COMMUNITY GEMS: Former educator dedicates retirement to soccer club and parks board

Most mornings, Tom Geglein can be found measuring and lining the soccer fields at Kercher Park in Germantown.

Geglein got involved with the Miami Valley Youth Soccer Association when his children joined the league over 30 years ago. Starting as a dad on the sidelines, he eventually served as president of the local soccer organization and even refereed some of the games. Now, Geglein is the treasurer and maintains some of the fields.

“I just do it because I think it needs to be done and somebody needs to do it,” Geglein said. “My son and daughters are about 30 and 40 years old. So I don’t have any vested interest in the soccer program except that I want to make sure it’s being done right.”

Geglein doesn’t like surprises, so he makes sure to do his homework before setting out on a project. His involvement spans throughout the Germantown community, and he said he likes to do things himself because if anything goes wrong, he only has himself to blame.

“It’s better to be involved and have a piece of the action or at least get something done or work to get something done than sit on the outside and just mumble and grumble about everything,” Geglein said. “That’s what I’ve always done.”

He’s carried this philosophy through all of the various jobs and positions he has held. Geglein worked as a teacher and principal in the New Lebanon Local School District for 40 years and served on the Valley View Local Schools board of education for 12 years. He ran for another term in 2019, but lost his seat. Geglein returned to the school board when he was selected to fulfill a vacant term in 2021.

As a member of the Germantown Lions Club for several years, Geglein would volunteer his time running the concession stand at Friday night football games. Geglein joined the Germantown parks board because he recognized its importance to what he does with the soccer club. He’s served on that board for several years and has served on the city’s personnel board. He also helped put on the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration through his seat on the parks board.

“I take pride in what I do... in my job as a teacher and as a principal,” Geglein said. “I took pride in it because I felt I’m responsible for it. So that’s the same way I am with the many boards I’m on— whether it was a school board or whether it’s a parks board.”

Fellow school board member Angie Valenti nominated Geglein as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem but their relationship goes back a decade and a half to when her daughter played soccer.

“He will line the fields in the morning and then when those games are going on in the evening, you’ll see him back down there sometimes reffing, Valenti said. “But if he’s not reffing, he’s down there just mingling with the parents, making sure that everything is going well and everybody’s having a good time.”

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