Kim Sheppard Recognized by Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association as 2021-2022 Administrator of the Year

The Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association has recognized Decorah High School Principal Kim Sheppard as the 2021-2022 Administrator of the Year. 

During her 21 years in her leadership role with the district, Mrs. Kim Sheppard has helped lead and guide Decorah High School to unprecedented success both academically and in activities.  In 2011, DHS was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education and since 2010, has been ranked in the top five high schools in the state of Iowa by US News and World Report including top rankings in 2013 and 2020. 

In the activities setting, Decorah has achieved great success with Sheppard’s support and guidance to all students, families, and staff.  120 Conference or District titles have been earned in 18 sports, along with 12 State Championships in 6 sports.  This success has come with a constant willingness to help in tasks ranging from general supervision and management of events, to running a basketball score table, to offering mentorship and guidance for coaches and staff members in both victory and moments of defeat.  Additionally, Sheppard has been a passionate supporter of student success and expression in both the performing and visual arts.  She has also has played an active role in work with fellow administrators to work together in finding ways to support and grow program offerings through development of new programs including bowling and robotics.  

Mrs. Sheppard has been an outstanding supporter and administrator for the activities program of the Decorah Community School District and the Northeast Iowa Conference throughout her 21 years as the Principal at Decorah High School.  Her commitment to excellence and service to students, coaches, and their families has been second to none. 

Nolan Jacobson Named Norman C. Bradish Scholarship Recipient for 2021-22 School Year

Decorah High School has named Nolan Jacobsen as the recipient of the Norman C. Bradish Scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year. Norman Bradish created a scholarship to be awarded to a male graduate of Decorah High School who possesses high academic ability and curiosity, is liked by peers and adults, and displays high standards of character. The recipient must agree to attend a non-religious college outside the state of Iowa. In addition, the student must remain unmarried until finishing his studies.

Jacobsen is currently still deciding where he will attend college, but he plans to major in aerospace engineering. He has been very active at Decorah High School and in the Decorah community. He has successfully completed numerous college credit and AP courses. He was selected as a member of the Iowa All-State Honor Choir during his junior and senior years and has contributed to top honors awarded to choir groups. Jacobsen has also participated widely in the DHS speech and drama program, performing for musicals and variety shows as well as participating in the Iowa All-State Large Group Speech contest his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He was a member of the boys’ tennis team his junior year and plans to participate again his senior year. Jacobsen was also a part of the boys’ cross country team his senior year and is a member of the DHS chapter of National Honor Society.

Nolan Jacobsen is the son of Kathleen and the late Kalen Jacobsen.

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Nolan Jacobson, 2021-2022 Bradish Winner

DHS Robotics Team Headed to the State Championship

The Decorah High School junior/senior robotics team, the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men, competed in the Super Qualifier event in Norwalk on Saturday, February 12. The team members­–seniors Kolten Gossman, Tyler Shedinger, Weston Everson, Grant Timm and juniors Aiden Burroughs, Ethan Stravers, Justin Berlage, Nathaniel Myers, Junior Battle–played six qualification matches throughout the morning and afternoon, including posting a team high score of 230 when playing with team Still Under Development from Black Hawk County during one of the matches. They finished the qualification matches in 8th place, securing their spot at the state championship Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19 at the Xtream Arena in Coralville. In the playoff rounds the team was paired with two alliances, CrossFire from Valley Lutheran High School and the Shells Bots from Waverly, but they lost in the first round to the eventual championship team from Waukee, the Enginerds.

Earlier in the season, both the junior/senior and freshmen/sophomore robotics club teams competed in the League Championship competition on Saturday, January 29 in Cedar Falls. The freshmen/sophomore team, the Treads of Terror, climbed from 12th place to 8th place during the competition. A highlight for the team was when an all-freshmen driving team of Jerald Thompson, Kellen Roffman, and Mason Myers won their first match together this year.

The junior/senior team held steady in 2nd place throughout the competition, despite the collapsing of the inspection table with their robot on it, leading to the replacement of many bent parts. This allowed them to continue into the playoff rounds and “draft” their alliance partner, team 9968 Crossfire from Lutheran Valley High School. Together, they defeated the 3rd and 1st ranked alliances, winning their final match 214 to 182. They were awarded the League Champion trophy and the Judges’ Choice Award for being highly rated in all categories of the competition. 

