New transition brings experience to EHOVE

by Kendra Ward : August 10, 2010

EHOVE Career Center has gained another experienced resource in the recent hire of Dale VanLerberghe of Catawba Island as its new Assistant Principal at the high school.  VanLerberghe is filling the position recently vacated by Rod Smith in his move to Principal of EHOVE.

From a farming family in Wakeman, VanLerberghe is a graduate of Western Reserve High School.  Knowing he wanted to work with youth, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University and a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University. 

VanLerberghe’s 32 years in education began as a teacher in Monroeville Local Schools.  By taking a bigger load of college classes, he graduated early and found a job teaching English and journalism.  After working in the school system, he wanted to do even more for kids in the community.  As the founder and first Director of the Huron County Youth Group Home, and a strong developer of the Reach Our Youth program, he expanded his commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of area kids.  “We are all teachers,” said VanLerberghe.  “Role modeling and showing kids what’s right, not just talking, is first.”

He returned to public education as Principal of Monroeville Junior/Senior High School, next taking the helm as Principal of Port Clinton Middle School, then Port Clinton High School.  During this time, he was honored by the community and fellow staff with the Port Clinton Middle School’s Media Center being renamed the Dale M. VanLerberghe Learning Center, as well as the 2004 Career Achievement Award from The Ohio State University’s College of Education Alumni Society, and the Ohio Middle School Association’s Regional Award presented for promoting the middle school concept through exemplary programs. 

In 2006, he decided to take a short motorcycle trip.  It turned into a five week, 4300 mile experience on his Harley, where he witnessed the damage from Hurricane Katrina and toured many southern states.  After his return, he became the Chief Bailiff and Probation Officer at Ottawa County Municipal Court.

Heavily involved with the community, VanLerberghe has been a member of the Port Clinton Knights of Columbus Council, Huron County 648 Mental Health Board, Monroeville Village Council, St. Joseph’s School Council, Firelands Conference League, Immaculate Conception School Council, Catawba Island Board of Zoning Appeals, and several other local organizations.

He says that his new role as Assistant Principal is often seen as just handling discipline, but said it’s also “a chance to instill positive character development in students as a role model and teacher, and have a lot of fun.  It’s also a great opportunity to interact with a variety of students and personalities.”

Family is of utmost importance to VanLerberghe.  Married for 33 years to Margy, who is retired from education and holds a PhD in psychotherapy, together they have a daughter, Molly, who recently married Scott Sass.  He is proud of his daughter who, like her father, has earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University. 

VanLerberghe is eager to begin the new school year with EHOVE students and staff.  “I truly am impressed with the longevity of the staff here at EHOVE.  That speaks volumes for how they enjoy what they are doing.”