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A homecoming for Keokuk’s new superintendent

Courtesy photo
Western Illinois University

Kathy Dinger will serve as superintendent in her hometown.

Becoming the Keokuk School District’s new superintendent is as much a homecoming as it is a new opportunity for Kathy Dinger.

Dinger is preparing to officially begin her new role in the school district where she was educated. She said she is happy to be going back to work in her hometown.

“I love what I do,” Dinger said. “I love that with my careers in education that I get an opportunity to give back to kids and families. So I'm really excited to be able to do that in my hometown and in the school district that gave me so much when I was growing up.”

Dinger succeeds interim superintendent Dan Mart, who has served since 2021. For the past decade, Dinger has served as the superintendent of the Bushnell-Prairie City School District in western Illinois but has lived in Keokuk the entire time. Prior to that, she was the director of curriculum and instruction in Libertyville, Ill.

During her time in Bushnell-Prairie City, Dinger said the school district upgraded most of its curriculum materials and each of its school buildings, which consists of Bushnell-Prairie City Elementary, Bushnell-Prairie City Junior High School and Bushnell-Prairie City High School.

“We've been able to bring in some good solid assessments to tell us where kids are, and we've also been able to completely upgrade all of our school facilities,” she said. “I've been very proud of that. When I came in we were spending into our financial reserves, and while we now have very healthy fund balances that allow us to be really competitive in the area, so I’m very proud of all those things.”

The Keokuk School District has 1,860 enrolled students who live in Keokuk and surrounding rural communities in southeast Iowa.

Dinger said she is thankful for the Keokuk School Board members and the district’s administrators for welcoming her to the district.

“The current administration has been very helpful in helping me transition,” Dinger said. “The board has been extremely supportive, and I was very pleased by the welcome I got. The people have been very supportive, have embraced me and have been very welcoming, and that has been a wonderful piece to the transition.”

Dinger will begin her new job on July 1.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.