Students in desks with Greg Vandehey standing

American Legion Post 348 names Greg Vandehey as Educator of the Year

From the Olson-Grinde Post 348, The American Legion Department of Wisconsin

VANDEGRE000.JPGOlson-Grinde Post 348, The American Legion in DeForest has selected Greg Vandehey as their Educator of the Year. Vandehey is a English Language Arts teacher at DeForest Area Middle School (DAMS). Over the past 24 years he has taught middle school students at DAMS, most recently returning to his major of English Language Arts after teaching social studies for several years.

Vandehey never served in the military but his family has, and he has a deep devotion to the nation and the flag that represents it.  As a young-single teacher early in his career in DeForest he coached American Legion baseball, beating the state champion twice that season.  More recently he has accompanied DeForest Area Middle School students on the Legion sponsored Youth in Government Day visits to Dane County officials.  He was instrumental in the inaugural Eighth Grade Constitution Speech contest in 2018 to grow future high school interest in the Legion’s High School Constitution Oratorical Scholarship contest.

He answered the call to provide leadership to a Chinese school when he and his family went to China to serve as Elementary School Principal of ​First Decision School in Guandu District, Kunming, China. For a year he helped to start a brand new International Elementary School while serving as the school principal  and leader of the English curriculum.  It was an invaluable experience to him as an educator and as an American.

DeForest Area Middle School Principal Kurt Becker described Vandehey’s “incredible desire to collaborate and build connections between the school, our students, and our community.”

Bill Ridgely, commander of Olson-Grinde post 348, said that “his selection as post’s educator of the year award reflects his dedication and skill as a teacher and his desire to impart the spirit of Americanism in his students.  He has been a great partner for the Legion’s youth programs in DeForest.”


If you would like more information about this topic contact Bill Ridgely, 608-846-2823,


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