problem, but the general fund is. In nearly 20 years as a school administrator, Creal has seen only one year that was an exception – the year there was a significant increase to impact aid.
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