Gladwin… Our School and Our Community
Gladwin Community Schools are located in Gladwin County in the city of Gladwin, Michigan, a small community of approximately 4,000 people.
The town is located in the northwest part of the county, at the intersection of M-61 and M-18.
Gladwin County is located in the northeast part of central Michigan. It is approximately 30 miles from Lake Huron, and a three hour drive to either Detroit, or the Mackinaw Bridge.
Gladwin is known as a summer recreation area near the Tittabawasee River, Wiggins Lake, and Pratt Lake. In addition, there are many other lakes within minutes drive away, including Houghton Lake which is 30 minutes away and Higgins Lake which is a 40 minute drive. Boating, water-skiing, tubing are popular summer activities. In the winter, many seek the area for snowmobiling, skiing, and skating. Fishing is very big in Gladwin, during both summer and winter.
Gladwin is also known for its great hunting. It is a popular area for ducks, geese, pheasants, and turkeys. By far, the most popular hunting is for white-tailed deer.
Inside the city of Gladwin there is a lot of activity. Gladwin hosts the Gladwin City Park. Locals use if for a day of fun in the sun, picnicking and playing in the Cedar River. Campers come from all over to stay at the Gladwin Park, enjoying the quietness of the park, and the local atmosphere. In the summer, Gladwin hosts an art fair, summer theatre, and Carriage Festival. During the first week-end in December, it hosts the very popular night-time Festival of Lights Parade and fireworks.
On the edge of town, is the local sports complex, an enviable facility with many fields for each sport: soccer, baseball, softball, and youth football. Hundreds of children take advantage of these facilities every day, all spring and fall. Since the fields are of different sizes, our adult leagues use the fields for recreation, also.
Across the road from the sports complex is the new community arena for hockey and ice skating. This wonderful facility houses youth hockey, youth and adult league play, free skating and skating lessons for all ages. There is a complete fitness center (one of two in town), and the ice rink which is home for the Mid-Michigan STORM, the cooperative high school hockey team with players coming from Gladwin, Beaverton, Harrison, Houghton Lake, and (West Branch) Ogemaw Heights. Also housed in the Community Arena is the Gladwin County Library.
Gladwin has shown great support for its medical community. Our local hospital, Mid-Michigan Medical Center--Gladwin, is affiliated with the nationally respected Mid-Michigan Regional Medical Center, located in Midland. Most recently, the hospital is also affiliated with the University of Michigan As a result of its hospital affiliation, many specialists practice in Gladwin, or have office hours in here, and the resources of Midland's Regional Center and U of M are always available to Gladwin residents, as needed. Gladwin has many doctors and dentists who reside here, and have their local practices in Gladwin, as well. In addition, Gladwin has a branch of the Ten-Sixteen House, for substance abuse issues, and hosts Midland-Gladwin Mental Health facilities. On our main street, Cedar Avenue, there is the extremely popular specialty coffee shop called Northern Expresso, which is run by Midland-Gladwin Mental Health, providing employment for some of their clients.
Gladwin has its own airport, Zettel Field. In addition, small hobby plane flying enthusiasts enjoy their own facility by the airport, created especially for them.
Gladwin's downtown, offers a variety of interesting stores, including an antique mall, the Riverwalk (a mall including condo apartments, gift store, clothing stores, restaurant, and spa). Also new to the downtown is the wonderful Blue-Ribbon Bakery.
In addition, people come from all over the state to shop at "The Frank E. Ward Co., a gift shop which has been a fixture on Cedar Ave, for generations, and to shop at "The Oak Outlet", a huge, wonderful store for oak, and all kinds of finished wood furniture. There is a sizeable Amish community in Gladwin County and some of the furniture at the Oak Outlet is Amish-made.
Gladwin has a dozen churches, of a variety of denominations. Skeels Baptist Church, north of our town, has their own school, Skeels Christian, K-12.
Gladwin Community Schools belong to the Clare-Gladwin Regional Educational Service District, along with schools from Beaverton, Clare, Harrison, and Farwell. Gladwin Schools offer pre-school, Developmental Kindergarten, grades K-12, and an Alternative Secondary School. The district has approximately 1,800 students.
The district's school buildings include:
Gladwin Elementary School -- Pre-School, Young Fives, and grades K, 1, 2.
Gladwin Intermediate School -- Grades 3, 4, 5
Gladwin Junior High -- Grades 6, 7, 8
Gladwin High School -- Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
COOL School -- Gladwin Alternative Education and Adult Education classes
In addition, high school students may go to Mid-Michigan Community College for vocational classes, M-Tec, and to take dual-enrollment college classes.
The community is very supportive of their schools. They passed a bond issue which permitted repair and improvements of all buildings. All of our outdoor athletic facilities have been resurfaced or improved. The Gladwin Athletic Association has built a new fieldhouse for the football complex. Voters also recently passed the Headlee Override, bringing more money into our district. The city has completed a project of adding new, top quality, tennis courts to property adjacent to the school.
Test scores are climbing at an unusual speed, a fact that has resulted in a State Recognition Award, and numerous nominations, even for a national award. Gladwin is considered a leader in developing curriculum aligned with State benchmarks. Currently, it is our curriculum that is used by the State, if they have to go in to improve failing districts.
The Fine Arts program is second to none. The visual arts program has been nationally recognized. The instrumental music program has consistently scored I's in district festivals and usually at the State level also. The vocal music program has won national competition as the number one choir. There are three high school choirs, in addition to the Junior High program. Each choir, at all levels, consistently receives I's at district and state competition. In addition, the director has been given the honor of directing the State All-Star Choir.
Athletically, Gladwin offers the following sports:
Boys: Football, Cross-Country, Soccer, Basketball, Wrestling, Track and Field, Golf, Baseball, Hockey, Bowling
Girls: Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field, Softball, Soccer, Pom Pon, Cross Country, Bowling
The school's outdoor athletic facilities include the newly crowned football field with its new field house, completely rebuilt Wilmot (baseball) Field, improved Johnson (softball) Field, a new soccer field, newly re-surfaced track, and a variety of practice fields. We have also constructed a new Cross Country course, located at the Gladwin Recreational Facility on (Pratt Lake) Shaw Road.
Indoors, we have a gymnasium which seats approximately 2,000 fans, a mezzanine area which increases practice space, remodeled locker rooms, and a new state-of-the-art weight room.
Gladwin has a certified Athletic Trainer who is available during practices, and attends home games for Varsity, JV and freshmen. She attends all varsity football contests. Generally, we have community emergency medical staff at our home football games, as well.