LEO AND LORI CONSTINE were joined by more than 300 friends, past and present colleagues, former and current students, and family members at the Knights of Columbus in Owosso on Saturday, May 20 for Leo’s retirement party. Many people went out of their way to pay tribute to the retiring administrator, with some bringing gifts, and others, like former Corunna High School Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Jim Duffield traveling from Houghton Lake for the celebration.

     “You won’t find anyone more dedicated than Leo,” said Duffield. “He has been loyal to the Corunna school system and always thought about the students first. Leo will be missed by everyone.”

     Lori also traveled for the party, coming from Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, where the couple acts as camp hosts every summer. With retirement looming, Leo looks forward to spending more time with his family. The couple’s two sons live in the state, and their two daughters have pursued careers in the southern part of the country. Adam is an agronomy student at MSU, Scott is a chemical engineering student at Kettering, Amanda is a teacher in Florida, and Haley manages a Ritz Carlton in Georgia.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

 

by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

The Corunna Public Schools (CPS) will say goodbye to one of its strongest leaders on June 30 when Corunna High School (CHS) Principal Leo Constine retires after 42 years with the school system. Leo has been the high school principal since 2011, but he has filled a number of roles over the years.

Whether he was teaching; leading the Science, Debate, or Ski clubs; coaching athletic teams (and sometimes even driving the bus to away games); manning the press box for high school football games; or hosting potluck dinners at his self-designed, self-built home in west Owosso; Leo has always done whatever was needed to maintain the “standard of excellence” of the school system.

Leo began at CHS as a student teacher in Frank Corrin’s Vocational Agriculture class in 1975, and was hired by CPS in 1976. He has tought Biology, Honors Biology, and Physical Science, as well as having created the “Topics In Biology Forensics Unit.”

Leo created the wildly popular Science Club in 1999 to enhance his students’ understanding of real world scientific application. The club took annual, alternating trips to the Toronto Hands-On Museum and Niagara Falls, and soon, more than half of the student body had joined, with more than 100 students regularly participating in the club.

Leo coached boys golf for 30 years, he sponsored the girls golf club in 2000 and created the varsity girls golf team in 2002, and he was the co-creator and co-sponsor of the Ski Club with fellow science teacher Robert Johnson from the late 1970s until the early 1980s. And every now and then, the school would be short a coach for a sports team, and Leo, or his wife, Lori, would step up to coach the team. Leo stepped up to co-coach the freshman boys basketball team in 1992, and the boys varsity swim team in 2008. Lori has helped with the girls golf, tennis, cheerleading, and swimming teams.

Leo is also a big advocate of FFA and 4-H, and was instrumental in the Shiawassee County Fair moving from McCurdy Park to the Hibbard Road location in 1988. Leo was elected to the fair board in 1982, became the assistant fair manager in 1984, and then served as fair manager from 1986 until 1999. As the chairman of the fair board’s site development committee, Leo created the original drawing of the proposed fair grounds that was used to design the layout of the grounds.

As for what he intends to do with his time following retirement, Leo has not made any definitive plans. He instead focused on getting through graduation, and he is now focusing on completing his year-ending reports and reviews. An avid outdoorsman, Leo does plan on doing a lot of hunting, fishing, and camping, starting with his summer job of camp hosting at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, which he and Lori have done since 2015. The Corunna Public Schools will miss Leo Constine, but it is safe to say that his legacy will live on.

 

Corunna Icon Ready to Embrace Next Phase was last modified: May 30th, 2017 by Karen Elford