Ring Lardner’s Gary Garland headed ‘home’

Published 10:38 pm Friday, August 13, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Ring Lardner Middle School principal Gary Garland is going home when he takes his new job in the Harper Creek school district.
Garland, who is serving his last day as principal Friday, grew up in the Battle Creek area, where Harper Creek is a suburb.
A deciding factor for Garland to leave Niles Community Schools is family; his wife, son, and father all live in Battle Creek, according to Garland.
Garland said of the five districts he's worked in, Niles is the best.
Garland also thanked his staff at Ring Lardner for all its help during his time as principal.
Law hopes to have a principal in place before school starts.
Law recently posted the job internally in the district as well as externally.
Interviews of applicants will begin Tuesday, and Law hopes to make a decision by the following Tuesday.
Should an applicant not be chosen, Director of Curriculum Jim Craig and Ring Lardner assistant principal Doug Langmeyer are working on a contingency plan to have the school ready to go when classes begin, Law said.
Garland will return to Niles five times after a principal is selected to assist them in the transition. He has not scheduled when those five times will be yet, Garland said.
Garland began his career at Grand Haven High School as a language arts, theater, and communication teacher. From there he went to Richland Gull Lake High School, in a suburb of Kalamazoo where he coached football and boys track while teaching.
After leaving Gull Lake, Garland took a job as principal with St. Phillip Parochial School in Battle Creek, and from there went to Battle Creek Central Middle school before coming to be principal Ring Lardner.
Garland feels that working at the middle school level is best because he has the most impact on children at that point in their lives.
Garland said he will miss Niles more than any other place he worked in because of the closeness of the community.
Garland will continue to own his house in Niles, as his son, David, who works as a middle school teacher in Buchanan, will live there.
Garland also said he would like to retire to Niles when he decides it's time to stop working in schools, he said.