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Articles from May 2023

Washington Middle School Students Compete in International Geography Bee

Washington Middle School students competed in the International Geography Bee’s Online Regional Online Competition on Sunday, May 7th with students from across the country. Participants competed by their grade level in a series of buzzer-style question rounds to earn points to qualify for the finals.

Three students qualified as finalists in the Regional Bee and four students qualified for the National Bee as a result of their final score being in the top percentage of their regional bee’s participants. Three of the four students accepted their invitation to the 2023 Middle School National Championships and will be competing in Arlington, Virginia from June 1-3.

Congratulations to the following students on these achievements:

Regional Bee Participants

6th Grade

  • Anita Powers
  • Preesha Rock

7th Grade

  • Khloey Birch
  • Ian Breitsprecker
  • Jackson Burke
  • Zach Chesterman
  • Foster Del Toro
  • Lauren Krasnodemski
  • Landon Marting
  • Blake Meyer
  • Dominic Mills
  • Ethan Montes
  • Mallory Schaefer
  • Bentley Scholtes
  • Audrey Schuster
  • Lucas Smith

8th Grade

  • Grant Arling
  • Harper Canon
  • Nolan Farber
  • Jayme Miller
  • Izzy Pregler
  • Sitanshu Rock
  • Ian Sindt
  • Aaron Scheirer

Regional Bee Finalists

6th Grade

  • Preesha Rock | 4th place (tied) out of 40 participants

7th Grade

  • Zach Chesterman | 3rd place out of 53 participants

8th Grade

  • Nolan Farber | 3rd place out of 20 participants

National Bee Qualifiers

6th Grade

  • Preesha Rock | Declined invitation to the National Bee

7th Grade

  • Zach Chesterman | Accepted invitation to the National Bee

8th Grade

  • Nolan Farber | Accepted invitation to the National Bee
  • Ian Sindt | Accepted invitation to the National Bee 


Watch the 2023 Graduation Ceremonies Live: Saturday, May 27. Dubuque Senior, 10 a.m.; Hempstead, 3 p.m.

Graduation 2023 Live Stream

We are pleased to live stream the 2023 graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 27.

Live stream links will be posted on this page prior to the event.



Header art gallery 2023 05

Spring 2022-2023 Student Art Gallery Now Live!

We are pleased to present the Spring 2022-2023 K-12 Virtual Student Art Gallery, highlighting the amazing artwork of our students.

The exhibit features the ability to virtually walk through a curated gallery of work — and we hope you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in the exhibit as the vision of these talented student artists comes to life.


Dubuque Senior and Hempstead Students Qualify for State Track and Field

Students from both Dubuque Senior and Hempstead High Schools competed in the Iowa High School State Track and Field Championship at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA from May 18 – May 20th.

Congratulations to the following student qualifiers in the Class 4A categories:

Dubuque Senior High School


High Jump

  • Cambel Drapeau

1500M Run 

  • Leah Klapatauskas

3000M Run

  • Emma Chesterman
  • Leah Klapatauskas

4x800M Relay

  • Emily Gorton, Claire Hoyer, Neveah Kessler, and Leah Klapatauskas


  • Kaitlyn Miller
  • Julia Kilgore


Shot Put

  • Cohen Pfohl

100M Dash

  • Nick Lambe
  • Deyon Moore

110M Hurdles 

  • Nate Obbink

400M Hurdles 

  • Nate Obbink

Shuttle Hurdle Relay

  • Nate Obbink, Tyler McDonald, Ethan Rader, and Dylan Thul

4x100M Relay

  • Jaden Arnold, Benjamin Francis, Nick Lambe, and Deyon Moore

4x200M Relay

  • Jaden Arnold, Benjamin Francis, Nick Lambe, and Deyon Moore

800M Sprint Medley Relay

  • Jaden Arnold, Benjamin Francis, Nick Lambe, and Deyon Moore

4x400M Relay

  • Jaden Arnold
  • Charles Crow
  • Dustin Foht
  • Benjamin Francis


  • Marshawn Dukes
  • Isaac Gooch
  • Zack Heiar
  • Montrel Jones
  • Landon Kelly
  • Jackson Kieffer
  • Daylin Moore

