Pfluger named Gwinn interim superintendent

GWINN — The Gwinn Area Community Schools Board of Education in a special Tuesday meeting named Brad Pfluger, Gwinn Middle/High School principal, as interim superintendent for the school district.

Current Superintendent Brandon Bruce recently submitted his resignation after accepting an administrative job with downstate Hart Public Schools. His resignation is effective on June 30.

GACS President John Waldo spoke with The Mining Journal on Wednesday about the selection.

Going into the meeting, Pfluger was the only person who showed interest in the position, he said.

“He’s been in the district his entire career,” said Waldo, who pointed out that Pfluger has been a principal, teacher and coach for GACS.

“It was pretty much our natural choice to just appoint him as the interim superintendent,” he said. “That decision came from discussion from other board members individually, collectively. As a board, we’ve known about this for two weeks.”

Waldo said it that while it appears that the decision was rushed, the Michigan Association of School Boards advised him that it was a bad time to search for a superintendent now.

“We need somebody in a superintendent role right now to just keep the district moving,” Waldo said.

The possibility of a bond issue regarding the proposed K-12 central campus is another factor, he noted, since Pfluger has been involved in conversations about what would be needed in the new building.

“So to bring in somebody, completely out of the district, to bring them in and try to get them up to speed, I just didn’t feel like we were going to get the commitment that we needed for our community and the district at the time,” Waldo said. “That’s why Mr. Pfluger was pretty much the most logical choice for us at the time.”

He said people had the opportunity during the public comment section at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting to provide statements about the action phase, which included discussion on the superintendent search.

Waldo said board member Kristopher Langlois introduced Karen Anderson as a superintendent candidate and spoke highly of her. All the board members voted for Pfluger except for Langlois, who abstained from the vote.

Waldo said discussion began on Wednesday regarding what spots need to be filled for the summer.

“The nice thing is that in the summertime — I’m not saying the principal has an easy job by any means — but in the summertime, the principal’s not dealing with student discipline,” he said. “He’s not dealing with the day-to-day things that blow up.

“They have the opportunity to sit back at their desk and focus on the administrative piece throughout the summer to begin the new school year.”

Waldo said other administrative staff can help with some duties, such as making class schedules.

In the meantime, school officials can talk with the MASB regarding the superintendent search, he said.

“I don’t want to just throw a search out there and take applications for five days, and then close the application process and just take whoever we get,” Waldo said. “I’m not interested in doing that, and the board is not interested in doing that at this time.”

This article has been updated to include the name of Karen Anderson as a superintendent candidate.


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