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School Board

Fulton Elementary School to Close Following the 2021-2022 School Year

At the April 11, 2022, School Board meeting, the Board officially voted to close Fulton Elementary School at the conclusion of this school year.

This is difficult news and the district remains commitment to ensuring a smooth transition for our students, families and staff. The budget realities, however, necessitate this step in order to ensure the district’s financial viability into the future.

Based on the current number of staff openings, and the number of those that typically occur near the end of the school year, every current Fulton staff members will remain employed in the Dubuque Community School District.

School boundary lines have also been redrawn to assign current Fulton students to a school boundary that currently adjoins the Fulton boundary, with the option to also apply for in-district transfer to another school.

FOR THE FULL PRESENTATION ON THE DATA USED TO MAKE THE CLOSING DECISION, WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW (which will automatically begin at the part of the meeting that included discussion about Fulton).

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.

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District Saves $500K in Opening Year of Conservation Program

One year into an energy conservation partnership with Cenergistic, a national sustainability company, the Dubuque Community School District has already saved $500,000 compared to expected energy costs over the same time.

The School Board receives an Environmental Excellence Certificate from Cenergistic

School Board President Tami Ryan (far left) and Buildings and Grounds Manager Bill Burkhart (far right) receive an Environmental Excellence Certificate from Cenergistic. The certificate was presented by Cenergistic Client Manager Robert Herron (center right) and Energy Specialist Abigail Hammann (center left).

“Cenergistic has studied our electricity use and discovered ways to save our district significant money on our electricity costs, and they’ve been training our staff on the specifics of the plan to make those savings happen,” said Kevin Kelleher, the district’s chief financial officer. “Every dollar saved can be redirected to enhancing the educational experience for our students.”

To improve building operations and save costs, district personnel and the program’s energy specialist act as energy watchdogs, working in tandem to audit and optimize energy-using systems across the organization to achieve peak efficiency. The energy specialist tracks energy consumption at all campuses with state-of-the-art technology to identify waste and drive conservation.

In response to COVID-related shutdowns, the energy specialist gives special attention to improving air quality and supporting facilities teams to ensure students can return to healthier classrooms. Through thousands of facility audits, she provides a continuous presence throughout district schools, identifying hazards, optimizing equipment and helping implement CDC recommendations for continued operation.

“Our district does not have the in-house expertise to understand the billing process of our local utilities or the energy use of our district equipment and come up with significant energy savings,” said Kelleher. “This is where the staff of Cenergistic help the district understand that information in order to make better consumer decisions. Our district is pleased to have partnered with Cenergistic.”