Coach Brett Wilker remarked, “I am extremely proud of both of our teams this year as they have learned and accomplished so much throughout our season. The students have spent over five months designing, building, and programming their robots, and that hard work and dedication paid off by helping them earn high rankings in our league. The students have learned a lot about engineering, coding, and robot design as well as team work and persistence in the face of all of the challenges they’ve faced. We are all excited to be the first robotics team to represent Decorah at the Iowa Championship this weekend, going up against the best teams in the state.”

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Both teams pose for a picture after winning the League Championship in Cedar Falls

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 Both teams preparing to compete in a qualification match as alliance partners

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The Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men get ready on the queuing table at the Super Qualifier competition in Norwalk

DCSD Reports Active COVID Cases, Releases Proposed Calendar

District COVID-19 Active Positive Cases

  • Total number of students and staff in isolation (currently positive) for COVID-19: three (3)
  • Current district facilities with known positive cases: Decorah High School

DCSD reports COVID-19 data in alignment with the direction of the Iowa Department of Public Health. The full guidance can be found at the link below.

IDPH Information Sharing Guidance for Schools and Local Public Health

Proposed 2022-2023 Academic Calendar

Monday evening, the Board of Directors will set a date for public hearing regarding the proposed 2022-2023 Academic Calendar. Like the past two years, the proposed calendar is an hours of instruction-based calendar and is similar in structure to the past two years. The board will approve the final calendar after the public hearing at their March regular meeting. Those interested can review the draft 2022-2023 academic calendar at the link below.

DRAFT 2022-2023 Academic Calendar

As reflected in this year’s calendar, school will not be in session Friday, February 18 or Monday, February 21.

DHS Large Group Speech Students Garner Eight All-State Nominations

Approximately 150 Decorah High School students participated in the Northeast State Large Group Speech Contest hosted at Decorah High School on February 5. DHS speech students are coached by Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, Gabriel Twedt, and Lyra McKnight.

Judges at the state contest selected eight of Decorah High School students’ performances as outstanding; these performances are honored with the coveted All-State Speech nomination. The DHS students comprising these groups will travel to the Iowa State University campus in Ames to perform at the All-State Festival on Saturday, February 19th. Complete results and programs can be found on the IHSSA website at

The directors shared, “We are so deeply proud of the work, time, and excitement these students bring to the speech program. They set the bar high every year, and it is a privilege to help them meet their goals. We continue to look forward to the rest of the speech year with individual speech already in progress.”

DHS speech groups receiving a nomination as an All-State Honoree include one readers theater, one solo mime, one group mime, one musical theater, one radio broadcasting, two television news, and a short film. 

Cast lists for those groups performing at the All-State Festival are as follows:

Readers Theater “Puffs” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. 

Participants include Brielle Buresh, Karen Henriquez, Rebecca Anderson, Junior Battle, Michael Njus, Carter Kowitz, Sydney Kipp, Jensen Korsness, Anders Lovstuen, Ramsey Zilka, Abbie Valkosky, Henry Weis, Nadia Johnson, and Bella Bishop.


Solo Mime “Steaming Hot” by Rebecca Anderson was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Gabe Twedt, and Carrie Kauffman            

Group Mime “The Daydream” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, and Lyra McKnight.

Participants include Leslie Campbell, Liz Clement, Sally Laybourn, Hayley Stowe, and Grace Neal.

Musical Theater “Hadestown” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman.

Participants include Haywood Stowe, Drew Chamberlain, Ada Lovelace, Alex Kane, Nolan Jacobson, and Dylan Muhlbauer.

Radio Broadcasting “KCTS” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. 

Participants include Drew Berns, Morgan Dlhy, August Witt, Sylvia Sandhorst, and Nat Roberts.

TV News “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt.

Participants include Brynn Storhoff, Sophia Christman, Paige Lange, Braunwyn Darrington, Kailyn O’Gara, Annaleissa Arnold, Simon Kutz, Caden Branum, Chloe Chyle, Bella Bishop, Easton Luzum, Thea Schissel, and Paige Werner.

TV News “Breaking Barriers” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt. 

Participants include Evynne Downing, Natalie Goodner, Leah Holland, Annika Keefe, Caleb Krieg, Andy Kruger, Beau Newhouse, Kamryn Steines, Amelia Wadsworth, Margret Zook, Chloe Sheffield, Maran Martin, and Rylin Sibley.

Short Film “Until You Can’t” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. 

Participants include Koryn Bakken, Drew Berns, Brielle Buresh, Drew Chamberlain, Liz Clement, Annika Franzen, Mara Holland, Wyatt Hackman, Ellie Luzum, August Witt, Amelia Dugger, Landan Folkedahl, Anya Lovstuen, and Elizabeth Pritchard.

