Charlie Sizer and wife Jane have made a momentous decision. After 38 years of teaching and coaching, Sizer is retiring from the Miller School District, and he and Jane will be moving to Pierre come July.
“I’ve met the requirements for the South Dakota Retirement System,” Sizer said. “I’ve been teaching for 38 years, and I’ll be 62 in August. I’ll still work doing something…I’m just not sure what that will be.”
Sizer graduated from high school in Ellendale, N.D., and graduated from Jamestown (N.D.) College. He taught three years at Herreid, S.D. before coming to Miller, where he has spent the last 35 years.
“I had interviewed in several different places, and I had the opportunity to come to Miller. Miller had so many different things that were important to us—a hospital and clinic, a good library, a golf course, hunting opportunities. Plus it was about the same size as where we came from,” Sizer said. So they settled in, made friends, raised their family. “It will be a big change to move to Pierre,” he acknowledged.
Sizer taught business courses, some P.E. classes, and, later, computer science classes. And of course, he was always connected to athletics.
“I’ve coached a lot,” he stated. “I was assistant football coach, boys’ basketball, junior high boys’ basketball for 25 years, golf for more than 25 years, girls’ basketball for 20 years.” Oh, yes, he’s been the athletic director for some 20 years, too. He was also advisor to the Rodeo Club and was prom advisor for more than 20 years. He’s been connected way beyond the classroom.
Sizer says he’s been involved in “hundreds and hundreds” of different athletic events, and he remembers many highlights of his coaching career. But an exceptional highpoint was when the girls’ basketball team won 73 games in a row in the ’91-’93 seasons. “They won the state championships in ’91 and ’92, and lost the championship in ’93, coming in second. They hold the ‘Class A’ record for consecutive wins.”
Sizer has witnessed many changes. “In the teaching field, we use way more technology today. The computer and Internet have changed how we teach, and how students learn. As for doing research, so much more is available on the Internet.”
Considering the Miller school facilities, Sizer commented on the move to the new high school complex in the ‘90s, and now having a new elementary school that will be ready for fall. “We re-did the track complex, and the armory has changed completely, with the wood floor and new bleachers.”
He’s also impressed with the new gym that is part of the elementary building project. “We’ve needed a new gym,” he said. It will be used for basketball and volleyball, and also for wrestling tournaments. “We’ll be hosting both the district and regional wrestling tournaments next year. I’m happy about that.”
Overall, Sizer is pleased with what the Miller School system has to offer. “I run into former students, and former high school athletes all the time. So many of our grads have done so well, and I’m so proud of them—doctors, teachers, business people, farmers and ranchers. I’d like to think I played some small part in that,” he commented.
“I’ve been offered different career opportunities over the years, but I obviously enjoyed teaching and coaching, and I stayed with it.”
On a serious note, Sizer added, “Miller has a great educational system, and I hope it will stay that way, and maintain the same level of excellence, because there are financial problems that have to be addressed, cuts that have to be considered. I hope the community steps up to support the school.”
Sizer admits the move to Pierre will be a big change. “We’ve lived in the same house for 27 years. Plus with all the years of coaching, I have a lot of memorabilia. We’re sorting—things to save, things to give away or sell, and things to throw.”
A main reason for the decision to move to Pierre is because their two daughters, Kate and Liza, and their families live there, as well as Charlie’s sister and nephew. Two grandchildren (six and four), and a third due in August are the best reason of all for a move. It’s time to enjoy.