Dr. Tad Savage

Senior Specialist


Dr. Tad Savage is assistant director of Accelerating Character Education and Development at NIET. He joined NIET after 33 years of experience in education including ten years as a teacher, 19 years as a principal, and five years as an assistant superintendent.

Tad is student-centered leader who prioritizes relationships and character development. His positivity, kindness, and enthusiasm establish a school culture where all students and staff experience success. Character.org named Tad's school as a Missouri School of Character and a National School of Character in 2008 and 2016. His school also won 11 Promising Practice Awards from Character.org during his tenure as principal. Tad was named St. Louis Association of Secondary Schools Principal (SASSP) of the Year in 2009 and the National Association of Secondary Schools Missouri Middle School Principal of the Year in 2010. In 2013 Tad was awarded the Consummate Professional Award by SASSP. 

Tad earned his Bachelor of Science in education from Drake University and his Master of Education in educational administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Tad earned his Specialist in Educational Leadership degree and doctorate in educational leadership from St. Louis University. Tad served as an adjunct professor for Lindenwood University's online program for ten years. He currently serves as a mentor in the Character Education in Emerging Leaders (CEEL) Academy created by the Center for Character and Citizenship.

Dr. Tad  Savage

Why are you passionate about working at NIET?

I am passionate about working with NIET because of its commitment to expanding high-quality training that supports teachers, principals, and district-level administrators in successfully implementing character education into every facet of their school.  My own experience as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent have shown me that for schools to be truly inclusive and successful, they must develop a culture of trust, autonomy, and most importantly, a sense of belonging for all.

Who is your favorite teacher in school and why?

I was fortunate to have many wonderful teachers in my life so it's difficult to narrow it down to a single person. Each of them served as a role model for me in a variety of ways and helped to form my personal and professional mosaic. This is why I am so passionate about character education and helping teachers and school leaders understand how powerful a role they have in the lives of our children.

What do you do in your free time?

My life used to revolve around soccer, but now that my three sons are all grown up, I have more time to enjoy a wide range of activities. I love spending time with my wife attending concerts, sporting events, snow skiing, golf, and traveling. We also spend summer weekends boating at the lake where we enjoy all types of water sports. Finally, I love to run and have completed 30 marathons all over the country.