Decorah High School National Honor Society Inducts 63 New Members

The Decorah High School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 63 new members during its annual induction ceremony Thursday, February 3, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium

This year’s program included speeches by the NHS officers: Ruby Sullivan, Anya Lovstuen, Ellie Luzum, Mikiah Krieg, and Haywood Stowe.  Music featured included an orchestra ensemble and a performance by the Madrigal Singers.

In order to be inducted into National Honor Society, a student must have maintained a 3.5 grade point average and is selected by a committee of faculty members on the basis of leadership, scholarship, character, and service to others.

The new National Honor Society senior inductees for this year are Melia Kruse, Kendall McCain, Sage Wedmann, and Riley Wilson.

The new National Honor Society junior inductees include Julia Alberts, Rebecca Anderson, Kyleigh Batterson, Justin Berlage, Lange Betts, Isabella Bishop, Ethan Bockman, Hailey Bohr, Hailey Bower, Rebecca Bruening, Lydia Caddell, Leslie Campbell, Sophia Christman, Amelia Dugger, Bryar Duwe, Ella Grouws, Sydney Hageman, Nev Kairi Harper, Jenna Hartz, Dahlyn Headington, Madison Heim, Erik Hjelle, Ethan Holthaus, Grace Hoyland, Amy Jensen, Alexandra Kane, Jackson Knoke, Brinley Krivachek, Sally Laybourn, Franklin Lesmeister, Ada Lovelace, Jacob Magner, Britann Mettille, Rachel Mikkelson, Morgan Moen, Sami Mount, Nathaniel Myers, Grace Neal, Michael Njus, Kortni O’Connell, Kylie O’Hara, Julia Phillips, Mya Redenius, Chloe Reiser, Ellen Rooney, Autumn Schaller, Thea Schissel, Carter Schmelzer, Hannah Schnitzler, Mairi Sessions, Annalise Skrade, Daniel Skrade, Ethan Stravers, Gareth Sweet, Jaden Weis, Addison Wemark, Paige Werner, Max Wilson, and Emma Wold.

The current National Honor Society members are Grace Bachelder, Koryn Bakken, Drew Berns, Brielle Buresh, Emily Carolan, Andrew Chamberlain, Elizabeth Clement, Isaac Cooper, Morgan Dlhy, Izaak Eichinger, Dylan Elsbernd, Landan Folkedahl, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Kolten Gossman, Wyatt Hackman, Abby Halverson, Arlo Hayes, Dalton Hemesath, Karen Henriquez, Kaya Hines, Joseph Hjelle, Mara Holland, Bradyn Hook, Emma Humpal, Brendan Hunter, Nolan Jacobsen, Lauren Johnson, Mikiah Krieg, Paige Lange, Anya Lovstuen, Ellie Luzum, Connor Maki, MiKenna Martin, Miranda Miller, Dylan Muhlbauer, Simon Mumford, Thomas Ostlie, Mara Pankow, Allison Pavlovec, Jacob Pipho, Ashley Schneberger, Tyler Shedinger, Larsson Shockey, Hogan Smith, Alexandra Stammeyer, Kassidy Steines, Emmit Stemper, Haywood Stowe, Ruby Sullivan, Keenan Tyler, Drew White, Addae Whitsitt, and Brody Young.

Liz Fox and Shannon Horton are the faculty advisors of the Decorah chapter of the National Honor Society at Decorah High School.

NHS New Inductees 2022

Front row (l-r): Lange Betts, Justin Berlage, Kyleigh Batterson, Rebecca Anderson, Julia Alberts, Riley Wilson, Sage Wedmann, Kendall McCain, and Melia Kruse

Second row (l-r): Amelia Dugger, Sophia Christman, Leslie Campbell, Lydia Caddell, Rebecca Bruening, Hailey Bower, Ethan Bockman, and Isabella Bishop

Third row (l-r): Ethan Holthaus, Erik Hjelle, Madison Heim, Dahlyn Headington, Jenna Hartz, Nev Kairi Harper, Sydney Hageman, Ella Grouws, and Bryar Duwe

Fourth row (l-r): Jacob Magner, Ada Lovelace, Franklin Lesmeister, Sally Laybourn, Brinley Krivachek, Jackson Knoke, Alexandra Kane, Amy Jensen, and Grace Hoyland

