Beard, Glaser nominated for student leader award

Michael Smith
Maile Glaser

While the November nominees for the Best of the Arbuckles Student Leader of the Year have proven themselves athletically, the hard work in multiple other fields by Dickson’s Rusty Beard and Ardmore’s Maile Glaser are better gauges of what the future holds for these area teens.

For Glaser, a realistic mantra helps her be her best whether in school or on the links. “Practice doesn’t make perfect because nothing is perfect,” she said. “I’ve always believed that nothing is perfect, but practice makes better. That’s always going through my mind.”

The senior has used that wisdom to maintain a 4.0 GPA, finish 11th overall in Oklahoma high school golf, and helped her team place 3rd in the state in 2019 with three torn ligaments in her ankle.

She said her parents met on the golf course, so the sport was introduced to her at a young age. Homeschooled until eighth grade, Glaser found the golf team at Ardmore High School a perfect fit. “It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made so far,” she said. Next year she will play golf as a student at Seminole State.

Academics, service projects, and work occupy most of Glaser’s time when she’s not practicing her golf game. She has worked at the YMCA for about two years in a variety of roles, including as a lifeguard and swim instructor. “It’s exhausting, but I love being able to talk to a bunch a people, just anyone in our community.”

She also served on two mission trips with First United Methodist Church, most recently on a mission trip over last spring break that took her to Los Angeles. While there, Glaser worked at a rehabilitation center to help people dealing with addiction and homelessness.

Closer to home, she was a member of the Girl Scout troop that helped launch an Ardmore dog park in 2014, and will be undertaking a service project next month at the Ardmore Soup Kitchen. “I love to serve at the soup kitchen,” she said.

Beard is also a regular volunteer at the Ardmore Soup Kitchen and enjoys giving personal help to individuals. He also donates time to March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, and another group with deep emotional ties. “Relay for Life is a big one for me because my grandma passed away from cancer,” he said.

He said that personal experience is used to better understand how families cope with cancer.

According to his nomination, Beard also focuses on guiding and encouraging younger students, especially on the football field. “The younger team member is what determines how the the future of the team will be, so it’s important to focus on them,” Beard said. Athletics aside, the senior with a 4.0 GPA also participates on the Dickson academic team, student council and serves as a senior class officer.

He has spent consecutive high school years on various honor rolls, including the Oklahoma Honor Society, Superintendent’s Honor Roll, Blue Ribbon Scholar, and is ranked at the top of his class. He has also earned numerous athletic awards in baseball and football.

Athletics will help Beard enter the college realm next year. He recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball with Connors State College, but his goals post-college are miles away from the baseball diamond. He hopes to pursue an advanced degree in medicine as a physician’s assistant or doctor. “That’s always been one of my long-term goals,” he said.

“Diagnosing a problem, even though they don’t know what’s going on, is a challenge, and I like challenges,” Beard said.