CGRESD 2016 Holiday Card

Area School students lend an artistic hand

Greeting cards are a staple of the season, and this year, CGRESD asked students at the Area School to pitch in with ours. Twenty-seven students submitted holiday art, and after a flash poll of CGRESD staff and friends, five favorites were chosen to be included in our card (view it here), but the submissions were so good, we couldn't resist publishing all the entries here. Take a look at the gallery below, and happy holidays. 

Hero 5K Run/Walk  

HEROES ON THE RUN: 5K Will Benefit Area School Students

(CLARE) – Who’s your favorite superhero? Whatever your answer, you’ll find someone to cheer for at the annual Clare-Gladwin Area School PTO’s Hero 5K Run/Walk. The fundraiser, whose proceeds are used to enrich the environment and educational opportunities for the school’s special education students, is set for Saturday, Sept. 10.

“The best word to describe this event is ‘fun’”, said Area School Principal Mike Simon. “We encourage participants to dress up as their favorite superhero for the 5K. It’s a wrinkle that makes the event a little different from a typical road race, and our students, parents and community supporters really embrace the concept and make it fun.”

The Hero 5K will be held at the Area School at 4041 Mannsiding Road in Clare. Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; the race begins at 9 a.m. The entry fee, which includes a t-shirt, is $20, and currently-enrolled Area School students can register for $10. For participants in the free Children’s Nature Path Fun Run/Walk, no registration is required.

For participants wishing to pre-register, signup sheets are available by clicking here or at the Area School front office. You may also contact Simon at 989.386.3682 or for a signup sheet or for more information.


RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: New CTE director is ready to work

(CLARE) – For new Clare-Gladwin Career & Technical Education Program Director Sandra Russell, it’s all about timing.
CTE Program Director Sandy Russell
Russell officially joined the CTE staff at the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District in early July. She comes to the organization at an exciting juncture for CTE, following voters’ approval of a dedicated CTE millage this spring. Both the short-term program improvements and the long-term potential were enticing to Russell.

“I am here because I fully believe that education is the foundation of the success of our communities and our world,” Russell said. “Training an innovative, highly skilled workforce is the key to a highly prosperous community. I am passionate about helping to build productive, skilled, well-educated employees to ensure prosperity for our families and businesses.”

Russell joined CTE after 18 years as a school administrator, particularly at the middle school level, with additional leadership responsibilities in Title I, athletics and special education. Most recently, she was the principal at Alma Middle School. CGRESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler believes Russell is the right person in the right place as the CTE program takes a profound leap forward.

“Sandy’s a proven leader whose credentials to manage CTE are hard to beat,” Presler said. “She’s hitting the ground running at a time when the program is really taking off, and she’s already done a lot of homework, getting to know the program, the instructors and the working environment.”

Russell and Presler have seized the opportunity afforded by the millage’s passage to make sure students receive maximum benefit.

“CTE is an essential component bridging local businesses and this emerging workforce of young adults,” Russell said. “We’ll continue to strengthen our relationships with those stakeholders to ensure that our students receive viable opportunities – in terms of both training and placement – to best use the skills they’ve learned in our programs. We want to build this CTE program into a world-class training ground so our students can skillfully compete in local and global job markets.”

Helping train young adults to enter the workforce has always held appeal for Russell, who was inspired as a child to become an educator in part as she watched her family struggle to find viable education options for her older sister, who is developmentally disabled.

“What gives me the most satisfaction is seeing students become hardworking, committed members of their communities,” she said. “I love walking into a business and seeing one of my former students being successful and productive in a job that they love. Knowing that you had a small part in that life-long success for a young person is such a gift.”

SONG & DANCE: Student performances cap Clare-Gladwin Area School year

June 23, 2016

(CLARE) – For all the emotions on full display at the Clare-Gladwin Area School’s annual graduation ceremonies – joy, hope, pride – it’s still, as much as anything, about celebration. The students and staff at the school know how to have fun, and it showed at the school’s recent commencement.

Held June 10 in the standing-room only Area School gym, the festivities marked the end of one chapter for this year’s graduating class of six students, and the beginning of another. But for everyone involved with the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s Special Education program, the occasion marked another successful school year for students.

The 2016 Area School graduating class included Anastasia Albee, Bronwyn Dibble, Christina Mathis, Hanna Nolan, Erica Smith and Joseph Smith.

Principal Mike Simon served as Master of Ceremonies and was backed by no fewer than seven music and dance numbers performed by students and staff. The afternoon’s theme was Music Icons, and students danced to popular songs such as “I Will Survive,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Y.M.C.A.” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

A video presentation marked the school year’s student highlights and Simon recognized a wide variety of supporters, including staff, volunteers and retirees; employers and community groups who support Area School students in the community; and CGRESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler and the CGRESD Board of Education.

