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Articles from April 2024

Dubuque Senior and Hempstead Students Qualify for Prestigious Drake Relays

Students from both Dubuque Senior and Hempstead High Schools will compete in the Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA from April 25 – April 27th. Known as America’s Athletic Classic, this event is considered one of the top track and field events in the United States.

Congratulations to the following student qualifiers:

Dubuque Senior High School

Boys 400M Run

  • Jaden Arnold
  • Garrett Schumacher

Girls 1500M Run

  • Leah Klapatauskas

Girls 3000M Run

  • Leah Klapatauskas

Girls High Jump

  • Cambel Drapeau

Boys Team 4x100M Run

  • Jaden Arnold
  • John FitzPatrick
  • Nick Lambe
  • Andrew Theisen

Boys Team 4x200M Run

  • Jaden Arnold
  • John FitzPatrick
  • Nick Lambe
  • Garrett Schumacher

Boys Team 4x400M Run

  • Jaden Arnold
  • John FitzPatrick
  • Zack Heiar
  • Garrett Schumacher

Girls Team 4x800M Run

  • Emma Chesterman
  • Emily Gorton
  • Nevaeh Kessler
  • Leah Klapatauskas


  • Mahdi Al-Atabi
  • Charlie Crow
  • Marshawn Dukes
  • Claire Hoyer
  • Noah Roling

Hempstead High School

Co-ed 400M Wheelchair

  • Ally Darter

Girls 800M Run

  • Julia Gehl
  • Keelee Leitzen

Girls 1500M Run

  • Julia Gehl
  • Keelee Leitzen

Girls 3000M Run

  • Julia Gehl

Boys 3200M Run

  • John Maloney

Girls Team 4x100M Relay

  • Savannah Bailey
  • Kassidy Buchenau
  • Jillian Renne
  • Mallory Tomkins

Boys Team 4x100M Relay

  • Thomas Brashaw
  • James Eichhorn
  • Landon McKay
  • Brendon Zheng

Girls Team 4x400M Relay

  • Julia Gehl
  • Keelee Leitzen
  • Ayla Osterkamp
  • Mallory Tomkins

Girls Team 4x800M Relay

  • Mylee Lange
  • Keelee Leitzen
  • Natalie Leitzen
  • Eva Stevenson

Boys Team 4x800M Relay

  • Charlie Driscoll
  • Micah Fern
  • Zack Johnson
  • Owen Leitzen

Girls Team Sprint Medley Relay

  • Akeelah Anderson
  • Madelyn Leeser
  • Ayla Osterkamp
  • Mallory Tomkins


  • Piper Birkenholz
  • Mya Curry
  • Matthew Hanselman
  • Robert Ivy
  • Jashawn McCarter
  • Paige Pitz

Three High School Students Named Candidates and One Named Semifinalist in U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Two Hempstead High School students and one Dubuque Senior High School student have been named among more than 5,000 candidates in the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2024. Graduating seniors Hannah Davisdon (Hempstead), Charlie Driscoll (Hempstead) and Caitlyn Kono (Dubuque Senior) were recognized with the honor.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

A distinguished panel of educators reviewed these submissions and the semifinalists were narrowed down from a field of 91 selected candidates from Iowa. Caitlyn Kono was named as one of seven Iowa semifinalists and one of over 600 across the United States.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens, appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the online National Recognition Program. U.S Presidential Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion each June.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.

Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. For more than 59 years, this unique federal program has honored over 8,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars, who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and contribution to school and community. The work of the Commission on Presidential Scholars reaffirms, on behalf of the President, the Nation’s commitment to education.


Dubuque Senior High School Speech Team Earns Individual Events Sweepstakes Trophy

On Saturday, March 9, the Dubuque Senior Speech Team competed in the 2024 State Individual Event Speech Contest at Hampton-Dumont CAL High School in Hampton, Iowa. The team received overall Division I ratings in 46 performances.

The Hempstead High School Speech Team had a six students receive Division I ratings in seven performances. The students were coached by Harmony Roe and Don Stanner. The contest is sponsored by the Iowa High School Speech Association.

The Dubuque Senior Speech Team also received 26 Outstanding Performance nominations to the 2024 Individual Event All-State Festival. The Festival was held Monday, March 25 at the University of Northern Iowa. The Dubuque Senior varsity team earned the Iowa High School Speech Association Individual Event Sweepstakes Trophy, given to the school with the most nominations to the Festival. This marks the twelfth consecutive year the Dubuque Senior Speech Team has won the Individual Events Sweepstakes Trophy.

The Dubuque Senior Speech team is only the second team in IHSSA history to win both the Large Group and IE Sweepstakes Trophy in the same year, and the only school to do it more than once (six times – 2024, 2023, 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2013). The group is coached by Hannah Burke, Aaron Dean, Greg Ernzen, Mike Grant, Maria LoBianco, Megan Schumacher, Matt Tompkins and MaryJo Williams.

