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Dubuque Community Schools to Host Informational Meeting Regarding Middle School Study, September 22

The Dubuque Community School District will host an informational meeting on the district’s middle school consolidation study on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Forum, 2300 Chaney Road.

In April, the School Board voted to approve a goal of moving to a two middle school model by fall 2026, with a focus on creating feeder schools to the district’s two high schools. The district is currently working with INVISION Architecture, an Iowa-based firm, on conducting a study and plan development to meet that goal.

The study includes feedback from a variety of constituent groups throughout the process, including a series of community informational meetings. The first half of the meeting will feature a presentation, followed by the opportunity for attendees to ask questions at a variety of topic-based stations during the meeting’s second half. The planning team from INVISION, the firm conducting the study, as well as district staff will be on hand to present and answer questions.

This first community meeting, with another to be held in October, will discuss the middle school planning process and intent, the state of the three current district middle schools, and a review data and benchmarking information. It will also include an early update on the consolidation study progress to date and a chance for attendees to provide feedback to inform the study moving forward.

For those unable to attend, the presentation content will be shared on the district website at following the meeting.

Music notes

District Recognized Among 2022 ‘Best Communities for Music Education’

NAMM Foundation - 2022 Best Communities for Music Education - Proud BCME DistrictThe Dubuque Community School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

This is the fifth consecutive year the district has received the honor.

Now in its 23rd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the district answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The district has long recognized the value of music education in our schools, and music remains an integral part of our curricular and extracurricular offerings,” said Stan Rheingans, superintendent of schools. “Our district commitment is underscored by tremendous partnerships throughout our community that support our work to expose students to music education. This honor is truly a community honor.”

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.


Summer 2022 No-Cost Meal Options

The Dubuque Community School District will participate in the USDA Summer Food Service Program to provide no-cost meals to students weekdays from July 5-29, coinciding with the district’s Summer Academy Program. The district will provide no-cost breakfast and lunch to any child 18 years old or under, with no enrollment necessary. No infant formula or infant food will be served. Meals served on site.

Summer Academy meal locations and times are as follows

Audubon Elementary School
Prescott Elementary School
Table Mound Elementary School
Breakfast: 7:30-8 a.m.
Lunch: 11-11:30 a.m.

Meals will also be offered throughout the summer by community agencies at a variety of locations.


In addition to meals served at Summer Academy and community locations, a FOOD PANTRY and CLOTHES CLOSET will be available for district families from June 7-August 11 as follows:

Irving Elementary School
Every Tuesday and Thursday from Noon-2 p.m.


USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or

2. fax:
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Iowa Non-Discrimination Statement:
“It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office building, 400 E. 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website:”

Fulton Elementary School Exterior

Fulton Elementary School to Host Open House Celebrating School’s Legacy, May 22

Fulton Elementary School and the Fulton Family Group will host an open house celebrating the legacy of the school on Sunday, May 22, from 3-4:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend. Fulton will close and be decommissioned as a school in the Dubuque Community School District at the conclusion of the school year.

At the open house, school staff and members of the Fulton Family Group will be on hand and self-guided tours will be available. Concessions available for purchase, old Fulton yearbooks, commemorative t-shirts and Fulton memorabilia will be able for purchase (cash only).

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to sign a commemorative item that will be placed in a Fulton time capsule. During the open house, the school’s former technology coach Jeff Dyer will be on hand showing Fulton Films made with Fulton students over the years.

In 1856, the Dubuque Community School District constructed Couler Avenue School on the corner of Couler Avenue and Diagonal Streets in Dubuque. In 1889, the building was renamed Fulton School at a time when the school board elected to name schools after famous Americans. The building is named after Robert Fulton, who was inventor of the steamboat as well as an artist and engineer. In 1891, an addition to the school was added at that original site.

In 1939, the school board called for a special election to build four new district schools to replace existing ones, including Fulton. A new Fulton School, built in its current location at a cost of $212,763.73, was accepted by the board and dedicated in 1941. In 1944, a nursery school and childcare center were opened at Fulton School to supplement the nursery school in operation in other district schools. Today, Fulton serves approximately 240 students in grades PreK-5.

Hawkins Named Dubuque’s Next Superintendent of Schools

Amy Hawkins Photo

Amy Hawkins

The Dubuque Community School District Board of Education voted unanimously today to appoint Amy Hawkins as the district’s new superintendent of schools, effective July 1. Hawkins will succeed Stan Rheingans, who will leave the district at the conclusion of the school year to become the new Chief Administrator of Keystone Area Education Agency.

“The Board is confident that Amy is the right person to continue the positive momentum of the district and to lead it into the future,” said Board President Kate Parks. “Amy is an experienced, well-respected administrator who brings a collaborative leadership style focused on always putting students first. She is deeply rooted in the district and Dubuque community, and has a clear commitment to enhancing the Dubuque educational experience for each student we serve. We are excited for her to assume this role.”

