For his outstanding contributions as a teacher and principal, Ed is recognized on the Donor’s Wall of Fame by Village School PTO of Emporia, Kansas.
Dr. Gerhardt was born and attended school at Netawaka, Kansas. He received his B.S.E., M.S and Ed.S. degrees from Emporia State University and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Kansas.
His teaching career began in 1965, as an eighth grade teacher at Perry Grade School, Perry, Kansas. He later served as principal of Lecompton and Perry High Schools in that district before serving twenty-eight years as principal of Village Elementary School in Emporia, Kansas. He also served as a Visiting Lecturer at Emporia State University for nine summers, teaching classes in Human Relations and the Principalship and serving as a research adviser.
He was named the Kansas Outstanding Elementary Principal in 1978, and served for twenty-three years as Editor of the Kansas Elementary Principal’s Newsletter. He was also honored with a PTA Life Membership by the Emporia Parent Teacher Council.
During his tenure at Village School, the school was designated as an Exemplary School (now called Blue Ribbon Schools) by the U.S. Department of Education and was named as one of America’s Best Schools by Redbook Magazine. He served on the Emporia School District committees, and as NCA Visiting Team Chairperson for six schools. He authored over twenty articles for professional publications and made fourteen presentations at professional conferences of ASCD, NAESP, KAESP, and the United School Administration of Kansas.
He served for thirty-eight years in the Kansas Army National Guard, reaching the rank of Brigadier General, and served as Commander of the Kansas Army National Guard. He also served as Lyon County Republican Chairman, as President of the Emporia State University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, and as a member of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce.
Under his leadership, Village School’s Parent Teacher Organization made significant contributions to the school, including an extended day kindergarten program, and before/after school licensed daycare, a Spanish program, and an after-class enrichment program.
Dr. Gerhardt always believed in high standards, high expectations, and the total involvement of parents and families in each child’s education.