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A Warm Bulldog Welcome
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Welcome to Oberle!

I feel privileged to lead such an amazing school that not only prioritizes a comprehensive education, but places equal emphases on empowering and employing students with the skills they need to become successful, contributing members of our community. At The Gladys H. Oberle School, we value a caring and inclusive environment where high, yet attainable, expectations are established and maintained for each student. We work collaboratively to ensure students feels a sense of belonging and become exposed to authentic

experiences that broaden their perspectives and strengthen their understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. We understand that learning unfolds with all experiences and we take full advantage of those moments to support growth well beyond the confines of the classroom. I believe that everyone has a gift, skill, or special ability to offer and our job is to help students discover and share those hidden treasures.

I am honored that you have chosen or may be considering our program. I look forward to welcoming you to The Gladys H. Oberle School and ensure the best standard of specialized education and personal development for your student. I encourage you to further explore our website, call or email to schedule a tour, or reach out to inquire more about our mission. Our door is always open, but, you should know, once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog!!! 


In education and community,

 Patricia Hoagland

Patricia Hoagland, Program Director

Program History


In 1990, Joan McLaughlin and Gladys Oberle recognized a need to provide specialized educational and employment services to disadvantaged and disabled youth residing in Planning District 16 and surrounding areas. With a mission of working directly with the community to assist these youth in acquiring the education and skills necessary to become successful, contributing members of the workforce, they founded Employment Resources Incorporated and

Joan McLaughlin
Gladys Oberle

became pioneers of specialized alternative education and workforce training in the Fredericksburg area. To meet the educational needs of students identified with disabilities, ERI established a private, special education day program called "The Star Center." This was one of the first schools of its kind in the area and quickly became a model program for meeting the unique needs of special education students. Upon Mrs. Oberle's death in 1996, ERI changed the name of the school to the Gladys H. Oberle School which remains one of the top schools of its kind in the area.

Over the past 30 years, ERI's mission has remained the same. Working collaboratively with individuals, school systems, state and federal agencies, and local businesses, we have created and operated numerous innovative programs to bring workforce training, special educational programs, alternative education and career and technical programs to the youth of our area. Currently, ERI employs over 30 professional educators and workforce specialists with well over 100 collective years of experience in education and services for disabled and disadvantaged youth. The company is governed by a Board of Directors and its by-laws which ensures that services meet the mission. 

Program Philosophy


We recognize there are a variety of complex issues that contribute to a student’s lack of success in the traditional educational system.  Some students can only achieve academic success by being placed in a non-traditional, alternative education setting that provides academic instruction based upon their academic, emotional, social, behavioral, and functional abilities.


We approach each student’s strengths and weaknesses through individual planning.  This individualization enables the students to start at their own level of ability and meet with success rather than failure.  Thus, a student who is disenchanted with school can effectively overcome his or her negative academic performance.


A combination of academics, behavior modification, counseling, career and technical education, transition planning, transition training, and community involvement aids the Oberle School in assisting students ages 11-22 in:


Improved SOL test scores

Increased personal responsibility

Increased reading and math skills

Transitioning back to public school

Decreased serious disciplinary offenses in the school setting

Increased graduation rates

Employment success during and after high school

Transitioning to post-secondary education

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