Hawkins is currently the chief human resources officer for the district, a role in which she oversees all human resources operations for the approximately 2,000 employees in the district. This includes district-wide planning and coordination of staff recruitment, retention, budgeting, performance evaluation management, employee relations and personnel management.

“I look forward to collaborating with our staff, families and community as we continue the important, challenging and rewarding work of ensuring success for each and every student we serve,” said Hawkins. “The success of the Dubuque Community School District is deeply personal to me and I couldn’t be more honored to lead the district into the future.”

Prior to her chief human resources officer role, Hawkins served as the district’s director of activities and athletics. In this role, she served on the district’s executive leadership team and oversaw all aspects of the district’s extracurricular programming as well as the development and implementation of wellness/health curriculum and English Language Learners (ELL) programming.

She was responsible for all aspects of these programs, including hiring, evaluating and mentoring of staff, budget planning and oversight, and delivery of professional development. Hawkins was also the district administrator working with the school board’s Activity Council, and she has been instrumental in the design and upgrade of numerous athletic facilities.

Before serving as director of activities and athletics, Hawkins was a district-level teacher on special assignment from 2010-2012. She began her career in the Dubuque Community School District in 1997 as a wellness teacher at Dubuque Senior High School, later becoming department chair at the school. She has also been both an assistant and head coach for the Dubuque Senior High School Girl’s Volleyball Team, and was named Mississippi Valley Coach of the Year in 2005. From 1998-2000, she was head coach of the Clarke University Women’s Volleyball Team.

Hawkins holds a bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and a master of arts degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) with Pre-K through 12 principal and Pre-K through 12 special education supervisor certification. She also holds an advanced studies certificate in superintendency from UNI.

Dubuque Community School District Names Superintendent Finalists

Dubuque, Iowa – Since November, the Dubuque Community School District Board of Education has been engaged in the process of selecting the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. The next superintendent will succeed Stan Rheingans, who will leave the district at the conclusion of the school year to become the new Chief Administrator of Keystone Area Education Agency.

The district received 16 applications for the superintendent position, coming from seven states. The Board was very pleased with the high-quality caliber of the candidate pool. Eight candidates had previous superintendent experience, six candidates had central office experience, and all candidates had significant administrative experience.

The Board conducted screening interviews with seven semifinalists and is pleased to announce the three finalists for the position. They are:

Amy Hawkins

Amy Hawkins Photo

Amy Hawkins

Amy Hawkins currently serves as the chief human resources officer for the Dubuque Community School District in Dubuque, Iowa, a role she has held since 2019. Prior to that, she served as the district’s director of activities and athletics from 2012-2019, as well as the district’s wellness and health curriculum coordinator from 2010-2019. In these roles, she also served as the project director of the district’s LEAP Enrichment Program from 2017-2019 and as the English Language Learners (ELL) curriculum coordinator from 2018-2019. Prior to her administrative roles, she was a wellness teacher and coach at Dubuque Senior High School. Hawkins holds a master of arts in education degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a bachelor of science degree in teaching from Winona State University.

Kent Mutchler

Kent Mutchler Photo

Kent Mutchler

Kent Mutchler currently serves as the superintendent of Geneva Community Unit School District 304 in Geneva, Ill., a role he has held since 2006. Prior to that, he served as superintendent at Ankeny Community Schools in Ankeny, Iowa, from 2002-2006 and Oelwein Community Schools I Oelwein, Iowa from 1998-2002. He served as assistant superintendent in the Spencer Community School District in Spencer, Iowa, from 1993-1998 and principal at Guthrie Center Community High School in Guthrie Center, Iowa, from 1989-1993. He was athletic director and social studies teacher at Storm Lake Community High School from 1988-1989 and taught social studies at Clarion Community High School in Clarion, Iowa from 1986-1989. Mutchler holds a bachelor of arts degree from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, a master of arts degree from Iowa State University, master’s degrees in education (Ed.S. and MSE) from Drake University, and a doctor of education degree also from Drake.

R. Chace Ramey

R. Chace Ramey Photo

R. Chace Ramey

R. Chace Ramey currently serves as deputy superintendent for the Iowa City Community School District in Iowa City, Iowa, a role he has held since 2018. Prior to this role, he served as assistant superintendent for human resources for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, Va., from 2016-2018 and was chief human resources officer for Iowa City Community Schools from 2012-2015. He was chief of staff for the Kansas City Public Schools from 2010-2012, director of student services for University Academic Charter School LEA in Kansas City, Mo., from 2008-2010 was assistant director and director for the Academic Achievement Program for the University of Iowa College of Law. Ramey holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kansas, a juris doctorate from the University of Iowa, and a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Iowa.

Finalist interviews will be conducted on Monday, Feb. 21 (Mutchler); Tuesday, Feb. 22 (Ramey); and Thursday, Feb. 24 (Hawkins), with each finalist meeting with interview teams comprised of district staff, parents and community partners. Each candidate will conclude their day with an interview with the Board of Education.