ALL THE WAY AROUND: CGRESD celebrates students' success

(CLARE) – The annual Turn-Around Achievement Awards honoring local high school students are never short of emotion, and this year’s ceremony was no exception. Students, teachers and families alike laughed, cried and celebrated as they shared stories of overcoming tremendous personal obstacles to achieve academic success.

The event, sponsored by the Clare-Gladwin Area School Board Association and hosted by the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District, was held May 5 at Mid Michigan Community College.

Former Bullock Creek Schools Superintendent Charles Schwedler delivered a touching, funny keynote address built around choices and their consequences. The luncheon was catered by Culinary Arts students from the Clare-Gladwin Career & Technical Education program. The 20 awardees were flanked by family, friends and educators for the event.

In addition to a certificate, award recipients were given one of three scholarships, each of which entitles them to six credit hours of in-district tuition at MMCC. The scholarships include the Doug Dodge Academic Opportunity Award for students from Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison schools; the Al Roeseler Academic Opportunity Award for students from Coleman High School; and the Tom Gilstad Academic Opportunity Award for those attending Bullock Creek High School or Meridian High School.

Turn-Around Achievement Award recipients include Amber Bowser and Shania Farrow of Beaverton Junior/Senior High School; Sylix Ryan and Gage Spitnale of Bullock Creek High School; Kaya Billerbeck and Levi Boynton of Clare High School; David Hawkins of Clare Pioneer High School; Ryan Spencer and Julie Yancer of Coleman Junior/Senior High School; Laurren Schaub and Nate Shilling of Farwell High School; Quinten Hass of Farwell Timberland High School; Hannah Lewis and Isaac Morgan of Gladwin High School; Carleigh Dellinger and Thomas Homa of Harrison High School; Matthew Lang and Taylor Norton of Harrison Alternative High School; and Destiny Leathers and Braxton Ross of Meridian High School.


Voters Approve CTE Millage

May 3, 2016

(CLARE) – On May 3, voters in Clare and Gladwin Counties approved a 1-mill, 10-year millage to fund the CGRESD's Career & Technical Education program. CGRESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler issued this statement:

"We are excited by the new possibilities for CTE students that have been assured by voters today, and grateful for their faith in the program which has had such a dramatic impact on the careers of thousands of our local high school students. We were fortunate to utilize the expertise and elbow grease of staff and volunteers in each of our five local school districts to ensure voters across the two counties had a keen understanding of CTE and its importance to our schools, communities and employers. We are profoundly grateful for all who helped with the information campaign.

With the assurance of financial stability for the CTE program, we can now go about the business of making long-overdue improvements to our existing classes, as well as implementing in-demand new ones. We will offer both Welding and Business Management for the upcoming school year, as well as begin the process of establishing a permanent home for our Construction Trades program and providing financial relief to local school districts as it relates to transportation costs and tuition. We also want stakeholders to rest assured we'll continue our valuable dialogue with local employers, striving to meet their workplace needs with well-trained, motivated young workers.

The future for CTE students is bright and loaded with potential, and whether they go to college, go to work or both, our students will enter those chapters of their lives on solid footing and with marketable skills they can use the rest of their lives." 


CGRESD Career & Technical Education Millage on May Ballot

Jan. 28, 2016

– The Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District will ask voters to consider a millage request this spring that would help fund its Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs.

CTE Millage: What Will It Cost? At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the CGRESD Board of Education unanimously approved placing the 10-year, 1-mill request on the May 3 ballot in Clare and Gladwin Counties. The funds generated would support the organization’s CTE program, which delivers essential vocational instruction to juniors and seniors from Clare, Gladwin, Harrison, Beaverton and Farwell every school year.

CGRESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler said the board feels that this is a crucial juncture for CTE, which provides courses that have been cut in local school districts. Those courses include study in areas such as construction trades, health occupations, culinary arts, automotive technology, education occupations, digital media and criminal justice.

“CTE meets an essential need for our local schools, which for budgetary reasons have been forced to drastically reduce their vocational education programs over the past several years,” Presler said. “A generation ago, your local high school was able to offer a host of skills-based courses, everything from wood shop to home economics to machine tool to business. Today, those options have largely disappeared, and by leveraging its numerous partnerships, the CTE program has done a good job trying to fill that void. But to maintain what we’ve got – and to better meet the evolving needs of our students, communities and employers – we need help.”

Comparison to other ISDs While the majority of Michigan intermediate school districts benefit from dedicated funding for CTE programs through their local tax structure, that has never been the case for students in Clare and Gladwin Counties. Administrators are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their current CTE offerings, let alone add in-demand new programs like welding, agri-science and manufacturing.

“If you look at your local tax bill, you’ll see line items for essential services like 9-1-1, community transit, programs for the elderly, sanitation pickup and so on,” Presler said. “What you
won’t see is funding for Career & Technical Education.

