12-28-2017 Hallgren & Banic retire with 70 years combined service to Hartford Schools; Bainbrid

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON… On December 11, Cadet Paul Chappell of the Hartford Fire Department became a full member Firefighter/ Medical First Responder. Just one week later on December 18, he officially became a member of the Hartford Lions Club. Son of Mike and Marissa Chappell of Hartford, Paul was a 2017 Top 10 Graduate of Hartford High School currently attending Grand Valley State University’s Pre-Med program while volun-teering in the pediatric trauma unit at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Also a member of the Young Republicans, Paul embodies a spirit of volunteer-ism and service to community that deserves recognition.


Hallgren & Banic retire with 70 years combined service to Hartford Schools

By Jon Bisnett

The annual Hartford Public Schools Staff Christmas Party had a few extra hugs and handshakes this year as the District also bid farewell to iconic employees with a combined 70 years of service to the District.

Leda Banic – High School Secretary

When Leda Banic first took the chair of secretary to the high school’s principal one gallon milk sold for just 95 cents. She still recalls the upgrade from an electric typewriter to her first TRS80 computer with then revolutionary word processing; fast-forwarding to today’s era of fully computerized student records with grades, attendance and even parental communications.

During her 33-1/2 years, Banic worked under six different principals, plus one interim principal, five superintendents and one interim. She has lost count on the number of teachers, aids, custodians and lunch ladies over the years.

Banic fondly recalls each year in preparing for graduation as she would reflect on each of the students’ transformation from freshman to senior, while wondering what the future will be.

She describes her retirement as truly bittersweet as she looks forward to travel plans with her husband Mike along with plenty of grandkids to keep her busy. Banic says, “I have always really loved my job and all the students & staff here in Hartford. Being alumni I will always bleed green for our Hartford Indians!”

Mike Hallgren –District Business Manager

Also alumni, Mike Hallgren had a humble beginning since his first job with Hartford Schools was that as a student janitor carrying a broom and a mop back in 1973. Hallgren worked for Hartford Harding’s Market for eight years then following college did a short stint at NCR before becoming the City of Hartford’s accountant.

In 1983 at the age of 24, Hallgren was hired as Business Manager of Hartford Schools and has been there ever since. The title originally included being Transportation and Maintenance Director also. He recalls getting out at 4:00 a.m. to check the winter roads and the occasion to get stuck in a snow bank, then walking to a nearby home to cancel school from their farmhouse telephone, before anyone ever thought of cell phones.