The Vicksburg Community Reflects on Charlie Glaes

charlie glaes
Avery Slancik, a graduating senior, thanks Superintendent Glaes at the School Board meeting after he announced his retirement from the school system after 36 years.

By Sue Moore

“So glad you’re doing a story on Charlie, they don’t make them any better.” – Deb Vliek, a former administrative assistant in Vicksburg schools, now with Kalamazoo Regional Service Agency (KRESA).

“I’ve always been impressed with Charlie’s thorough attention to matters in front of him.  He shares the same values as the teacher’s union in having at the forefront of our decision-making ensuring that the education of our students is of the highest quality.  He is well-educated in both academic matters and about the employees in his district.  It will be difficult to find someone else so ingrained in the Vicksburg community to lead.” – Liz Ratashak, science teacher Vicksburg High School, president of the Vicksburg Education Association.

“As the father of a Vicksburg student, I have been attending the school board meetings for over 10 years. As a district, we will miss Mr. Glaes.  The board meetings were always professional, and from what I have witnessed, Charlie has moved our school district forward. Mr Glaes has positioned us to continue to move forward after his retirement.  I wish Charlie well.” – Steve Thomas, Vicksburg resident.

“I had the privilege of working with Charlie through my involvement with the VCSF. I always found him to be an approachable, capable leader; genuine and personable with a great sense of humor. Whether serving the VCSF as a trustworthy, knowledgeable facilitator or capturing rubber ducks at the Annual Duck Derby fundraiser, he was passionate about his job and the district he served. Happy retirement Charlie!!” – Kim Klein, former president of the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.

“Oh my goodness, I did not realize Mr. Glaes was retiring!! Of course, I would love to contribute! As a long-time student of Vicksburg Community Schools, I appreciate all of the hard work Mr. Glaes has put into improving the district. As a student who did drama, I am deeply thankful for his appreciation of the arts and his constant support and encouragement. He is always incredibly kind and it is a pleasure to know him.” – Andrew Phelps, graduate of the class of 2017 and now a student at Spring Arbor University.

“Charlie has been a very responsive, dedicated and informed superintendent for the Vicksburg Community Schools. His leadership has been strong and positive. I will miss his infectious laugh and positive outlook even in the face of adversity. He has given unselfishly to make Vicksburg schools a leader in this area. I will miss him. I wish him well in retirement.” – Carol Lohman, 34-year school board member.

“Charlie has been an inspirational leader and mentor over the last nine years that I have worked with him. I have come to admire these traits in Charlie: wisdom, integrity and grace.  I will miss him tremendously.” Gail Van Daff, Vicksburg Schools curriculum director.

“Charlie has contributed substantially to children across the Kalamazoo RESA service area by advocating for high quality shared programming in areas such as special education, education for employment (our area’s career/technical education program), education for the arts and the professional development for educators. He is a leader among leaders.  His wit, wisdom, and unwavering commitment to children will surely be missed.” – Dave Campbell, KRESA superintendent.

“We have shared many great experiences and some very tough ones as well. Words just can’t truly express the value of working with him. Charlie has kept us on the cutting edge, never forgetting what is in the best interest of kids. He has been a compassionate, firm and highly respected leader and I consider his retirement a huge loss for all of us. I have been privileged to work with him his entire time in Vicksburg and he is a true Bulldog!” – Skip Knowles, school board president.

“I always admired Charlie’s ability to put people at ease while also moving them forward.   He gave Vicksburg the full measure of his dedication and abilities and I am certain he is leaving an indelible mark.” – Pat Reeves, former Vicksburg superintendent and associate professor, WMU.

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