Feature Stories

Dr. Nicholas Ceglarek '96 & '99

Dr. Nicholas Ceglarek '96 & '99

Interest Area(s)
Mathematics, Psychology, Statistics

Nicholas Ceglarek, Ed.D., '96 & '99, has been the superintendent of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District since 2018. He was also the superintendent of Hudsonville Public Schools, Fruitport Community Schools, and Baldwin Community Schools, among other leadership roles in public education.

“His capacity as a leader is without bounds. He has the unique ability to apply what he learned as a student at Grand Valley, as a teacher in the classroom, and as a leader in life to get the most out of the team around him to serve the greater good,” said Scott B. Smith, the superintendent of Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Dr. Ceglarek played football for five years at Grand Valley State University and distinguished himself as an Academic All-Conference quarterback, a GVSU Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and even a Rhodes Scholar candidate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with minors in psychology and statistics, and a secondary teaching certification. He went on to complete his master’s degree in educational leadership, and finally, a cooperative doctoral degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley and Eastern Michigan University.

Dr. Ceglarek is committed to giving back to his community, a value instilled upon him by staff throughout his academic journey at Grand Valley. Over the past 20 years, he has been an adjunct professor at GVSU, teaching educational leadership and special education courses for students seeking advanced degrees. Additionally, he helped develop a regional cohort for leaders in West Michigan desiring to earn a GVSU educational specialist degree.

“Nick Ceglarek has an impeccable reputation across the state and is a remarkable representative of Grand Valley State University,” said Catherine L. Meyer-Looze, Ed.D., department chair and associate professor in educational leadership and counseling at GVSU.

Beyond his administrative and teaching roles in public education, Dr. Ceglarek is a founding board member of Hand2Hand, a nonprofit program that provides food to kids facing weekend hunger. Currently, Hand2Hand is serving over 8,000 students ages three to 18 in 230 schools across 37 school districts in West Michigan. They do this by mobilizing schools, churches, businesses, and individuals to provide backpacks of nutritious food.

In 2021, Dr. Ceglarek received Grand Valley’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The award has been given out since 1985. It is presented during Homecoming weekend to an alumnus or alumna who excels in their chosen profession and reflects favorably upon themselves, their community, and Grand Valley.

This prestigious award from Dr. Ceglarek’s alma mater complements a career full of published scholarship and articles, service through boards, organizations, and committees, and an impressive array of other honors and awards.

“While the many awards and honors bestowed upon Nick over the years are well deserved and speak to his intelligence, leadership, and vision, what truly makes Dr. Ceglarek a distinguished alumnus can be summed up in just one word: integrity,” praised Karla M. Akins, the director of Teaching and Learning for Public Schools of Petoskey.

Never have I met a man more honest and humble or one who shows a more consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. Dr. Ceglarek leaves every place he enters better than he found it, and every person he meets better than they were. Isn’t’ that the true measure of distinction?”

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Page last modified March 9, 2021