Contract approved for new Crawford AuSable School District superintendent
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Crawford AuSable School District will get a fresh start under new leadership as a contract was approved with its next superintendent of schools on Monday.
The Crawford AuSable Board of Education, at its regular monthly board meeting held on Monday, April 8, approved a contract with new superintendent Justin Gluesing. He is slated to start as the next school chief on July 1, but will transition into the job in June.
Gluesing is the associate superintendent for human resources and labor for Alpena Public Schools. He and his family have lived in Alpena for the last 15 years.
Gluesing was a finalist for the superintendent’s job for the Crawford, Oscoda, Ogemaw and Roscommon Intermediate School District (COOR ISD), which was filled earlier last year. He and his family have a strong connection with the Grayling community.
“We love the area. As a family, we have spent countless nights camping on the banks of the AuSable River and as many days floating and fishing in its waters,” he said. “We have always been drawn to the area on a personal level. As a professional, I’ve long known about the many accomplishments of the Crawford Ausable School District (CASD) – its staff and students. In addition, you can feel a strong sense of community throughout. We are excited to join the school family and to make our home in the community.”
Gluesing said there will be no drastic changes to what is already in place with the school district, stressing he will sit back and observe when he assumes his role as the new leader.
“Throughout the interview process, I shared that I will look and listen before I lead. CASD and the Grayling community has much to be proud of, and I plan to learn all I can about the great things already occurring in our schools and in our community,” he said. “Moving forward, my goals will be to look for ways to improve upon the successes we’ve had and look for new opportunities. As a leader, I am constantly reflecting. How can we do this better? Where are the opportunities we should be exploring? What are the obstacles impeding our advancement? What am I hearing from staff, students, families, and our community? What is the profile of our graduates now and what will it need to be in the future? These are just a few questions that I continually ponder.”
Gluesing was born and raised in Escanaba, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. He lived in Marquette, when he attended Northern Michigan University. Gluesing earned a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education with an emphasis on English and history. He was also a walk-on player for the college’s football team, and eventually served as a team captain.
Gluesing went on to earn a master’s degree from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin focused on teacher development and educational technology. He then attended Oakland University, where he received his degree as an education specialist with a focus on educational leadership and school adminstration.
Gluesing started his career as an adult education teacher. He then went on to teach for the Hartford Union High School in Wisconsin. Gluesing returned to Escanaba, where he served as a teacher and athletic director for four years.
In 2004, Gluesing was hired to serve as the athletic director for Alpena Public Schools. He also served as an assistant principal and principal before moving into school adminstration for the district.
“As I move into my new position with CASD, I carry with me a diverse professional work history. Across my almost 25-year career, I have been a classroom teacher, a coach, an advisor, an athletic director, an assistant principal, a principal, a human resources director, and am currently an assistant superintendent,” Gluesing said. “Throughout all these various roles, I have maintained a students-first perspective and well recognize the tremendous effort that goes into each and every day of school. I respect the work of every employee and believe that every employee – regardless of role – contributes to the education of our children.”
Gluesing has been married to his wife, Janelle, for 12 years. He has two children – Logan, 20, and Josie, 17.
“We are excited to make our home in Grayling, and I am also looking forward to building relationships with our staff, students, families, and the larger community,” he said.
As least five new teachers will be in place by the time Gluesing starts with the school district. All school administrative positions have also been filled. He will help with transitioning the fifth grade from the Grayling Elementary School to the Grayling Middle School and helping develop a play area for the younger students near the school.
“Having the opportunity to work in human resources has helped me engage with our staff on a different level than I have in my other positions. It has provided me the opportunity to be at the center of negotiations and labor relations for the last five years,” he said. “I am proud of the relationships I’ve built with our union leadership in Alpena, and I look forward to establishing strong relationships within CASD. I also serve on the Board for the Michigan Negotiators Association and plan to continue in that role moving forward.”
“For many reasons, human resources is a position like no other within an organization. Having lived it for the last five years, the experience has been invaluable to my growth and has widened my perspective to the challenges we face in our schools,” Gluesing added. “Recruitment is one of the main functions in my current position, and hiring and keeping good people is one of the most important tasks of any good organization. I do believe my experiences in human resources will benefit CASD in the years ahead.”
Seventeen people applied for the superintendent’s position, and seven were interviewed.
The other final candidate for the position was Raphael Rittenhouse, the superintendent for Iron Mountain Public Schools.
Gluesing’s second interview pushed him ahead of the others with the superintendent search team and school board members.
“I was much more relaxed during the second interview,” Gluesing said. “Having the opportunity to sit and visit during breakfast with the search team members and the community helped me engage on a personal level with the group. It was a great morning, and I think that benefited me throughout the rest of the day.”
Crawford AuSable School District Superintendent Joe Powers retired from his position with the school after 13 years on the job on March 31 of last year. He was later brought back on a part-time basis to serve the school district through a month-to-month contract.
Powers took a job working as an educational consultant for Wolgast Construction, which has several locations throughout the state.
Powers served as a coordinator for the superintendent search. He will work with Gluesing during the transition period in June.
“I will be helping him start successfully in his job,” Powers said.
School Board President Lewis Madill said the board and staff are elated to have a new superintendent in place.
“I just think it’s going to be a smooth transition,” Madill said. “Everybody that met with him during the final assessment felt he was a good fit. We’re looking forward to it.”