The L’Anse Creuse Hall of Distinction, located in the lobby of the John Armstrong Performing Arts Center, was created to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the district and to provide a tangible means of presenting the history of the district to the general public. On October 3, 2018, John Da Via and Kenneth N. Hoover became the fifth and sixth inductees.
John Da Via
John Da Via served L’Anse Creuse Public Schools for over 40 years as a caring, respectful leader who worked tirelessly to do what was best for students.
Da Via joined L’Anse Creuse in 1974 as a teacher and coach at L’Anse Creuse Middle School – North. He transferred to Middle School – South in 1983, and in 1986 earned a law degree and moved to L’Anse Creuse High School, where he also served as a Teachers’ Association officer. Da Via made the transition into administration when he became associate principal of Middle School – Central in 1994. In 1997, Da Via returned to Middle School – North as associate principal; in 2000, he became principal, a position he held until his retirement in 2014.
As a leader, Da Via emphasized professional development, reduced student failure, and promoted environmental awareness. He chaired North’s Green Schools Program, for which the school was named an Inaugural Green School Award Winer. Da Via also co-chaired the State Middle School Conference, served as the Site Leader for Michigan Blue Ribbon School applicants, and co-authored the application that led Middle School – North to be named a State and National Blue Ribbon School. In addition, Da Via was also instrumental in implementing two traditions at North: the Spelling Bee and Law Day essay-writing contest.
Da Via is known for his willingness to meet any challenge that would benefit L’Anse Creuse. He served as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in 2013, and came out of retirement to serve as Interim Principal of Tenniswood Elementary in 2018. Throughout his career, he exemplified the mantra of doing “What’s Best for Kids.”
Kenneth N. Hoover
Kenneth N. Hoover’s service to L’Anse Creuse spanned 52 years as a teacher, coach, District Art Coordinator, and Board of Education member.
Hoover spent most of his teaching career at L’Anse Creuse High School, where he facilitated the district’s K-12 art program. This program became state exemplary curriculum and was recognized as a national model for the “New Definition of the Arts” in 1990. In 1971, L’Anse Creuse students won more National Scholarship awards than any other district in the nation.
An avid historian, Hoover presented living history exhibits and participated in Civil War displays for elementary, middle, and high school students. Additionally, Hoover shared his enthusiasm for teaching and learning by instructing college courses, serving on state and regional committees and boards, and providing workshop presentations.
Hoover’s impact on students reached far beyond the classroom, coaching basketball, Judo, track and soccer. He led his teams to win over 50 championships and titles at the regional, state and national level. Hoover was recognized as Macomb County Coach of the Year on six occasions and holds the best record for any coach in any sport in the history of L’Anse Creuse Public Schools.
After retirement, Hoover served on the Board of Education from 2003-2016 as trustee, secretary, vice president and president. Serving with three different superintendents, his greatest contributions were the implementation of the 2005 Bond Issue and his continued efforts to preserve the history and culture of L’Anse Creuse.