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UPDATED: AMA ESD chooses Gluesing as new superintendent

News Photo by Julie Riddle Justin Gluesing speaks to the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Board of Education at the AMA ESD headquarters on Tuesday.

ALPENA — Justin Gluesing will serve as the next Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District superintendent, the board decided on Tuesday.

Gluesing currently serves as Crawford-AuSable School District superintendent after stepping away from Alpena Public Schools in 2019.

In a 3-plus hour meeting at the AMA ESD central office Tuesday evening, the board conducted second-round interviews of Gluesing and fellow applicant Dan O’Connor, Alcona Community Schools superintendent.

The board chose Gluesing during a discussion following the interviews.

Gluesing accepted the position in a phone call placed immediately following the meeting. He will assume duties July 1.

During separate interviews, the board asked each candidate a round of questions, from the largest challenges currently facing the field of special education to how the candidates would build relationships and keep the district’s spending in line with its priorities.

In his responses, Gluesing offered numerous examples of applicable situations both at his current district and at APS, where he served for 15 years in several administrative roles, including as assistant superintendent and principal of ACES Academy.

Schools offering special education will face a critical staffing shortage in coming years, he said, suggesting partnerships with universities and developing people already in the community in a “grow your own” approach as possible solutions.

During post-interview discussion, the board called the decision difficult and lauded O’Connor’s creativity, energy, confidence, and commitment to children.

Board members cited Gluesing’s breadth of experience as a primary factor in their selection of the new superintendent-elect. They noted his concise and direct responses to questions and said his experience working with a large school district will help him in an administration role with AMA ESD.

John Scholten, Northeast Michigan representative for consulting group Michigan Leadership Institute, told the board before their decision that both candidates met the service district’s qualifications and would bring valuable qualities to the role.

In today’s market, the board was lucky to attract multiple good candidates for the position, Scholten told the board.

Last week the board conducted first-round interviews of Gluesing and O’Connor and other applicants Pamela Campbell, Joseph Perrara, and Jeff Terpenning.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or jriddle@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jriddleX.

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