Hempstead High School



  • Gabbi Frederick

Shot Put Wheelchair

  • Ally Darter

100M, 200M, and 400M Wheelchair

  • Ally Darter

400M Dash

  • Camdyn Kay

800M Run

  • Keelee Leitzen
  • Brooke O’Brien

1500M Run

  • Sophia Dallal
  • Keelee Letizen

3000M Run

  • Evie Henneberry

4x400M Relay

  • Isabel Brauhn, Camdyn Kay, Mylee Lange, and Maddie Leeser
    • Alternates: Piper Birkenholz, Sophia Dallal, Brooke O’Brien, and Mallory Tomkins

4x800M Relay

  • Sophia Dallal, Camdyn Kay, Keelee Leitzen, and Brooke O’Brien
    • Alternates: Isabel Brauhn, Julia Gehl, Evie Henneberry, and Mylee Lange

Distance Medley Relay

  • Keelee Leitzen, Brooke O’Brien, Ayla Osterkamp, and Mallory Tomkins
    • AlternatesAkeelah Anderson, Evie Henneberry, Camdyn Kay, and Jillian Renne 

Sprint Medley Relay

  • Akeelah Anderson, Brooke O’Brien, Ayla Osterkamp, and Mallory Tomkins
    • AlternatesIsabel Brauhn, Camdyn Kay, Maddie Leeser, and Jillian Renne


High Jump

  • Will Pitz

1600M Run

  • Caleb Kass
  • John Maloney

3200M Run

  • Caleb Kass
  • John Maloney

4x400M Relay

  • Charlie Driscoll, Will Pitz, Devin Spahn, and Joe Vize
    • AlternatesMatt Hanselman, Zack Johnson, Avery Keehner, and Jordan Plummer 

4x800M Relay 

  • Charlie Driscoll, Micah Fern, Zack Johnson, and Joe Vize
    • AlternatesBrandon Kass, Caleb Kass, Matt Hanselman, and Owen Leitzen 

Carver Elementary Robotics Team Earns Recognition in International Competition

Twenty-eight fifth graders from Carver Elementary School, calling themselves the Carver Robotics Club, participated in this year’s International Wonder League Robotics Competition in The Pioneer Cup division (nine to twelve-year-olds).

Wonder League is a growing, worldwide network of elementary coding clubs using Wonder Workshop’s all-inclusive program to inspire an early love of coding, computer science, hands-on learning, and STEM education.

Carver students met before school one day a week from October through March, under the guidance of coaches Staci Walsh and Donna Schmitt. As part of the competition, students were asked to complete five missions that involved challenges of escalating difficulties which included navigating Dash the robot on an outer space themed mat while keeping a journal of the engineering design process.

Carver had 13 teams represented in the first round of the competition. Seven of these teams advanced to participate in the Invitational Round. This round required students to design a safe travel pod and use their coding skills to program Dash to navigate through the solar system. Teams were also asked to create a 2-minute highlight video explaining the Final Mission solution. From the Invitational Round, four runner-up teams and a grand champion were selected from all the international participating teams.

Congratulations to the following students on these honors:

Pioneer Cup Runner-Up (Top 5 Internationally)

Carver Team TBC
  • Charlie Ramos
  • Ben Valentine
Image of Charlie Ramos and Ben Valentine

Pioneer Cup Runner-Up Team

Pioneer Cup Invitational Round Competitors

Team 2

  • Will Kelley
  • Ian Wagner

Team 3

  • Neal Patel
  • Owen Wagener

Team 4

  • Beckett Kraus
  • Winston Richardson 

Team 5

  • Landon Brimeyer
  • Max VanderPloeg 

Team 9

  • Alyssa Blum
  • Charlotte Kelley

Team 12

  • Aliyah Blum
  • Lauren Hunold
  • Aubrey Scardino
Image of Donna Schmitt and the Carver Elementary students that competed in the invitational round of the wonder league competition

Coach Donna Schmitt and the Pioneer Cup Invitational Round competitors from Carver Elementary

Pioneer Cup First Round Competitors

Team 6

  • Levi James
  • Jordan Noel

Team 7 

  • Angel Parra
  • Justus Riley

Team 8

  • Jackson Bartley
  • Bryce Hentges
  • Layne Massingham

Team 10

  • Jocelyn Ervolino
  • Jordyn Martin

Team 11

  • Tanner Brimeyer
  • Alaina Sutter

Team 13

  • Wesley Bobis
  • Owen Williams

Cassie McDonald Named Dubuque Schools Teacher of the Year

Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year Cassie McDonald (right) from Dubuque Senior High School is congratulated by Dubuque Senior Assistant Principal/Registrar Joan Schueller.

Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year Cassie McDonald (right) from Dubuque Senior High School is congratulated by Dubuque Senior Assistant Principal/Registrar Joan Schueller.

The Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year was named at the annual Educators’ Recognition Reception on May 11, hosted by the Dubuque Education Association.

Cassie McDonald, an English language learners (ELL) teacher at Dubuque Senior High School, was selected for the honor.

McDonald joined the district as a Spanish teacher at Dubuque Senior High School in 2005-2010. From 2019-2022 she also served in that role until 2022 when she taught in a dual ELL teaching role at Dubuque Senior and at the district’s Alta Vista Campus. This school year, she returned to teaching ELL full-time at Dubuque Senior.

Outside of the district, she is an English Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor at Northeast Iowa Community College, an English instructor in the online VIPKid English Program, and an independent contractor language training tutor for John Deere. She also served as a high school English teacher in Delavan, Wisconsin, from 2002-2005.

McDonald holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and English: Language and Secondary Education from Loras College and a master of education degree in English Language Learning from the University of North Dakota – Grand Forks.

“Cassie McDonald has built a community of caring and learning for her students that helps them gain confidence, find success and feel at home at Senior High School,” said one of McDonald’s nominators. “When most teachers are packing up and heading home for the day, Cassie can be found conducting an after-school study hall/support group for her students to give them extra care and connectedness to ensure they stay on track. She’s a hero for her students, and they would tell you as much.”

Other finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award were:

  • Ann Arnold, Alta Vista Campus
  • Emilie Foust, Table Mound Elementary School
  • Amy Freiburger, Sageville Elementary School
  • Andrea Runde, Hempstead High School
  • Lorlie Ryan, Lincoln Elementary School
  • Kristal Schaul, Kennedy Elementary School
  • Alli Steepleton, Jefferson Middle School
  • Dan Tringale, Jefferson Middle School
  • Karla Weber, Hempstead High School

Also at the event:

Project Rooted received the Friend of Education Award, presented for the organization’s efforts to provide students with access to and education about nutritious foods and fresh, local produce. This happens though the group’s Rooted Boxes, created once a month for first-graders in the district’s elementary schools. The boxes are themed and include a journal; fresh, local ingredients; and a utensil (such as a mini cutting board or portable fork and spoon). The boxes also include Rooted Buck, which are vouchers that can be redeemed at Dubuque’s Farmer’s Market, giving children the opportunity to choose healthy foods while making a connection with local community members who grow/produce it.

Marshallese Community Celebrated at Board Meeting

Members of the Dubuque Marshallese Community gather in the Board Room during a recent School Board eeting.

At the May 8 School Board meeting, the Board was joined by members of the Marshallese community, who will celebrate Marshallese Constitution Day over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Board adopted a proclamation officially recognizing the Marshallese holiday (see full proclamation text below)

Following the reading of the proclamation, representatives from the Marshallese community performed traditional songs and bestowed Board members with traditional flower crowns and shell necklaces. They also presented the district with a decorative wall hanging hand-woven from coconut.

Image of Marshallese Constitution Day Proclamation (text content also on page)

View the proclamation (PDF)


WHEREAS, the citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands celebrate their Constitution Day on May 1 each year to commemorate the day 44 years ago when a new Constitution was adopted and status as an independent republic was achieved; and

WHEREAS, the Dubuque Community School District and our greater community benefit from a very vibrant Marshallese community that is rich with tradition; and

WHEREAS, celebration of Marshallese Constitution Day in the Marshall Islands would traditionally be focused on island culture, with games of tug-o-war, husking a coconut, and canoe racing; and in the United States is celebrated with basketball, softball and volleyball tournaments; and

WHEREAS, the observance of Marshallese Constitution Day in the United States is held on the three-day Memorial Day weekend, and the Marshallese community will recognize it with a celebration open to all members of the Dubuque community.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Kate Parks, on behalf of the Dubuque Community School District Board of Education, do hereby proclaim May 1 and Memorial Day Weekend as:

A Celebration of Marshallese Constitution Day

Signed this 8th Day of May, 2023.

Dubuque Community Schools and Medical Associates Form Sports Medicine Partnership

With student health and safety at the forefront, the Dubuque Community School District and Medical Associates have formalized a partnership to provide sports medicine services to high school student athletes.

Dr. Adam Susmarski works with a student athlete.

Dr. Adam Susmarski works with a Hempstead High School student athlete.

