Dr. Gene and Delba Engelhardt Family Endowed Education Scholarship Established


ED-StudentTeachingCAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, May 8, 2015 – The Dr. Gene and Delba Engelhardt Family Endowed Education Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Delba Engelhardt of Affton, Missouri, made a $5,000 gift to establish the scholarship. Her gift will be matched with an additional $5,000 match through a University matching gift program.

The matching gift program is part of the Honoring Tradition – Inspiring Success Comprehensive Campaign through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. This program allowed donors to make a minimum commitment of $5,000 to a maximum commitment of $10,000 through donation or pledge by March 1, 2014, that qualified for a $1-for-$1 match.

The recipient of the renewable Dr. Gene and Delba Engelhardt Family Endowed Education Scholarship will be a student enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University with a minimum 2.75 grade point average or higher who is majoring in education. First preference is for a student who is a descendant.

Dr. Gene Engelhardt served education in the state of Missouri for 66 years as a teacher, administrator, college professor and school board member. Engelhardt started his professional career as an educator in Missouri public schools following his graduation from high school. During the 1941-1942 school year, he was an elementary school teacher at the Lower Davis Elementary School in Qulin, Missouri. He moved to the Fagus Elementary School in Fagus, Missouri, as an elementary teacher for the 1942-1943 school year. During the 1943-1944 school year, he served as an elementary teacher at Webb Elementary School in Qulin, Missouri, followed by a year as an elementary teacher and high school coach in the Qulin public schools in Qulin, Missouri, for the 1944-1945 school year. Gene spent two years, 1945-1947, as a teacher and coach in the Risco public schools in Risco, Missouri. For the 1948-1949 school year, he took his first job as an administrator, when he became an elementary principal in the New Madrid public schools in New Madrid, Missouri. Engelhardt served as the high school principal and as a coach in the Lutesville Public Schools in Lutesville, Missouri, from 1949 to 1952. During his term as principal there, he received his Bachelor of Science in physical education and biology from Southeast Missouri State University in 1950, followed by his master’s degree in education administration from the University of Missouri in 1952.

Engelhardt served as superintendent of the Patton Public Schools in Patton, Missouri, for the 1952-1954 school years. In 1954, he became the principal of College High School at Southeast Missouri State University, a position he held for four years until 1958, when he became principal of Lindbergh Junior High School in the Lindbergh School District in St. Louis County. After 10 years as principal of Lindbergh Junior High School, the Lindbergh School District became the first district in Missouri to move to the middle school format. Engelhardt became the first middle school principal in Missouri when he was named principal of the Lindbergh Eighth Grade Center in 1968, a position he held until 1970.

As principal of Missouri’s first middle school, Engelhardt pioneered many of the concepts that make the middle school a unique setting designed to meet the needs of students in this changing time in their lives. For the next 13 years, from 1970 to 1983, he was principal of the newly opened Sperreng Middle School in the Lindbergh School District. While at Sperreng Middle School, Engelhardt served as president of the St. Louis Suburban Principals Association and received his doctoral degree in education administration from St. Louis University. In 1983, he moved to Lindbergh High School, where he served as 11th grade principal until he retired in 1985.

Engelhardt served in public elementary and secondary schools in Missouri for 43 years, with 37 of those years in various areas of administration and as a member of the Missouri Association of School Administrators. Engelhardt also taught University extension courses for Southeast and Truman State University until he was 86. He was a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Pioneer in Education recipient – which, at the time, had  only 200 inductees.

Gene and Delba (Hartle) Engelhardt met at Southeast Missouri State Teachers College, now Southeast Missouri State University. They were married on Dec. 23, 1948, and enjoyed more than 64 years of marriage.

Delba was a family and consumer science teacher in the Lutesville, Patton and Parkway North High schools.

All four of Gene and Delba Engelhardt’s children were also teachers and graduates of Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. Mark Douglas Engelhardt taught high school social studies; coached swimming and directed theater; was an elementary, middle and high school principal; and was director or assistant superintendent of special education, federal programs and transportation in the Hazelwood, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Woodland R-IV and School of the Osage School District. He is now professor of education, statistics and research methods at Missouri Baptist University. Mark Engelhardt’s wife, Lee Ann Bridges Engelhardt, was also a Southeast graduate and was a teacher and taught in the elementary schools of the Fort Zumwalt, Woodland, School of the Osage and Wentzville school districts. Elaine Kimker was a family and consumer science teacher in the Lindbergh School District and girls’ cross country coach. She is in the Lindbergh Sports Hall of Fame and a Lindbergh Leader. The former Dr. Jon Engelhardt taught science at Selvage Middle School and Lafayette High School and coached track. Diane Heineke has taught elementary school in the Rockwood School District and is currently teaching third grade in the Kirkwood School District.

For additional information, please contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2203 or foundation@semo.edu.