By Sam Jack
HAYSVILLE – As Glenn Crum prepared to formally step down from the USD 261 Haysville school board next week, his son, Steven, started doing some figuring.
Steven put a timeline together and worked out that, over the past 65 years, Glenn was serving the school district in some capacity for 61, either as a teacher, counselor or school board member.
After his first year, teaching fifth grade in 1954, the only gaps were in 1955 and 1956, when Glenn was drafted and stationed in New Mexico, and then a couple of years between his retirement as a school counselor and the start of his tenure on the school board in 1997.
“I didn’t ever think about the fact that he was tied to the school district,” Steven said. “I just knew that he was tied to people, especially with his coaching.”
Glenn was assistant boys swim coach at Campus from 1960 to 1963, then head boys swim coach starting later in 1963. In 1974, Glenn started the Campus girls swim team, and he was head coach for both boys and girls through 1982.
On top of that, Glenn and his wife, Rolla, founded the Haysville Piranhas summer swimming program, which is still going strong after 50 years. Son Steven now helps coach the Piranhas and is an assistant swim coach at Campus.
Glenn’s work as a counselor at Campus was less visible to Steven, but he could still tell it made an impact.
“I knew that a lot of older kids knew him, respected him, and would always say ‘Hi,’” Steven said. “He was tied to the community as a whole, and to the kids that he served.”
Glenn said he didn’t necessarily plan a 60-plus-year career with the district when he started teaching at age 21.
“It was my life, and so I just enjoyed it as I went along,” he said.
Glenn noted that USD 261 launched the International Baccalaureate (IB) program of advanced study at Campus during his tenure on the school board.
“I think it was a good idea, and it still is going good. I’ve even had some grandkids go through,” he said. “And we got bond issues for new schools, and did a lot of work on the old schools, too.”
Rolla said she thinks her husband has done a marvelous job.
“He’s touched a lot of lives, and he gets a lot of reports back from students as to how much he meant to them. He has just devoted himself to the city and to the students,” she said.