Through a memorandum of understanding officially signed by both organizations in January, Medical Associates will provide team medical coverage during Dubuque Community School District sporting events. The partnership began this year with high school wrestling and will include football in the fall, with an option to expand the coverage to additional sports in the future.

“The safety of our student athletes is priority and the district has long been at the leading edge of safety protocols in our athletic programs,” said Joe Maloney, director of activities and athletics for the district. “This partnership moves us forward in our work to ensure the highest quality care available to our student athletes by having a team physician available at our events.”

Dr. Adam Susmarski (center)works with a student athlete along with district athletic trainer Brian Regan, ATC.

Dr. Adam Susmarski (center) works with a student athlete along with district athletic trainer Brian Regan, ATC.

Medical Associates sports medicine provider Dr. Adam Susmarski, DO, FACSM, currently assumes the lead athlete physician role for the

district along with his partner, Dr. Steve Rock, MD. They also provide medical counsel to the district’s licensed athletic trainers as they work with student-athletes.

“Medical Associates is excited to have this opportunity to bring our expertise to work with the student-athletes and athletic trainers in the Dubuque Community School District,” said Susmarski, a sports, spine, and rehabilitation physician. “Our comprehensive team of sports medicine specialists are dedicated to providing the highest quality medical care, where we focus on the safety and wellness of our area’s athletes and the communities we serve.”

Career Hiring Event for Seniors Seeking Full-Time Employment, May 10

Senior Class Career Hiring Event for those seeking full-time employment after graduation (graphic)The Dubuque Community School District will host a Career Hiring Event for members of the Class of 2023 who are seeking full-time employment after high school on Wednesday, May 10, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Dubuque Senior High School Cafeteria. 

The event is open to all graduating seniors. Registration is requested, but not required.


The event will give graduates looking to move directly into the area workforce after graduation the chance to visit with employers about job opportunities, pay, benefits and more.

There will also be the opportunity for on-the-spot interviews and immediate offers are possible.

Over 30 area employers will be in attendance, including:

  • AY McDonald
  • BEAMS LLC (multiple companies)
  • Bodine Electric Company
  • Brown NationaLease
  • Carpenters Local 678
  • Cottingham & Butler
  • Cummer Masonry Inc.
  • Dixon Tug Service
  • Dupaco Community Credit Union
  • DuTrac Community Credit Union
  • Express Employment Professionals
  • FedEx Ground
  • Giese Sheet Metal Co Inc
  • Grand River Medical Group
  • Hawkeye Care Center
  • Hills & Dales
  • Kloeckner Metals
  • Kwik Stop / Dairy Queen
  • Laborers Local 43
  • Lime Rock Springs Co
  • Lime Rock Springs Co/Pepsi Dubuque
  • McCoy Group
  • Mediacom
  • Medical Associates
  • MercyOne Medical Center
  • Mi-T-M Corporation
  • NICC
  • Paramount Ambulance
  • Progressive Processing (Hormel)
  • Sedgwick
  • Stonehill Communities
  • Sunnycrest Manor
  • Truck Country
  • UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital
  • Universal Tank & Fabrication


Learn more about the
VERTEX Initiative at

District to Create Preschool Center to Expand Early Childhood Options

The Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce plans to establish a preschool center in Dubuque’s industrial center that will provide access to the district’s high-quality preschool programming while offering streamlined access to wraparound childcare services.

Pending School Board approval, plans call for the District to begin offering preschool programming in the new center in fall 2024, while also retaining preschool classrooms in each of its elementary schools.

The project, to be developed on the site of the former Medline facility at 7900 Chavenelle Road, is a partnership between the Dubuque Community Schools, Dubuque Initiatives and the Dubuque Community Y, which will offer wraparound childcare on site. The building was purchased in December by Dubuque Initiatives.

“Development of this center is truly an example of community partnership at work,” said Superintendent Amy Hawkins. “Partners came around the table with a goal of addressing Dubuque’s childcare needs and aligning them with strong early childhood education. The result will be a combination of services that gives families a new kind of flexibility with preschool and wraparound care seamlessly integrated in one state-of-the-art location.”

As part of the plan, the District would renovate an 18,000-square-foot portion of the facility into a preschool center with space for up to 10 preschool classrooms, as well as student common areas, sensory areas, meal preparation and services spaces, student support spaces and administrative offices. The facility will also include a dedicated preschool playground outdoors and a dedicated entryway.

This new preschool center will be adjacent to a full-service childcare center operated by the Dubuque Community Y, allowing for a seamless transition for preschool students moving from or into wraparound care before and after preschool.
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