Board of Education Members
Terms of Office
Nicole Persing-Wethington: President (2017-2022)
Wendy Kucharek: Vice President (2019-2024)
Lori Johnson: Secretary (2019-2024)
Josh Peters: Treasurer (2021-2026)
Bryan Bearss: Trustee (2021-2026)
Ryan Finstrom: Trustee (appointed 2021-2022)
Lewis Madill: Trustee (2017-2022)
Bryan Bears moved to Grayling the summer before his fifth grade year and says he was lucky to be the first fifth grade class in the newly remodeled middle school. After graduating from GHS in 1995, he attended Northland College where he earned a degree in outdoor education.
He says he eventually landed in Alaska where he became a tour guide and trained and raced sled dogs. After a successful finish in the Iditarod, he retired from dog mushing to become an elementary teacher in Anchorage. He graduated from the University of Alaska with a master's degree in educational administration and spent his last two years in Alaska as a part time first grade teacher and part-time assistant administrator at a German immersion school.
After accomplishing his goals in Alaska, he returned to Grayling to be closer to family and friends and to be in the community that "helped me as a child." He is presently a K-7 physical education teacher in a local district.
He added, "The allure of the AuSable River may have had a hand in my return too as I now spend much of my free time fly fishing and canoe racing. I’ve also been lucky enough to connect to the dog mushing community in northern Michigan who have allowed me to race their dogs in local races and supported me in hosting a series of sled dog races at Hanson Hills this spring.
"As a school board member with CASD, I feel I am able to positively impact our whole community with my experience as a teacher and administrator," said Mr. Bearss.
He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Wendy (Feldhauser) Kucharek has ties to Crawford County that date back to the 1880s when the Feldhauser family moved here. Her great grandfather built the Feldhauser School, which still stands on the corner of North Down River and Wakeley Bridge roads. Her mother was a Sorenson, so "I grew up in the funeral home." She is the daughter of Hank Feldhauser (who died in 1964) and Marlene Lippard, (who died in 1999).
Wendy graduated from Grayling High School in 1973 and married Mike Kucharek in 1976. She has two sons, Charlie (GHS Class of 1995) and Chris (GHS Class of 1996). Chris Kucharek is presently a GMS science teacher and a coach. He and his wife Marlana have three children -- one a student at Grayling Elementary School and two who attend Grayling Middle School. Having her grandchildren attend CASD schools is "part of the reason why I ran for the board."
Ms. Kucharek earned an associate of arts degree from Kirtland Community College in 1995. She worked for the CASD, beginning in 1988 -- as a cook at GES, hall monitor at GMS and library paraprofessional at FES and GMS -- until her retirement in 2011.
You can contact her at 989-348-7528 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lewis Madill is a lifelong resident of Crawford County who resides in the Frederic/Maple Forest area. He graduated from Grayling High School in 1977, and in 1983, he graduated cum laude from Central Michigan University with a B.S. degree in business administration. Since 1975, he has been employed by AuSable Woodworking.
He married Kristine Klintworth in 1984. They have two children, both GHS graduates. He also has nieces and cousins attending schools in the CASD. Mr. Madill enjoys being with his family, outdoor recreation and sports.
He can be reached at email@example.com
Josh Peters was born and raised in Shepherd and graduated from Shepherd High School in 1999. He attended Alma College where he earned a B.A. in exercise and health science in 2004. He then earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2014. He currently works for Munson Home Healthcare as a physical therapist.
His wife Kim graduated from Cadillac High School in 2000 and holds a B.S. in education from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in early childhood education from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. She currently teaches at GES and has coached volleyball at GHS and GMS.
Mr. Peters and his family and moved to Grayling in the summer of 2016. Prior to that they lived in the Ft. Myers/Naples, Florida, area. However, he and his wife Kim are Michigan natives and had a desire to move closer to family and raise their children in their home state. "My childhood friend, Tim Sanchez, strongly encouraged us to consider moving to Grayling and provided us with a wealth of information and knowledge regarding the amazing people, area and school system," he said. "We have felt right at home in Grayling and haven’t looked back!"
"I was appointed to the school board in the summer of 2019 to fill Dave Malm’s position as trustee," he said. "My priorities include giving my best to continue to uphold the standard of excellence of the CASD and to use my time and resources to serve our students, families, teachers and staff."
He and his wife "have four wonderful sons, Jordan, Jaden, Jason, and Joe, and a very large Bullmastiff, Thor."
"My hobbies include spending time with my family, raising boys, enjoying the company of good
friends, a variety of backyard sports, reading, exercise/fitness related activities, skiing/snowboarding, being on the water, sitting around the campfire, attending youth sporting events and experiencing the beauty of living in Crawford County."
Mr. Peters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Johnson graduated from Central Michigan University in August of 1984 and was hired in September as a special education teacher at Frederic Elementary School. She transferred to Grayling Middle School the year after GMS was remodeled and retired from her position there in June 2018 after a 34-year career in special education.
"Being on the board of education has provided me the opportunity to stay connected to the education programs our community provides," said Ms. Johnson. "CASD continues to be a leader in education, and I want to be sure all students are provided the opportunity to be career and college ready."
She enjoys participating in outdoor activities with family, hanging out with her horse at her farm, reading and gardening. She also volunteers and is a member of three Frederic Township committees.
She is married to Bill Johnson, a GHS graduate, and her daughters are GHS grads as well -- Laura in 2009 and Ciara in 2012. Her stepsons, Bill Johnson III and Bryon Johnson, also attended schools in the CASD. Her mother, Donna Horning, is a 1957 GHS graduate.
She can be contacted at email@example.com or 989-350-5378.
Ryan Finstrom was appointed to the Board of Education on June 28, 2021.