The teachers and administrators he learned from as a student inspired longtime Elm Grove Elementary School Principal Rick Dunlevy to pursue a career in education.
Dunlevy graduated from Wheeling Park High School in 1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from West Virginia University in 1996 and his master’s degree in educational leadership from WVU in 2003. Dunlevy got his first full-time teaching job at Wheeling Park High School in 1998, and he served in that position for five years.
From there, he served as an assistant principal at Park for three years. He then served as the as the principal of Triadelphia Middle School for three years, and he is entering his 14th year as the principal of Elm Grove Elementary School.
Dunlevy said he loved being a student at Wheeling Park High School. He said he enjoyed athletics, and a he was a member of Park’s football and track teams for each of the three years he attended Park. Dunlevy was part of the 1991 Patriot football team that advanced to the West Virginia state championship, but Park lost 15-14 in a heartbreaking overtime defeat to Capital High School.
“I loved the opportunities we had, and I loved the teachers (at Park),” he said. “It was great to be involved in athletics, and the camaraderie was excellent. Park provides excellent athletics and facilities. It was great to be a part of it. My senior year of football would be hard to match.”
Prior to attending Wheeling Park High School, Dunlevy attended Warwood Elementary School and Warwood Junior High School. He said he was inspired to pursue education by Ohio County Schools teachers like Cathy Banco and Sue Vail and administrators such as former Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo and longtime Warwood Junior High School Principal James Monderine.
“Mr. Monderine spent 20 or 30 years in that building,” Dunlevy said. “He was a mentor to me in terms of administration. I received a great education, and the teachers that I had inspired me to become a teacher.”
Dunlevy’s son, Alex, is a 2020 graduate of Wheeling Park High School, and he is now entering his junior year at West Liberty University. His daughter, Emily, is entering her junior year at Wheeling Park High School. Dunlevy’s wife, Jen, was his high school sweetheart, and she also graduated in the Patriot class of ’92.
Dunlevy’s father is West Virginia Board of Education member Robert W. “Bob” Dunlevy. Bob Dunlevy graduated from Warwood High School and West Virginia University with a degree in education. From 1985 to 2005 he was a member of the Ohio County Board of Education and served as its president from 2003-2005. In 2005 he was appointed to the State Board of Education serving in that capacity until 2014. He was appointed to serve a second term by Governor Jim Justice in November 2018.
Dunlevy said he, his wife and his children are grateful for the education and opportunities afforded to them in Ohio County Schools. He said Ohio County Schools is an example of the importance of public education.
“Public education is the backbone of society and a microcosm of society,” Dunlevy said. “It is where most of learn to interact with others appropriately. I grew up in Ohio County Schools, and my goal was to come back and teach at Park. I want to stay in Ohio County Schools for my entire career.”