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Retired Glenwood Teacher, Coach Brian Stanley Will Miss Daily Interaction With Students, Colleagues

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

Brian Stanely had a passion for teaching and coaching.

He had to. He did it for more than 36 years.

“This is true in every profession, if you don’t like getting up to go to work in the morning, it isn’t your cup of tea,” Stanley said while discussing his recent retirement from the Glenwood Community School District. “It’s the kids. You’re able to interact and have a good time with the kids every day.”

Stanley, a 1977 GCHS graduate, spent his entire teaching career in Glenwood as a physical education and geography teacher in the elementary and middle schools. He coached numerous sports at the middle school and high school level, including football, basketball, track, cross country and tennis.

Stanley didn’t come from a family of teachers, although his father, Jim Stanley, coached girls softball for many years. As a junior high student in Bellevue, Stanley saw the positive interaction some of his teachers had with their students, which he believes played a role in his decision to pursue a career in education.

It was during his high school days that Stanley developed an interest in coaching.

“I really liked football and I became a student of the game,” he said. “I’d watch college games and analyze them.”

Stanley received his teaching degree at Wayne State College (Neb.). He graduated from college at mid-term in December 1980 and returned to Glenwood where he taught as a substitute for the Glenwood, Treynor and Lewis Central school districts. He worked several months as an assistant racquetball club, but knew his heart was in education.

“I landed a long-term sub job in Glenwood in 1982,” he recalled. “Bob Blasi was the high school principal and Keith McGinnis was at Northeast. That same year, Lou Walker, the P.E. teacher at Northeast resigned and I started over there.”

Stanley’s first coaching assignment was assisting Leonard Griffith with the boys and girls cross country teams, but his first love was football, so when a position opened up on new coach Brian Albert’s staff, he shifted over as an assistant. Later in the decade, Stanley would become the varsity boys basketball coach.

Stanley spent his first nine years as a full-time educator at Northeast and then moved up to the middle school when it was relocated from West Elementary to the Meyer Building on the campus of what was then called the Glenwood State Hospital-School.

Stanley said some people had doubts about the district moving its middle school to the state school campus, but it turned out to be a positive experience for students and faculty.

“We were only supposed to be up there a couple years, but then the bond issue failed,” he said. “We found our niche and we actually kind of liked it. We had only two classes up there – seventh and eighth graders. We were isolated up there. It was a self-contained place and we had a tight-knit staff.”

Stanley remained on the middle school staff for the remainder of his teaching career and was part of the move when the school was relocated into the former Glenwood Community High School building.

He worked with six differenent principals during his career - McGinnis, Russ Finken, Rick Kentfield, Kerry Newman, Bill Eich and Heidi Stanley, who also happens to be his wife.

Stanley said he’ll miss the every day interaction with his students and his co-workers, but he felt the time was right to move on.

“There’s been changes. Technology is the big thing,” he said. “Kids are still kids. The thing about middle school kids, they’re still in the process of forming their patterns of life.”

A retirement party for Stanley will take place Sunday, July 28, from 2-4 p.m. at Keg Creek Brewing Co.