New Crawford AuSable School District superintendent getting acclimated to position
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The new superintendent for the Crawford AuSable School District is getting acclimated to his position and the community with a focus on continuing high staff and student achievement.
Justin Gluesing served his first day as the school chief for the district on Monday, July 1.
He replaced Crawford AuSable School District Superintendent Joe Powers , who retired from his position with the school after 13 years on the job on March 31, 2018. He was later brought back on a part-time basis to serve the school district through a month-to-month contract.
Gluesing met with the Crawford AuSable School District’s Board of Education in June and has also had meetings arranged with school staff and other community officials.
“It’s been tremendous,” Gluesing said. “Everyone has been very welcoming and I’ve had numerous opportunities just over these few weeks to meet with staff members and people in the community that we have partnerships with.”
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 administration.
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 administration for the district.
Gluesing was the associate superintendent for human resources and labor for Alpena Public Schools before accepting his new job. He and his family had lived in Alpena for the last 15 years.
“Alpena was very good to me and my family. It’s a great area to be in being right on Lake Huron,” he said. “It’s got tremendous people. It’s a great place to have called home.”
But Gluesing and his family had their plans on establishing roots in Grayling when they learned Powers was moving on.
“This was the district that I wanted to serve bar none,” he said. “I had my eye and heart on the opportunity. Once it became open, I was very eager to apply and was very excited when I got the call with the offer to come.”
Gluesing said there are ties between his time as a high school and college athlete and other extracurricular activities that factor into his leadership.
“Anyone that has an opportunity to play college sports at any level, you realize you were one of the privileged few that had that opportunity,” he said.
Working together toward a common goal as a team and taking on bigger tasks are attributes that comes with his students-first perspective.
“We’re called on sometimes to make the team stronger and make the organization stronger, so I see that crossover quite a bit,” Gluesing said.
Gluesing said the transition of fifth grade students from the Grayling Elementary School is going as planned with the teachers and support staff.
“My understanding is that is progressing well,” he said.
Gluesing hopes the schools and school district will continue to be recognized with state and national accolades for student achievement.
“The district is very well respected – not just regionally in northern Michigan – but across the state, and one of my top goals is continue those traditions of excellence moving forward,” he said.
Gluesing said keeping tabs on the growth the schools are facing as well as growth in the region are big issues for himself.
“For my focus, I want to make sure they’re navigating that growth so it’s in the best interest of kids and our community and how we can further the opportunities in the region for our students and families,” he said.
Gluesing assumed his seat on the Crawford County Economic Development partnership, a group of governmental, business, and community leaders which has a focus on bringing businesses, jobs, and infrastructure to the community.
“There is a strong relationship between the schools and economic development,” Gluesing said. “Businesses and individuals want to move where they’re confident the schools will provide their children a great opportunity.”
Gluesing and his wife, Janelle, purchased a home within the school district. Janelle, who is a dental hygienist, took a position at AuSable Family Dentistry.
Gluesing’s son, Logan, age 20, is going through his basic training with the U.S. Air Force in Texas. His daughter, Josie, age 18, is working on her early college program.
The family has witnessed the AuSable River Canoe Marathon several times while they have camped on the banks of the river.
“We’ve camped on the AuSable River, and it’s our favorite place to camp and we’ve camped on the river more times than I can remember,” Gluesing said.
Gluesing said this year will be first time he will see the start of the race.
“My wife and I are looking forward to being on hand and witnessing the marathon first hand and volunteering and helping out with the festival this year,” he said.