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PHOTO BY CIERA HUGHES Derek Ergle rises to the principal’s chair at Belgreen Elementary.

BHS principal’s career comes full circle

When Derek Ergle began his job of principal at Belgreen this year, he said he could not help but reminisce on his time as a Bulldog and how his career has come full circle. 

Ergle began his career at Belgreen in 2004 as a special education aid before hiring on in 2005 – with a lot of the same teachers Ergle said are still at the school today. 

Ergle said he loved Belgreen but transferred to Tharptown in 2007 to serve a more influential role in athletics. Ergle taught at Tharptown and Russellville High School before eventually returning to Belgreen 10 years later.

“I enjoyed my time here, and I enjoyed my time there as well, but there was just something that always made me want to come back to Belgreen,” Ergle said. “It’s just a very special place.”

Ergle served as the assistant principal at Belgreen for two years before moving up to the principal position after former principal Ann Scott transferred to the principal position at Tharptown High.

“A lot of the things I learned while in that position helped me prepare for the job I’m in now,” Ergle said.

Franklin County Superintendent Greg Hamilton said he has no doubt about the type of impact Ergle will have as principal because of the passion he has for the school.

“It is just really apparent how much he loves his job and Belgreen,” Hamilton said. “He loves being there, and he will continue to do a great job there.”

Ergle said he loves the area of Franklin County where Belgreen is, but his favorite part is the traditions the school values.

“There’s just something really special about this area,” Ergle said. “This school and this community is just really deep-rooted. It has wonderful people, and it’s got really great traditions. The faculty and students are just amazing.”

Ergle said he loves how proud Belgreen is of its accomplishments and the direction it is going.

“That love they have of traditions, a love for the school, a love for athletics, a love for academics – they take pride in everything they do here,” he said.

He said his biggest goal as a principal is to make sure the students have the ability to succeed in all avenues of life.

“Whatever they want to be, it’s our job is to prepare them for that,” Ergle said.

Ergle said his favorite tradition is donkey basketball. He said he loved watching it as a teacher but was never able to participate. When he returned to Belgreen as assistant principal, it was something he was excited to be involved with. He said he is already planning the event for this year.