Abstract colorful letters

2022-2023 Free Four-Year-Old Preschool Registration Begins Monday, Jan. 10

Registration for free four-year-old preschool in the Dubuque Community School District will begin on Monday, Jan. 10. This includes 12 Dubuque public elementary schools offering preschool through the Statewide Voluntary Free Preschool Program. (Please note that due to space constraints, Hoover Elementary School will not offer preschool programming for the 2022-2023 school year.)

Parents and guardians may register students in person at the selected site, beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, January 10.

Proof-of-age, preferably a birth certificate, is required to register a student. Other accepted proof-of-age documents include a passport or signed immunization record.

Preschool registration paperwork is available to complete in advance beginning on the district’s preschool webpage or in-person at all elementary schools. You can also find registration details and forms, as well as additional preschool information, online at

Read More about “2022-2023 Free Four-Year-Old Preschool Registration Begins Monday, Jan. 10”

Mobile Registration and Employment Fair, July 26-Aug. 3

Need help registering your student?
Looking for a job in an amazing school district?

We are hitting the road and bringing the district to you!

News mobile registration bus

Visit our registration and human resources teams at one of our stops throughout the community from Monday, July 26, through Tuesday, August 3.

At each stop:

  • Our registration team will be on hand to assist families in completing online registration for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.
  • Our human resources team will take applications and conduct on-the-spot interviews for a variety of district jobs, including paraprofessional, transportation and food/nutrition positions.
  • Computers with internet access will be provided – and we even have a few treats in store!
  • NOTE: A Marshallese interpreter will be available at each stop.

Join us at one of the following times:News join our team sign

Monday, July 26, from 1-3 p.m.
Bee Branch (in the parking lot near the 22nd street bridge)

Tuesday, July 27, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dubuque County Fair (Admission to the Dubuque County Fair is FREE this day!)

Wednesday, July 28, from 9-11 a.m.
Comiskey Park

Thursday, July 29, from 9-11 a.m.
Asbury Park

Friday, July 30, from 1-3 p.m.
Flora Park

Monday, August 2, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Heritage Pond

Tuesday, August 3, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Murphy Park

We look forward to seeing you!

Littleton Named Dubuque Community Schools Director of Equity

The Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Dierre Littleton as the district’s new director of equity, pending approval by the Board of Education at its June 14 meeting. Littleton will join the district on August 2 following his role as associate director for the office of diversity at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark.

Dierre Littleton

Dierre Littleton

As the district’s director of equity, Littleton will serve as a key district leader who embraces and champions the district’s fundamental value of ensuring equity for all. He will be responsible for organizing, coordinating, communicating and managing various facets of educational equity in the district to enhance student learning while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to maximize the educational opportunities available to each student.

“Dierre brings an outstanding track record of developing and implementing programming to support equity and inclusion, while doing so in a collaborative and energetic way,” said Superintendent Stan Rheingans. “He is committed to student success and we are excited for him to join our leadership team as we continue to move the district’s equity initiatives forward.”

In his role at Central Arkansas, Littleton worked to advise organizations, develop leadership training programs, and design and implement a variety of diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity programs. He has also supervised professional and paraprofessional staff, assisting in the development of strategic planning, assessment and budgeting of diversity programming, and worked to engage community partners, staff and students in equity programming.

Littleton also previously worked as a residence hall coordinator at Central Arkansas, was a graduate assistant in the office of diversity and inclusion, and held a number of other roles in student affairs for the university. He is also heavily involved in community volunteer efforts and serves on a number of university committees.

Littleton holds a bachelor of science degree in communication/public relations from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.; a master of science degree in college student personnel services and administration from the University of Central Arkansas; and he is currently working toward a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University, with anticipated completion in fall 2022.

District Receives Excellence in Financial Reporting Award

The Dubuque Community School District was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. The award is for the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending in 2020.

ASBO International Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for Fiscal Year 2020 Award Winner

This is the 12th consecutive year the district has received this honor.

“We are committed to responsibly using and reporting on the financial resources that we are entrusted with,” said Kevin Kelleher, chief financial officer for the Dubuque Community Schools. “Our annual financial report is one tool in doing so and we hope our Certificate of Excellence helps assure taxpayers of our commitment to the highest standards of financial management.”

Each year, the Dubuque Community School District manages an overall budget of approximately $160 million. The Certificate of Excellence award confirms the district business office’s commitment to financial accountability and transparency. By participating in the Certificate of Excellence Program, school districts submit their CAFR for review by a team of financial professionals who provide feedback to improve future documents. According to ASBO, recognition in the Certificate of Excellence program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.

The recognition program is presented by the Association of School Business Officials International and is sponsored by American Fidelity, provider of cost-savings solutions and supplemental insurance benefits.

The Association of School Business Officials International is a non-profit that, through its members and affiliates, represents approximately 30,000 school business professionals worldwide. It provides programs and services to promote the highest standards in school business. Its members support student achievement through effective resource management in various areas ranging from finance and operations to food services and transportation.