School board mourns loss of ‘Center Grove icon’ Gary Robinson

Long-time teacher, coach and school board member Gary Robinson has died, the Center Grove Community School Corporation announced Sunday.

The Center Grove Board of School Trustees remembers Robinson as a distinguished and devoted board member. Robinson was appointed to the board in November of 2022 to complete the term of a board member who resigned. He was then elected to the seat in January 2023.

“The passing of Gary Robinson is a tremendous blow to our school community. He was such a powerful advocate for our students and community, and a great supporter of public education,” Bill Long, superintendent said in a statement on his passing. “I appreciated his friendship, support, wisdom, and positive outlook. He was truly a Center Grove icon. His 43 years of teaching experience and love for the Center Grove Community School Corporation made him an excellent board member. We will truly miss him.”

Robinson was a 1973 Center Grove High School graduate and spent 43 years as a public school teacher, 37 of which were at Center Grove Middle School Central. He was the 2018 Center Grove Teacher of the Year, semi-finalist for the Indiana Teacher of the Year, Middle School Central curriculum coordinator, mentor teacher, social studies department chair, and academic team leader. He was also a 15-time Legacy Award winner.

Robinson was also a member of Southland Community Church and the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Robinson’s willingness to continue to learn and grow as a teacher and his ability to be a positive role model for his students are the qualities that led to him earning 2018 Teacher of the Year, school officials told the Daily Journal in 2018.

After he retired from teaching, he ran for the school board to serve the school community that he was so proud to be part of both as a student and a teacher, he said in 2022.

“I have lived and worked in the Center Grove School Corporation my entire life, and I am deeply committed to the preservation of this community and its reputation for excellence,” Robinson said. “… I want what is best for our students, teachers and parents so that they also feel connected to this place of which I am and have always been so proud.”

He will be deeply missed by the school community and the board, said Amy Counts, board president, in a statement on his passing

“Gary Robinson cared so deeply for our school district and its people,” Counts said. “Center Grove will not be the same without him. I and my fellow noard members send love and prayers for healing to his family and friends.”

The school board vacancy will be filled according to the board’s policy, which says the vacant set shall be filled by the remaining members of the board within 30 days. If a tie vote occurs or members fail to fill a vacancy within 30 days, the judge of the circuit court shall make an appointment.

All interested persons should submit a notice of their interest in writing to Counts at [email protected].