According to a Dubuque Community School release, a longtime school principal is retiring

Long-time Hempstead High School Principal Lee Kolker announced Friday, November 4th, his plans to retire at the conclusion of the current 2022-2023 school year. Kolker has dedicated his 30-plus-year career to the school, serving as its principal for 15 years after first serving as a math teacher and later as assistant principal.
Kolker in a message to Hempstead families said:
“People sometimes ask me why I’ve stayed at Hempstead for all these years – 33 years total and 15 as principal,”. “The answer was always easy. From my perspective, the grass was always greenest right here at 3715 Pennsylvania Avenue. I have always believed that the work we are doing is important. We are a dedicated staff trying to be better every day for our students, families and entire school community. Ultimately, watching students consistently show their Mustang PRIDE while following their passions has been a rewarding daily experience.”
A search for the next principal of Hempstead High School will begin in the upcoming days.
Kolker began his career in 1990 as a math teacher at Hempstead and from 1990-1992, he also taught math at Dubuque Senior High School. In 2003, he was selected to become assistant principal at the school before taking the reins as principal in 2008.
In addition to his teaching and administrative roles, Kolker served as head girls’ basketball coach for two years and assistant coach for three years. He was assistant varsity baseball coach for 9 years and head sophomore baseball coach for three years. These roles earned him recognition as Northeast Iowa District Assistant Baseball Coach of the Year in 1998. He was a mentor for new teachers at a time when mentorship programs were just beginning in the district and was an intramural co-director for three years. In 1999, he was named Hempstead Teacher of the Year.
Kolker holds a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics with a secondary education endorsement and a master of arts degree in secondary administration, both from Clarke University in Dubuque. He is married to his wife of 29 years, Kelly, and has three children: Evan, a 2015 Hempstead graduate; Jack, a 2020 Hempstead graduate; and Grace, a current senior at Hempstead

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