Fifth row (l-r):  Kylie O’Hara, Kortni O’Connell, Michael Njus, Grace Neal, Nathaniel Myers, Sami Mount, Morgan Moen, Rachel Mikkelson, and Britann Mettille

Sixth row (l-r): Mairi Sessions, Hannah Schnitzler, Carter Schmelzer, Thea Schissel, Autumn Schaller, Ellen Rooney, Chloe Reiser, Mya Redenius, and Julia Phillips

Last row (l-r): Emma Wold, Max Wilson, Paige Werner, Addison Wemark, Jaden Weis, Gareth Sweet, Daniel Skrade, and Annalise Skrade

Missing from picture: Ethan Stravers

DCSD Holds Kindergarten Parent Meeting

The Decorah Community School District will be holding a Kindergarten Parent Meeting for the upcoming 2022-23 school year on Thursday, March 3rd at 6:00 pm at Carrie Lee Elementary auditorium.

This informational meeting is for parents of potential Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten students for the 2022-23 school year. To be eligible for Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten, student must be five years of age on or before .  Current Transitional Kindergarten families are welcome, but they do not need to attend.

Those who have any questions should call John Cline School at 563-382-3125.

Decorah CSD Board of Education Names Dr. Tim Cronin Next Superintendent

DECORAH, IA — The Decorah Community School District Board of Education has named Dr. Tim Cronin as the district’s next superintendent.

Since 2013, Dr. Cronin has served as superintendent of the Central City CSD, which has had a “shared superintendent” arrangement with nearby Dunkerton CSD for the past two years. There, he has gained key experience and skills related to school finance, human resources, and providing professional development opportunities to staff. He developed and supervised a $3.5 million track, transportation, and HVAC construction project, along with a $5 million elementary school addition and a $2 million gym rebuild.

In addition to his role as superintendent, Dr. Cronin has served as curriculum director, elementary principal, director of human resources, and director of special education for Central City CSD.

Dr. Cronin is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Iowa, where he has worked with the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies and Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency programs to develop and teach graduate-level classes. He has served in leadership roles on committees for the Grant Wood AEA, Central Rivers AEA, and the Superintendent Leadership Team of the Tri-Rivers Conference.

Dr. Cronin holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Iowa and took part in graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. He also received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Luther College.

The Decorah Board of Education has been working with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search. The process has included a community-wide survey, asking district residents to provide their input on the qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the district’s next leader. The board conducted a first round of interviews the week of January 24 and held interviews with the three finalists on February 7.

Dr. Cronin will officially begin leading the Decorah Community School District on .

Dr. Cronin’s welcome message can be found here:

Wisconsin Singers to Perform in Decorah: Group Features a DHS Alumnus

Wisconsin Singers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s premier Broadway-caliber touring production, is taking the stage for its 54th season in Come Alive!  This program features captivating vocals, stunning choreography, big band sound, and Badger spirit, performed by UW’s most talented students. The Wisconsin Singers will perform at Decorah High School’s auditorium for one afternoon only on Sunday, February 13 at 2:00 p.m.; this is a must-see show that will entertain the entire family.

Come Alive! celebrates the thrill of live music from the past five decades of American pop music in a 90-minute revue. Covering more than 40 songs in this exciting and fast-paced show, Wisconsin Singers highlight some of the music industry’s greatest artists ranging from Elvis Presley and the Four Seasons to Lady Gaga and Elton John. Wisconsin Singers will win your heart with award-winning Broadway showstoppers from musicals such as Kiss Me Kate, Pippin, and Chicago. Kids of all ages will delight in their favorite songs from Frozen, Peter Pan, and some ever-popular superhero cartoons. To cap off this unforgettable production, the celebrated Wisconsin Singers’ band showcases its special blend of jazz, funk, and classic rock like never before. Come Alive! is guaranteed terrific entertainment for the whole family.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the Wisconsin Singers for an up-beat, entertaining show that features 2020 Decorah graduate Joseph Courtney,” remarked Jason Rausch, DHS vocal music teacher. “Featuring an opening performance by the Decorah HS Concert Choir,” Rausch continued,“this event promises to entertain everyone from age five to 95.”

The public is encouraged to attend the show on Sunday, February 13, the Wisconsin Singers’ only appearance in Decorah. People won’t want to miss the nationally renowned Wisconsin Singers as it celebrates 54 years of family friendly entertainment; this year’s show is the best one yet!

Tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students. The show is sponsored by the Decorah Music Boosters. Contact Jason Rausch at Decorah High School with any questions.

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