JACKSON TWP. In high school sports, there are always plenty of people working behind the scenes to make sure things run smoothly.
For the past 23 years, Connie Prazer has been one of those faces, working as the athletic secretary at Jackson High School. Her tenure ended last week when she retired after more than two decades on the job, ending a run that began when she was a substitute in the same job prior to starting full time.
A Canton native and Lehman High School graduate, she worked in the area of athletics because sports have long been a big part of her life.
“I'm an old tomboy so all the sports fascinated me,” Prazer said. “I understood them, which helped a great deal coming into this job, but lacrosse was new to me. Of course, that's the sport my son, Steve, played so I got a crash course in that one.”
Asked what she’ll miss about being in the office on a daily basis, helping organize all of the logistics, schedules and details for the more than 20 different varsity sports the school offers, Prazer simply said, “Everything and everyone.”
Athletic director Terry Peterson, who has been in his current position and has worked with Prazer for 15 years, credited her with having a comprehensive knowledge of the Jackson sports system and truly enjoying her job.
“Connie's professionalism, attention to detail and passion for her job will be missed by all,” Peterson said. “I think the number one item for me and most people who work closely with Connie is her passion for Jackson athletics. She is and has been one of the most, if not the most dedicated and loyal Polar Bear supporter and fan. Obviously, I will miss all the knowledge she has accumulated over the past 23 years within the JHS athletic department and her organized internal system for procedures within the position itself.”
Prazer noted not long before her final week that there probably wasn’t a better way to go out than a year in which two Jackson teams won state championships and fittingly, the Division I baseball and boys basketball state championship trophies sit on the counter in front of her desk in the school’s main office, reminders of the overall success in which she and so many others played a supporting role when it came to planning, organizing scheduling and making sure the proper information got where it needed to go.
Retirement plans can run the gamut for those who finally call it quits after decades at a job, from extensive traveling to taking on long-postponed projects, but Prazer’s plans - at least for now - are to simply keep life low-key.
“I know people make big plans for retirement but I've not done that,” she said. “I’m such a homebody and love working in the yard and being with all my cats. I will eventually do something ... just not sure what. I would obviously love to work with animals since I wanted to be a vet when growing up. Sometimes I think I missed my calling, but I couldn't have asked for a greater job.”
Given her avid support of Jackson sports, it’s safe to say that her former co-workers and friends will see her out at Jackson sporting events in the coming season. But when the new school year rolls around and it’s time to start work on the fall sports season, for the first time in 23 years, someone else will be doing the calling, emailing, organizing and detail work.
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