“That’s because, unlike many surrounding districts, the Clare-Gladwin RESD has never utilized dedicated taxpayer funding for its CTE programs. But this year, we had to take an unprecedented plunge into our fund equity to cover CTE, and the writing is on the wall - to continue these crucial programs that impact so many students and communities, we need dedicated CTE millage funding.”

Passage would bring about immediate, sorely-needed upgrades to CTE programming and equipment, including the restoration of the popular welding course, which was cut last year. Other near-term millage benefits would include the implementation of programs for agri-science and business management, as well as the provision of a permanent home for the construction trades program, which has seen its classroom relocated at least six times in the past decade.

Beyond providing the actual instruction, Presler said CTE’s impact on communities and the local economy is significant.

Presler quote “CTE doesn’t just offer kids a marketable skill set immediately out of high school,” she said. “It also funnels trained, experienced workers into a local workforce that needs them, benefiting the local economy and keeping good jobs and good people right here in central Michigan. Our students graduate high school ready to begin a career in the trades or work at a good job while attending college. Either way, our communities reap the benefits.”

For generations, the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District has served as a safety net for local schools, delivering otherwise-unavailable educational opportunities that nurture the gifts of all students and provide the tools to continue academic and career development throughout their lives. This support is delivered through direct programming in areas like Career & Technical Education and Special Education, and it’s delivered through less obvious yet equally essential school functions like Business Services and Information Technology. All programs and services are maintained with a firm commitment to fiscal responsibility, collaboration, strong instruction and a learning environment that enables all students to develop to their fullest potential.

Students Earn ASE Auto Certification  
Feb. 2, 2016

– Twenty-three Auto Technology students recently gained certification through the Automotive Service Excellence test for electrical and electronic systems. More than 80 percent of the high school students, enrolled through the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s Career & Technology Education program, passed the test to achieve certification.  

The CTE Auto Tech students took the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) test for electrical/electronic systems in early January. Instructor Rich Hollister was impressed with the results.

“The student ASE testing is a very hard test, and unlike any other test platform that these students have ever had,” Hollister said. “Not only does it test the students on the area of automotive repair that they have been studying, it also tests each student’s ability to problem solve. The technology of the modern automobile is complicated, and to repair it properly, a technician has to have very good math skills and the ability to follow a flow chart.

CTE Auto Tech students “The students perform tests using computerized equipment reading data and comparing to what the data should read,” he added. “Then they determine a corrective action to make the repair. In order to properly diagnose and repair a fault with a vehicle, it takes a special type of problem solving skills to determine the correct repair is performed.”

For students, ASE Student Certification can be thought of as the first step in building a career as a service professional by providing them with their first industry-recognized certification through ASE. Student certification is valid for two years from the date of the exam. The testing program’s independent assessment is a particularly valuable tool for instructors and administrators who are working to respond to today’s increasing demands for measurable outcomes and accountability.

CTE Auto Tech students “I am very proud of this group of students,” Hollister said. “They have all worked very hard to pass this test, and it shows with an 80% pass rate, which is nearly double of some previous years. This group of students will be a great asset to the workforce in the near future, and with the demand for certified automotive technicians being so high, they will definitely find gainful employment when they gr

Added Para-Educator Suzanne Ledford: “We have a great group of kids this year, so I wasn’t surprised they did so well. They worked hard and their efforts paid off.”

Students e
arning certification include Zach Bowers, Max Crafard, Devun Grein, Christian Kuhns, Matt Shaw and Connor Vanbuskirk of Clare; Corbin Brewer, Cody Coburn and Jeffery Lawrence  of Farwell; Brandon Cergnul, Sulley Cousineau, Austin Currier, Travis Krueger, Ronnie Richardson, David Sturgeon and Carlos Zieroff of Beaverton; Brandon Pahl, Josh Pate, Aaron Pohl and Dylan Worden of Gladwin; Zach Hillier and Max Taylor of Harrison; and Dakota Burgess of Coleman.

Culinary Arts Students Provide Snacks for CGRSD Board  
Feb. 2, 2016

CTE Culinary Arts students
 Left to right: Ashley Helmer (Farwell), Bridgette Andres (Farwell), Justice Robnolte (Beaverton), Fanny Yoder (Clare), Adam Lower (Clare), Andrea Adame (Clare), Natalya Prosser (Clare), Chelsea Claeys (Clare), Mehna Orr (Clare), Shelby Mahoney (Clare) and Hannah Bauman (Clare).
(CLARE) – Clare-Gladwin CTE Culinary Arts students prepared healthy treats for the CGRESD Board of Education meeting on Jan. 27 as part of School Board Recognition Month. "We greatly appreciate our board members," said CA Instructor Heidi Evans, "and how they are so supportive of our students."

