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 Macomb Lutheran North teacher Gary Faszholz’s last day on the job was May 29. His retirement comes after 44 years working in Lutheran schools, 39 of which were at Lutheran North as the art teacher.

Macomb Lutheran North teacher Gary Faszholz’s last day on the job was May 29. His retirement comes after 44 years working in Lutheran schools, 39 of which were at Lutheran North as the art teacher.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Longtime art teacher, coach retires

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 9, 2020

  A line forms around Macomb Lutheran North May 29 with folks wishing Gary Faszholz good luck on his retirement. Because of COVID-19 concerns, Faszholz’s send-off was in the form of a parade.

A line forms around Macomb Lutheran North May 29 with folks wishing Gary Faszholz good luck on his retirement. Because of COVID-19 concerns, Faszholz’s send-off was in the form of a parade.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Gary Faszholz is pictured in the 1979 Macomb Lutheran North yearbook. The 1978-79 school year was his first at the school.

Gary Faszholz is pictured in the 1979 Macomb Lutheran North yearbook. The 1978-79 school year was his first at the school.

Photo provided by Macomb Lutheran North

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Whenever students return to in-person schooling, a familiar face won’t return, for good reason.

Gary Faszholz’s last day on the job at Macomb Lutheran North was May 29. He is retiring from teaching after 44 years working in Lutheran schools, 39 of which were at the Macomb Township school as the art teacher.

To show support for Faszholz and his ministry career, the Lutheran North community honored the 66-year-old with a car parade May 29. A steady flow of folks showed up in their vehicles to drive around the football stadium and honk their horns, wishing Faszholz well.

“It feels good to be acknowledged for things you’ve done,” Faszholz, the son of a high school teacher, said. “It’s closure, because otherwise, there could be nothing worse than fading into oblivion.”

After graduating in 1976 from Concordia College Seward, now Concordia University in Nebraska, Faszholz first worked at a Lutheran high school in New Orleans for two years.

He moved to Michigan in 1978 and began his first stint at Lutheran North, from 1978-1995. Art classes he taught included intro to art, advanced level courses in drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics, and portfolio art for those looking to have an art career.

In the early days of Lutheran North, which opened in 1972, Faszholz remembers having to drive bus routes to places like Pontiac and Richmond to draw kids to the school.

“I had a tiny art room when I first got there, and now it’s been developed into the largest classroom in the school,” he said. “It’s been a blessing to be a teacher at Lutheran North.”

In 1995, he left Michigan to start a Lutheran high school in San Antonio. He then returned to Lutheran North in 1998 when then-principal Dr. Steve Buuck called Faszholz back, and he has been at the school ever since.

In a May 22 video, Buuck shared some memories of Faszholz.

He began by calling 44 years of teaching, “Nothing short of heroic.”

“Every single parent in the world today, who in the last nine weeks has had to spend any time helping their student, knows just how heroic that is,” Buuck commented.

Buuck, who began teaching at Lutheran North in 1990, and was principal from 1997 to 2008, believes the greatest compliment Faszholz can receive is about students, inspired by him, who have gone on to make a career in the art industry.

“What a legacy you have left,” he said.

Lutheran North Principal John Reincke, who has known Faszholz since 1990, said Faszholz has a passion and heart for Lutheran education that was present in his family as he grew up.

“When I think of Gary, I think of artwork,” Reincke said. “He left his mark literally on our walls.”

As an art teacher, Faszholz led a group of students who painted murals on walls around the school.

 Faszholz said he enjoyed going to work every day.

“If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t be in the profession,” he said. “It wasn’t a burden, it was just time to retire. The one thing about being a teacher is that you better be committed to it.”

What he enjoyed about teaching teenagers was “seeing them come in as kids and leave as adults. Watching them develop is a cool thing.”

Aside from work in the classroom, Faszholz coached baseball for 16 years and football for 35 years. He was the head varsity football coach at Lutheran North from 2001-2011.

A favorite moment for Faszholz was when, after each football game as head coach, he would bring the two teams together in the middle of the field after the game to pray.

“You’re out there trying to destroy the guy across from you during the game, and after, you pray with them as a Christian brother, and it takes off all the animosity,” he said.   

One of Faszholz’s trademark phrases, typically heard prior to football practice, was “Hubba, hubba! It’s a great day to be young, alive and a Mustang!” The phrase was preceded by a loud whistle.

“The football coach in the ’70s at North, who was a Texan, would walk outside and say ‘It’s a great day to play football.’ My college coach would always say ‘hubba, hubba.’ It was his way to get us pumped up. I changed the whole thing around and gave it my own twist.”

Reincke indicated that plans are being worked out to replace Faszholz in the art department.

Faszholz has been married to his wife, Mary, for 45 years. The couple has three children — all Lutheran North graduates — and three grandchildren.

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