The Festival is sponsored by the Iowa High School Speech Association, which is an affiliate of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union.

Congratulations to the following students on their achievements:

Dubuque Senior High School

  • Kelsey Ahlers – Expository Address
  • Riley Beck – Solo Musical Theatre
  • Peter Boenish – Prose & Review
  • Delaney Carber – Storytelling
  • Sam Cavanagh – Radio News Announcing
  • Alex Dixon – Acting & After Dinner Speaking
  • Peyton Dixon – Storytelling
  • Liam Dostal – Solo Musical Theatre
  • Anna Garret-Douillet – Public Address
  • Jace Holz – Review
  • Norah Homb – Storytelling
  • Leah Klapatauskas – Spontaneous Speaking
  • Chase Kreimeyer – After Dinner Speaking & Improvisational Acting
  • Maura Lawler – Expository Address
  • Kaitlyn Miller – Expository Address
  • Soren Obermueller – After Dinner Speaking & Prose
  • Madeline Oney – Poetry
  • Reid Postma – Improvisational Acting
  • Jack Rothert – After Dinner Speaking
  • Jacob Schreiber – Review
  • Sophia Thomas – Poetry
  • Bella VandenBerge – Acting

State Division I (Excellent) Rated Recognition:

Dubuque Senior High School

  • Ami Bellings – Solo Musical Theatre
  • Peyton Dixon – Original Oratory
  • Ella Donovan – Literary Program
  • Roz Hoefflin – Literary Program
  • Blair Kapp – After Dinner Speaking
  • Avery Kane – Acting
  • Natalee Killian – Prose
  • Akiko Kono – Original Oratory
  • Liam Kroger – Radio News Announcing
  • Ella Meyer – Spontaneous Speaking
  • Jameson Norton – Literary Program & Radio News Announcing
  • Josie Norton – Poetry
  • Izzibelle Pregler – Acting
  • Kate Putnam – Poetry
  • Maddie Rupp – Improvisational Acting
  • Benjamin Schaefer – Spontaneous Speaking
  • Charlotte Toskey – Public Address
  • Morgan Weiland – Improvisational Acting
  • David Witthoeft – Improvisational Acting

Hempstead High School

  • Bruce Coakley – Spontaneous Speaking
  • Hannah Davisdon – After Dinner Speaking
  • Maggie Morrow – Interpretive Reading Prose
  • Norah Morteo – Interpretive Reading  Poetry
  • Aadi Patel – Spontaneous Speaking
  • Brendon Zheng – Spontaneous Speaking and Expository Address

Alta Vista Campus and Hempstead iJAG Students Compete at State Competition

Twenty-one students from Hempstead High School and the Alta Vista Campus recently returned from an impressive showing at the 2024 iJAG Annual Career Development Conference in Des Moines, IA.

Congratulations to the following students on these honors:


Hempstead High School

LOVE Project | Lifting Our Voices for Equity
A plan to address a challenge within their community to create a more inclusive world

  • Laila Saunders | 12th grade
  • Ayiana Sandridge | 12th grade
  • DaShawn Mays | 11th grade
  • Wyleah Jaeger | 11th grade
2024 iJag LOVE Second Place

Hempstead High School iJAG LOVE Project Second Place Finishers (Photo Courtesy of Hempstead iJAG Team)


Congratulations to our students on presenting in the following categories at the state-level conference:


Hempstead High School

Business Plan
A 10-page written business plan and presentation

  • Tobin Ludovissy | 11th grade
  • Caleb Blackburn | 12th grade
  • Taylor Pline | 11th grade

Creative Decision Making
A creative solution to a problem presented at the time of competition

  • Anna Klein | 11th grade
  • Jenaleigh Williams | 12th grade
  • Megan Sawvel | 11th grade

Project Based Learning Showcase
A presentation how project based learning was used to instruct

  • Olivia Skemp | 11th grade
  • Ana Bermudez | 12th grade
  • Mariano Jeban | 12th grade

Career Preparation
A powerpoint and presentation about their future career

  • Kora Leslein | 11th grade

Financial Literacy
A computer test on financial literacy concepts

  • Carter Kane | 11th grade

Alta Vista Campus Students

Business Plan
A 10-page written business plan and presentation

  • Landon Dotson | 12th grade
  • Mercedez Burgess | 11th grade
  • Kemonte Pearson | 11th grade
  • Ricky Woods | 11th grade

Career Preparation
A powerpoint and presentation about their future career

  • Maxx Dunlap | 12th grade

Employability Skills
A completed resume, cover letter, and live interview

  • Nora Hanselmann | 11th grade