School board opts to negotiate with Alpena school administrator for superintendent job
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
A school administrator who has been waiting in the wings to serve as a superintendent raised his prospects with Crawford County school officials during a second interview and with his interaction with members of the community.
The Crawford AuSable School District’s Board of Education, at a meeting held on Monday, April 1, voted unanimously to start contract negotiations with Justin Gluesing, the associate superintendent for human resources and labor for Alpena Public Schools.
The other candidate for the position was Raphael Rittenhouse, the superintendent for Iron Mountain Public Schools.
After two hours of discussion on Monday, the school board decided to send a united voice to Gluesing that they want him to be the next leader for the school district.
A majority of school board members cited Gluesing’s second interview, held on March 15, with the superintendent selection team for the reason he should be offered the job.
“I saw some passion for what he does,” said Nicole Persing-Wethington, the vice president of the Crawford AuSable Schools Board of Education. “Part of his personality is getting to that next level of his potential. I think he would be able to rise to the occasion. I think he would be able to think outside the box a little bit and he would be able to continue what we’ve already built here.”
Trustee Lori Johnson said she was impressed with Gluesing’s interaction with Olivia Van De Ven, a Grayling High School student on the superintendent search team, along with other school administrators and school board members.
School Board Secretary Wendy Kucharek agreed.
“I think he would be great for our community along with our school district, and our students, and staff,” she said.
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.
Powers recommended that the board go with the school leader who has a right feel with the community going forward.
“You can’t go wrong,” he said. “You have to go with the one that you are most connected to.”
School Board President Lewis Madill said there was not a bad choice among the two.
“I’ve got a pretty strong feeling that we’re in a win- win situation,” he said.
Stacy Huber, the Crawford School Board treasurer, said officials should not discredit Gluesing for not serving as a school chief.
Madill agreed with that line of thought, citing those who have contributed to the success of student achievement.
“Most people that have come here for a stepping stone have stepped with both feet,” he said.
Powers and Huber were directed to start negotiations with Gluesing.
The board will then give its tentative approval of the contract at its next regular monthly meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 8.
Trustee Dave Malm encouraged board members to keep Rittenhouse in mind if a deal cannot be reached with their preferred candidate for the position.
“If things fall apart, we can always go with Plan B,” he said.