His Impact on Us

March 18, 2016


Steve Degenaar

Steve and Angie

Mr. Degenaar’s impact on the Apple Valley community has been incredible. From students to teachers, he has reached not only our minds, but our hearts.

Junior Claire Doty tells a story about when she auditioned for a part in a Children’s Theatre play: “If I would have got the part I would have missed 30 days of school. My family and I met with Mr. Degenaar to see if it was even possible, and he was so supportive. He knew that I could handle my school work and remain committed to my dreams. He was willing to work it out so that I could still get the credits for graduation.”

Mr. Degenaar takes time for all students and members of the Apple Valley community. He is extremely busy, working basically 24/7, but he can always find time for the students.

Senior Kate Mattison says, “I sat next to him on the plane to New York for our choir trip; he was such a great traveling companion! He said ‘I’m coming on this trip as a chaperone, but I guarantee you will never see me.’ He was right, I didn’t! Mr. Degenaar is so supportive of both the athletics and the arts here at Apple Valley. I see him everywhere: at the state basketball games and at Broadway. He is committed to his students’ lives.”

From arts to academics, the Triple-A philosophy holds a special place in Mr. Degenaar’s heart. He takes time to recognize all excellent members of our community.

Frankie Kelly, also a senior, says, “He’s a responsible leader that always looks to help his students. He is a great role model for the future minds of our community.”

Assistant Principal Michael Bolsoni says, “One of the reasons that I love working at AVHS is because of our principal.  His leadership style is consistent, thoughtful, and open-minded.  He listens to many different perspectives before making a decision, and also analyzes data to solve problems and measure improvement.  I feel very fortunate to have Mr. Degenaar as a colleague and mentor!”

Mr. Degenaar is a mentor to many students and teachers here at Apple Valley wether he knows it or not. Both administrators and teachers alike are thankful for his leadership.

“I have been honored to work with Mr. Degenaar as both a teacher and administrator at Apple Valley High School.  I will always be grateful for his trust in me,” athletic director Pete Buesgens says.  “As a teacher, he allowed me to be creative in designing and implementing classes and curriculum that we believed would benefit students.  As an administrator, he has trusted me to handle situations and implement programs that we knew were good for students and families.  That trust has pushed me to be better because I didn’t want to let him down.  He has been a tremendous role model and leader, and AVHS will miss him.”

Mr. Buesgens said it best:  “AVHS will miss him.” Wherever you go after this, Mr. Degenaar, you will always have a place in our hearts here at Apple Valley.

I encourage you to leave your stories and messages to Mr. Degenaar in the comments!


Finally, here are some fun facts about Mr. Degenaar:

  •    Favorite Board Game: Monopoly
  •    Favorite TV Show: Big Bang Theory
  •    Favorite color: Blue
  •    Favorite store: Any sports stores
  •    Worst job: A summer college job at ‘Contract Beverages.’ “We bottled soda, sometimes it would explode. It was back in the time of returnable bottles, and you wouldn’t imagine the kind of stuff we found in them. From dead mice to moldy pizza, and it all had to be cleaned out by us.”
  •    Favorite Job: Principal at Apple Valley High School
  •    Personality Type: “concrete sequential person”
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