As an educator

for 23 years —

I built relationships.

As a CEO for 20 years —

I built a successful business.

As a leader for 44 years —

I built coalitions and

solved problems.

Dr. J. Timothy (Tim) Waters, EdD,

served as President and CEO of McREL International from April 7, 1995 until September 30, 2014. He joined McREL in 1993 as the Deputy Director following 23 years in K-12 education as a teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, education policy advisor to Arizona’s Governor Bruce Babbitt, and school district superintendent.


In each of his professional roles, Dr. Waters was acknowledged as an innovator and leader of education improvement and reform. As superintendent of the Greeley Colorado school district he led a seven-year standards-based initiative that produced dramatic gains in student achievement and narrowed gaps between high- and low-achievers. Under Dr. Waters’ leadership, McREL International became recognized as one of the world’s leading education research, development, and service organizations, headquartered in Denver, CO with offices in Nashville, TN, Charleston, WV, Honolulu, HI, and Melbourne, Australia. In a 2006 study published by Education Week, McREL was listed as one of the most influential organizations in U.S. education.

During his tenure at McREL, Dr. Waters served on a variety of national boards and commissions. He was appointed by Governor Roy Romer to the Colorado Commission on Education on which he served from 1993 – 2001.


Dr. Waters has been recognized as a Distinguished Educator by the Kettering Foundation and is a recipient of the Equity Excellence award presented by the Colorado Institute for Gender Equity and the LULAC Award for Service to Hispanic Youth. He is the author of numerous articles on the topic of education leadership and co-authored School Leadership That Works; from research to results (ASCD 2005), and District Leadership That Works; striking the right balance, (Solution Tree Pres 2009). His research on school-level leadership was a touchstone for the update of ISLLC standards by the NPBEA panel on which he was a member.

Tim and his wife Janie have lived in Longmont, CO since 1994. Since stepping away from the daily grind of running a business with international reach, Tim has looked for ways to contribute to his community.  He works with individual students two mornings a week as a volunteer in a local elementary school, volunteers at Longmont’s Ute Creek golf course, assists in the Ute Creek junior golf program, and was recently elected to the Longmont Housing Authority Board of Directors by Longmont City Council. 

Dr. Waters holds a BA from the University of Denver, with Masters and Doctoral degrees from Arizona State University.

Last fall, on the 30th Anniversary of the Dream Team, and along with other collaborators, Tim spoke to the origin of the standards-based initiative and what made it successful. The project thrives to this day.