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Burnell Glanzer 'a leader' of Armour

ARMOUR -- For 57 years, Burnell Glanzer has gone to school. Now, he'll finally learn what the last day feels like. Glanzer, an educational figure in Armour for more than four decades, is retiring this year. His official last day is June 30, when ...

Armour Principal Brad Preheim, at left, announces the Gov. Dennis Daugaard's declaration of May 11, 2016, as Burnell Glanzer Day on Wednesday at Armour School. (Submitted photo)
Armour Principal Brad Preheim, at left, announces the Gov. Dennis Daugaard's declaration of May 11, 2016, as Burnell Glanzer Day on Wednesday at Armour School. (Submitted photo)

ARMOUR - For 57 years, Burnell Glanzer has gone to school. Now, he’ll finally learn what the last day feels like.

Glanzer, an educational figure in Armour for more than four decades, is retiring this year. His official last day is June 30, when school administrators’ contracts are complete. But Glanzer’s last day to interact with students on a day-to-day basis is today, the final day of the school year.

“Come August 24 or whenever next school year starts, there’s not going to be a place where I have to be,” he said Thursday in an interview with The Daily Republic. “It’s going to be different.”

He spent all 41 years of his professional career in Armour in several different roles, including teaching, coaching, mentoring educators, and even driving the school bus. For the past eight years, he’s been the school’s superintendent and elementary principal. Prior to that, he taught middle and high school math, biology, health, and other courses.

“I’m going to have a small role here next year, kind of consulting and making sure that everything flows smoothly from one administration to the next, then I’ll bow out,” Glanzer said.

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Gov. Dennis Daugaard proclaimed May 11, 2016, as Burnell Glanzer Day. A celebration event was held Wednesday at the school.

Glanzer admitted he was happy the event flew somewhat under the radar aside from a great showing from Armour residents and friends. He said it was an emotional day.

“I’ve probably spent more hours in this building in this complex than I did in my own house,” Glanzer said in a phone interview. “It’s just going to be different.”

Brad Preheim, principal at Armour High School, started working with Glanzer in 1990. At that time, Glanzer was the head basketball coach of the Armour Packers, a team that later formed a cooperative with Tripp-Delmont School District. Glanzer retired from an extremely successful coaching career in 2012.

He had 617 wins, three state championships and 12 state tournament appearances.

“From the beginning I was struck by the fact that he coached the last minute of a game in which we were ahead by 40 points with the same intensity and passion as he did the first minute of a tournament game,” Preheim said. “He has carried that principle and passion into his role as leader of the school as well.”

Glanzer said he never saw a reason to leave Armour. He noted the benefits of a “sense of community” and “knowing every student and every family of every student.”

He acknowledged it will become more rare to have an educator stick to a rural school district for as long as he did.

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Preheim never felt that Glanzer even contemplated leaving Armour.

“This is where he wanted to be,” Preheim said. “His identity is tied to this community. His influence will be felt and his impact will last long past this retirement date.”

Glanzer has no immediate plans to move from Armour, but is “kind of looking” to move closer to family in Sioux Falls and in Minnesota.

“I just want to make sure the transition for whoever is doing this next year is smooth, so they can’t say I just ran out of here and left a mess,” Glanzer said jokingly.

Related Topics: DELMONT
Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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