More than 110 people gathered on Saturday, Oct. 5, to celebrate the John C. Magnus Center Dedication and the Clare-Gladwin RESD Golden Jubilee. The event recognized the RESD’s 50 years of service to Clare and Gladwin counties, and named the nearly 25 acres of land recently acquired by Clare-Gladwin RESD in memory of John C. Magnus, the property’s former owner.
Previously home to Magnus Tractor sales, the majority of the acreage was donated to the RESD earlier this year by John’s wife, Verna Magnus Green, and their children, Lt. Col. Mike Magnus, Darla Schmittner, and Michelle Maeder. The property will be used to improve and expand learning opportunities for local youth through Clare-Gladwin RESD’s student programs, including career and technical education as well as special education.
The land contains multiple outbuildings, a barn, and a house – many of which will be used to further the students’ skills.
Students in the Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Construction Trades program have already been busy this fall cleaning up the grounds and preparing to make the home handicapped accessible for future use by Clare-Gladwin Area School students. “The improvements that have already taken place have been exciting – and it is only the beginning,” said Verna.
Succeeding an invocation performed by Rev. Karen Blatt, the dedication ceremony included an historical overview of Magnus Tractor Sales and Clare-Gladwin RESD. Superintendent Sheryl Presler also shared the journey that merged the two entities. “John’s family felt he would approve of the facilities being used to teach the trades to young people,” she said. “Some kids learn best with their hands. The trades offer a purpose for learning math and English, a chance to work with others on projects, and an opportunity to learn there are rewards from a hard day’s work. There’s honor and dignity being employed in the trades and I don’t think John would want anyone to ever forget that.”
Remarks by members of the Magnus family reinforced the significance of the property’s past and the benefits it will bring to the community in the future.
“My married life with John revolved around this business. The buildings and grounds hold so many memories,” said Verna. “John would be pleased to know that it will be used for those in need for many years to come.”
Following the program, attendants gathered around the property’s barn to witness the ribbon-cutting that revealed the sign that now identifies the location as the John C. Magnus Center.
“I want to especially thank Verna, Mike, Darla, and Michelle for their generosity,” said Presler. “Also, thank you to the former and current CGRESD staff, students, administrators, and board members for your energy and dedication to the last 50 years and as we grow in the future.”