The hors d’oeuvre menu included:

  • Pin Wheel: Filled with ham, turkey, roast beef, provolone, cheddar, with the special blend of cream cheese and savory shallot spread.
  • Homemade Hummus: With pita bread, carrots, and stuffed hummus cucumbers leaving you hungry for more.
  • Bombshell Brownies: Taste an avalanche of chocolaty goodness with our famous bombshell brownies leaving an explosion of flavor in your mouth.





Jan. 15, 2016

(CLARE) – The Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s Career & Technical Education program has announced its Students of the Month for December.

The administration and staff congratulates these students, who were selected by teachers for positive performances in their respective CTE classes:

Gracia Agin
of Harrison (Education in Training); Dakota Burgess of Coleman (Automotive Technology); Sarah Eno of Beaverton (Education in Training); Chase Field of Clare (Construction Trades); Ethan Goodwin of Beaverton (Construction Trades); Brendan Gregory of Clare (Digital Media); Madison Moore of Beaverton (Criminal Justice); Josh Pate of Gladwin (Automotive Technology); Raymond Ramirez of Harrison (Criminal Justice); Lydia Gervase of Harrison (Culinary Arts); and Chelsea Claeys of Clare (Culinary Arts).

The CTE program is operated by Clare-Gladwin RESD and serves 11th and 12th grade students from the high schools in Clare and Gladwin Counties (Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison), as well as Coleman. The CTE program delivers courses in several vocational areas to more than 250 students.

CTE officials are grateful for local sponsors who support the Students of the Month program by donating gift certificates to the honorees. Among the sponsors are Momma Cillie’s Pizzeria of Harrison, Subway of Clare, Subway of Beaverton, Subway of Gladwin, Lang’s Pizza of Beaverton, Pizza Hut of Gladwin, Buccilli’s Pizza of Farwell, Hungry Howie’s Pizza of Clare and Hungry Howie’s Pizza of Gladwin.



Jan. 7, 2016

– For the women and men who serve on boards of education, it’s a tough assignment that bears a solemn responsibility. January is School Board Recognition Month, and local school districts are making sure board members know they’re appreciated.

Thank You School Board Members “Knowledgeable, engaged school board members are essential to a successful district,” said Sheryl Presler, superintendent for the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District. “It can be a thankless job at times for these dedicated volunteers – they’re often faced with enormous challenges and tough decisions. School board members too often go unheralded for generously giving their time and talents in the name of the kids in their district. This month is a nice opportunity to ensure they’re properly acknowledged.”

The CGRESD and school officials in Harrison, Farwell, Beaverton, Clare and Gladwin are joining nearly 600 local and intermediate school districts across the state in praising the enduring volunteer efforts of their board members this month.

“They donate hours and hours of personal time, attending meetings and school functions or researching and preparing to be properly informed to make the best decisions for all students,” Presler said. “Beyond that, they give even more through professional development because they know how important it is to stay on top of the ever-changing education landscape. In short, they’re vital, ultra-dedicated volunteers who deserve our gratitude and respect.”

The Michigan Association of School Boards reports there are more than 4,000 such community leaders serving across the state. Counted among those are 40 local residents serving the CGRESD and five local districts. Members of the CGRESD board include President Barbara Richards; Vice President Lynn Grim; Secretary Sue Murawski; Treasurer Sarah Kile; and Trustee Clay Maxwell.

Board members in Harrison are Dan Pechacek, Connie Cauchi, Therese Haley, Angie Cullen, George Gallo, Roger Peterson and Marie Roth. Farwell’s members include Paula Sullivan, Rose Sharp, Shari Buccilli, John Gross, Joe Maxey, Max Paine and Holly Thrush.

In Beaverton, board members are Adam Zdrojewski, Daren Burns, Garry Clark, Tammy Grove, Robert Frei and Janice Colton. Clare’s board features Tom Weaver, Steve Stark, Carol Santini, Susan Murawski, Ben Browning, Loren Cole and John Miller. And Gladwin’s board is comprised of Sally Hightower, Lisa Schwager, Brad Withrow, Linda Winarski, Kelly Gower, Carol Darlington and Eric Dion. 

CTE Culinary Students  Students in Clare-Gladwin CTE's Culinary Arts program traveled to the ProStart Student Symposium on November 10th at Sysco Corporation in Canton, MI.


CTE's Culinary Arts students provided the Thanksgiving meal served to guests prior to each theater showing at Mid Michigan Community College during the month of November.
Beaverton juniors Shantel Walker and Kalove Scott were among the students to serve guests during the Theater Luncheons.
CTE Culinary students Shantel Walker and Kalove Scott   
Thanksgiving meals prepared by Clare-Gladwin CTE Culinary students.

CTE students in the Automotive Technology class spent some time recently working on several vehicles.

CTE Automotive Technology CTE Auto Tech
 CTE Automotive Technology