In 1986, Thomas Ramming met Ollie Gibson, his first professor in his doctoral program at GSE, and it changed his life. After many conversations with Gibson, Ramming decided to pursue a career in human resources with the goal of retiring as school superintendent and then joining the faculty in what was then known as the Department of Educational and Leadership Policy. Following 34 years in K-12 education, including 29 years in various leadership positions, Ramming joined ELP as a full-time clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the Leadership Initiative for Tomorrow’s Schools (LIFTS) program in 2009. Thirteen years later, he retired from his second career, having achieved the rank of clinical associate professor.
Ramming is most proud of the contributions he has made to the careers of more than 150 school leaders across New York State. He measures the success of the LIFTS program, and his own influence, by the percentage of graduates from LIFTS who went on to become school leaders, a number that continues to exceed 70%.
In retirement, Ramming will continue to enjoy outdoor sports, travel and, perhaps someday soon, championships for the Bills and Sabres!