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Tag Archive | "Carolee Gunnell"

CTA signs papers on property donation

Fred Gunnell (left) and CTA Supt. Dan George (right) after the property closing on Thursday, March 1. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Fred and Carolee Gunnell, of Solon Township, are leaving a legacy of love with their donation of 10 acres to Creative Technologies Academy.

The donation was made official Thursday, March 1, at an emotional signing ceremony in the school auditorium.

The Gunnells, retired educators and longtime neighbors of the charter school, decided to donate the property to the school when they found out they wanted to expand.  

“Over the years, Carolee and I have always been involved in education,” explained Fred. They taught in Sparta, and then moved north when he took a job as an administrator at Michigan Tech. “We were gone for 25 years. The property here—80 acres—belonged to Carolee’s family. When we came back, we wondered what to do with it. We tried to give some away at one time [to another entity], but it was refused,” he said.

Over the years, the Gunnells have loved having the school as a neighbor. Fred was emotional as he spoke about it. “You feel like family,” Fred told CTA officials during the signing. “I’m glad we could do this.”

A local couple signed over 10 acres to CTA Thursday. Pictured (from L to R) is: Carolee Gunnell, Fred Gunnel, CTA Board President Cindy Patin, and Superintendent Dan George. Post photo by J. Reed.

School Superintendent and School Leader Dan George was also emotional as he read a statement to the Gunnells about what their generosity means to the school. “I believe the impact of your gift of 10 acres to Creative Technologies Academy is immeasurable at this point in time,” he said. “I had many friends in teaching and administration in traditional public schools when I took this job eight years ago, and have sought to continue and multiply those relationships. We provide choices, legitimate, rigorous, accountable choices for families. One of my goals early on was to have our Academy viewed as partners, not competitors, with the surrounding communities and schools in doing what is best for kids.

“Your gift and generosity extends far beyond property and finances, and the potential site for our Student Activities Center. I believe your gift to CTA recognizes and legitimizes our role as partners in the community. It says to us, and others, that you believe in us. How do you put a value on that? We are so grateful for that gift of trust and we are honored that you recognize and share our love for kids and our partnership with community. On behalf of the students and staff of Creative Technologies Academy, please accept our sincere thanks from the bottom of our hearts.”

George said he has always had a dream for the school to have their own gymnasium. This property, just to the west of the school, will give them space to build it, and include some extra classrooms in the complex. They would also like to add a soccer field. George said that when they are not using the Student Activities Center, it would be available for the community to use as well.

Next steps will be to come up with the exact plans for the property, and raise money for the project. 

Other parties involved in the closing Thursday included realtor Leon Stout, and Jodi Ellis, of Sun Title.

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