LOU Reads Director Tamara Hillmer to retire at end of June

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

OXFORD, Miss. — LOU Reads Director of Early Childhood and Reading Development Tamara Hillmer will retire from her position at the end of June after heading the program for the last five years.

Hillmer was instrumental in bringing the Barksdale Institute for Reading Parent Academy to Oxford in the 2019-2020 school year. The program, which is intended for parents of three-, four- and five-year olds in the Oxford and Lafayette school districts, is designed to help parents better prepare their children for kindergarten by teaching “kindergarten readiness” skills.

The program was shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now Hillmer hopes she can revive the program as one last service for the community.

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“I want to bring back the Parent Academy that we had pre-COVID,” Hillmer said. “A lot of parents are asking for that and I said that will be my contribution to LOU Reads.”

School Readiness Coordinator Cara Buffington will take over the program while Oxford Superintendent Bradley Roberson and Lafayette Superintendent Jay Foster work in collaboration to find a permanent replacement for Hillmer.