I write this letter with excitement, respect, and gratitude. I have known Charlie Andrews for 50-plus years. Regardless of the circumstances or challenges, his life circulates around three entities: family, church, and community. The tributes that I share pertinent to Charlie are based on my experiences gathered via my 39 years in education as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, athletic administrator, board member for Ohio High School Athletic Association, and president of the board.
I first met Charlie on the basketball court in the early 1960’s as we competed against one another. We played in the Bloomingburg gym as the Miami Trace School was being built. Ironically, I later found out that our fathers competed for a county championship in the early 1930’s against one another. My dad played for Jeffersonville while Mr. Andrews played for Bloomingburg. What came out of these competitions? Much respect, friendship, and integrity.
In the early 1970’s Charlie and I taught together at MTHS. This particular segment gave me a chance to watch a teacher teach with a real passion for his discipline. His students were excited to learn, and he caused the FFA club to be one of the largest in the state and filled with motivation, regardless of the project. I also got to see the ingredients of a teacher that earned GREAT respect. It was during this time that we saw the Charlie Andrews family take shape. Gina, his wife, came on board.
Children came along, and they did much to highlight the family and the school system. Matt got his true baptism by broadcasting local football and basketball games on WHIO. He now walks the sidelines at the OSU doing the on-field reporting. He also does play-by-play for women’s basketball and baseball. Matt will tell you that he is living a dream. Incidentally, I was an invited guest to hear Matt present at a local Chamber meeting and he loved answering the questions. He represents MTHS at its best.
David was perhaps the most decorated athlete in his era, a quarterback, shooting guard, and baseball player. He chose to walk-on at OSU and earned a scholarship via his hard play. Head injuries doomed his tenure, but his tenacity to help athletes develop strength has led his career path to the University of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Iowa State. His accomplishments speak for themselves.
Robbie chose a different path to recognition. His performances in annual musicals were noteworthy. He loved to entertain and see smiles on peoples’ faces. This love has certainly been passed on to his offspring. They love the arts. Robbie is a very successful teacher, coach, and athletic administrator in the Beavercreek School system. District school officials wait for Robbie to open the door to allow him to move into administrative positions.
Sarah got her acclaim on the track. I am sure that Sarah had some bumps along the way as she followed her big brothers. Despite the obstacles, she earned recognition in track. She moved on to Mt Vernon University, met her mate for life, and raises four children while teaching school.
Along the way Charlie made a career decision to move from the classroom to the athletic director’s office. Under his leadership the outdoor athletic facilities took on many new additions. The weight room and locker room expansion are great examples of Charlie’s creativity, fund raising, and ability to motivate a group to complete a goal. He also spearheaded the development of a new track. He was the initiator of the annual Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament.
Simultaneous to Charlie’s role in the district, Gina, was fulfilling different secretarial roles. For the last several years, she served as the principal’s secretary. This role, in my judgement, assured that the building functioned smoothly and had no hiccups.
Charlie saw and realized a greater calling when he was elected to the school board. This position allowed him to utilize his integrity and demonstrate his rich Miami Trace traditions. His comments at the building dedication were meaningful and filled with pride. How can one drive throughout the school campus, scan the beautiful buildings, and reflect on the hard work accomplished to get here without thinking of Charlie?!
Charlie Andrews and his family have their fingers, hands, and footprints scattered across the Miami Trace School District. I sincerely hope that the people in the district pay their deepest respect to Charlie Andrews and his family.
Dale E. Creamer