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Superintendent James Cracraft

August 1, 2023

Dear Gaylord Community Families:

I hope this note finds you well and enjoying all that a northern Michigan summer has to offer. The beginning of the school year signals the end of summer break but also brings the excitement of a new school year and endless possibilities for our students and families. The return to teaching and learning with the start of fall sports, marching band, and various school activities has always inspired me as an educator. A new start brings new opportunities and a fresh perspective for our students and staff. This summer, our GCS staff have been diligently working on several facilities improvement projects, including the north and west entrances at GHS and new boilers for GHS. We have also been painting our buildings and giving them a thorough cleaning. Our district participated in the 58th Alpenfest, and as a ‘new arrival’ to our community, I was impressed with the collaboration, mutual respect, and work ethic that goes into planning and holding a festival of this size. Thanks to all who contributed and for our community partnerships with GCS.

The administrative team has been busy hiring new staff, managing summer facilities projects, and implementing professional development for our outstanding teaching and support teams. The district theme will continue our focus on building student resilience, and continuous improvement of collaboration and communication with our school community. I have enjoyed learning with and from our students and staff this past year, and greatly appreciate the warm welcome to Gaylord. In Gaylord Community Schools, we have much to be proud of with our robust advanced placement offerings and CTE programs to our district-wide focus on early literacy and district-wide school safety. Our fine arts department continues to make us proud with wonderful concerts and community involvement. Student athletics is another outstanding point of pride this past year with our Division 2 State Championship in softball as we completed our school year.

I feel very fortunate to lead this district. We are small enough to give students and families the personalized attention they deserve but large enough to offer a robust curriculum, career and technical education, strong fine arts, and competitive athletics and extracurricular opportunities. If you are contemplating a move north or considering your school of choice options, feel free to contact me personally to schedule an appointment and a personal tour of our district.

Great things are happening in Gaylord Community Schools. Come be a part of our community of learning in a welcoming environment.