Mr. Van Iperen–Inspiring Teacher


Mr. Van Iperen, is a leader and mentor at Blaine High School. Recognized as “the cool librarian” by students; Van Iperen is known for offering advice, being a friend, and even helping a student pick out a book to read.

In an interview, Van Iperen states:

1.) What made you decide to be a librarian?

“I felt I needed a change after 7 years of teaching elementary students. I needed a change in my career path, something within the education umbrella.  I decided to get my Master’s degree in Administration, but then chose Library Science instead. I almost completed my Educational Leadership degree, but decided I never wanted to be an administrator, so here I am, loving the library.”

2.) What is your favorite part of the job?  

“Recommending books to students and staff, and finding out that they loved the book I recommended!”

3.) Would you consider some of the relationships you have developed with students, to go beyond the normal teacher student relationship? Meaning that some students know they have to respect and recognize your authority, but that they can also considere you a caring friend? 

“Absolutely.  I think it’s a unique relationship, one that most students recognize and embrace.  I still give book advice to former students, who graduated 10 years ago. In fact, I just met the baby of one of my first T.A.’s. I don’t give grades, and students know that I can be a great resource for research and book suggestions, so most students appreciate that. Getting to know the librarian can be a very good asset for you in both High School and college, and I’ve worked to build that trust with students, and break that stereotypical perception of the “character”  librarian-you know the one- glasses on nose, shushing everyone, and grumpy. I am definitely not that character.”

How does it make you feel that a lot of students consider the library a safe haven? They come in there to meet new friends, work, sit quietly, or even discover an adventure (in a book).

“I consider it an honor that students feel that way.  That is exactly the feeling I want all students to have when they enter these doors.”

6.) Do you have anything else to add? 

“I have tried to get to know students outside of the library too -being involved with sports and music helps kids realize, I’m not just the “guy in the IMC” instead, they get to know me as a person- a former hockey player, drummer, golfer, snowmobilier, hunter, and sports car lover, that is passionate about reading-I’m kind of unique.”

Mr. Van Iperen has definitely earned his spot in the hearts of BHS students- all whom have a wonderful appreciation for his “unique[ness].”