Jan. 1, 2007

Glas and Roering bid the Delano Board of Education farewell

By Kelsey Linden
Staff Writer

After years of serving on the Delano School Board, Howard Glas and Len Roering have decided to retire.

Glas has been on the school board for 10 years. The first four years, he was the treasurer, and he has held the position of chairman for the past six years.

Roering has served on the board for eight years and has been the current treasurer.

When asked why Glas chose to retire, he replied, “I think it’s good to get new ideas from people involved with the school.”

Chuckling, he added, “I guess I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.”

Agreeing, Roering added, “It’s good to get fresh ideas and a new perspective.”

Glas and Roering also touched on the importance of the involvement of people from the community.

“It’s important to give something back to the community,” Glas said. “I have always been interested in education and I’ve always tried to take an active role in my children’s education.”

Their education and duties

Glas attended Hutchinson High School, where his father was also on the school board during his high school years.

He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in finance and pharmacy. He currently works for State Farm Insurance.

Roering attended Melrose High School and received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northwestern College.

“We are basically the oversight on how the school district should operate,” Glas said.

As members of the school board, Glas believes that it is their duty to “make sure the dollars are spent wisely” and to ensure “that programs are in place so that children’s outcomes and education are the best we can provide.”

Being the chairman, Glas works with the superintendent to help set up the agenda for each meeting, and he also leads the discussion.

Every board member is encouraged to get involved in ways such as talking to staff, taking a look at the budget, and attending other community meetings.

Roering’s responsibility as treasurer is to ensure that the finances are in order.

Being a true mathematician at heart, Roering has enjoyed his time spent at the school board meetings.

Meetings typically last two to three hours.

“No two meetings are the same because the issues are different,” Roering said.

Because of this, Roering agrees that there is not a consistent structure at the meetings. However long it might take, everything will be brought to the board’s attention.

Looking back at a decade of accomplishments

When it comes to the overall accomplishments of the district, Glas believes that there are three aspects that make the Delano School District so special.

“Number one is an excellent, well-trained staff that has always put kids’ needs first. We also have a very strong curriculum that has always tried to address the needs of all children,” Glas said.

“We’ve always had a strong community commitment in our school district,” Glas added.

Glas believes that parents have “always taken a very active role in their children’s education and development.”

Roering and Glas feel the board has had tremendous success over the years with preschool programs, ECFC, the activity center, the hiring of two superintendents, and the college courses offered to students at Delano High School.

However, looking at accomplishments as a whole, Glas insinuated, “It’s really a community. The community takes a role in making our district so successful.

“With our high test scores and graduation rank, our school district has always set an example, not just for the state, but for the nation. We spend the money wisely and the focus has always been to have that money spent in the classroom to give kids more individual attention.”

When asked about the staff he’s worked with over the years, Glas said, “I always felt very fortunate to work with a strong administrative staff. They’ve always set their personal agendas aside and done what’s best for kids. Anybody that is willing to be involved in education, that puts their personal issues aside, will always have my admiration.”

It’s not always easy

Not every year is easy. With budget cuts from state funding, the school board is very limited on what it can do.

With the focus always being on education, budget cuts will cause pain “because what we were cutting was more opportunities for students. We’ve always tried to spend our dollars that are available,” Glas said.

“Those were years that were very challenging and painful,” Glas added.

When asked about Roering, Glas commented, “Len has been a tremendous board member.”

Glas cited Roering as a very knowledgeable individual, who is also well prepared.

“He sets his personal agenda aside and always tries to do what’s best for all kids,” Glas said.

Roering was quick to acknowledge Glas, adding that “He contributed a lot.”

Roering holds Glas at a very high standard, and appreciates his active participation and contributions to the community.

Even though Glas and Roering are retiring, they both ensure that education will always have a soft spot in their hearts.

“I’ve always been proud of our school district,” Glas said, “and I will always be involved some way or another.”

If anyone is interested in becoming a board member, Roering advised, “listen more than you talk, get the information, and make decisions. There’s so many things you don’t know . . . you’ve got to listen to people who do know.”

It’s also important to “keep an open mind,” Glas added.

The board will decide at its first meeting in January who will take Glas and Roering’s places as treasurer and board chairman.

Even though they will no longer be members of the school board, they will continue to remain actively involved in education in general, and they hope as a community, it can do the same.

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