Larry Kreyling, LHS ’62. Although the U.S. Supreme Court banned school segregation in 1954, the Kinloch and Berkley school districts ignored the ruling. That is until the 1970s, when Larry led the desegregation of Kinloch High School by integrating black students into McCluer North High School, where he was principal.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This advice was given to Larry during his formative years at Lutheran High School. Key to Larry’s success in education, military service, and business were his outstanding leadership skills.
Upon graduation from Lutheran High School, Larry attended Wisconsin University-Stout, where he earned his B.S. and M.S. in industrial education. With encouragement from his high school baseball coach Jerry Visser and an anonymous donor, college education became a reality for Larry.
Larry began his teaching career at McCluer High School. He was drafted into service by the U.S. Army after five years in teaching. In the military, he received a number of recognitions and honors for his leadership and accomplishments. He returned to teaching at McCluer North. He was promoted to assistant principal and then became principal for his last ten years in education. He served in the Ferguson-Florissant District for 30 years.
Larry was named a “Consummate Professional” by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals and was Vice President of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. He was an assessor in the National Association of Secondary Principals Academy. He was a charter member of the St. Louis Principals Academy. In the service, he received the Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Larry served as Special Projects Coordinator with Dierbergs Markets. While working in the business community, he was selected as the “Business Person of the Year” by the North County School/Business Partnership.
A highlight of Larry’s career was leading the smooth and successful transition to desegregate the all-black Kinloch High students into McCluer North High School. Prior to the start of the school year, Larry paired each new Kinloch student with a current McCluer North student and led the group through a ropes course/stress challenge program at SIU.
Larry presently lives on Kiawah Island, SC, with his wife of 52 years, Shirley. In retirement, he serves on the Vestry Board of St. John Lutheran Church in Charleston as chair of the Christian Education Committee.
Larry gives significant credit to his LHS teachers Gerald Visser (shop teacher and baseball coach) and Irmgard Koch (English teacher) for their encouragement and support.