Gymnasium dedicated in honor of high school principal

A fitting tribute

A plaque documenting high school principal Chris VanderSlice’s work in the district has been mounted in the athletic wing
A plaque documenting high school principal Chris VanderSlice’s work in the district has been mounted in the athletic wing

Chris VanderSlice worked for the district for 17 years as a teacher, principal and administrator. Now, his impact on the district and community will live on.

On Jan. 18, between the girls and boys basketball games, the east gymnasium was named in honor of late principal. VanderSlice, who died in 2017 at age 40, is remembered for his adventurous spirit and dedication to the community.

A mural focused on VanderSlice’s passions and goals accompanies the gym dedication

“Mr. VanderSlice’s legacy still rings through each time the word ‘grit’ is mentioned, or a funny story is told about his larger-than-life personality,” said high school Principal Adam Lancto, who took over at the high school as VanderSlice battled leukemia.

The dedication of the gym stems from VanderSlice’s passion for basketball, having played for Hope College.

The gym dedication is in addition to a mural painted by students last year outside the entrance to the gymnasium that features a rock climber — another one of his passions — surrounded by words of inspiration.

Related article: A Bulldog’s legacy

The high school gymnasium has been named to honor late Principal Chris VanderSlice
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A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit. Read Hannah's full bio.

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