U.S. News and World Report ranked Maquoketa Valley High School 13th out of the over 360 public high schools in the state of Iowa. This continues a string of high scores over the past few years, with the school ranked 21st in 2020 and sixth in 2021.
The report is sent out every spring and examines various criteria such as AP exams, math proficiency on the Iowa Statewide Assessments, reading and science proficiency. High School Principal Troy Osterhaus said the school owes the high performance to talented and dedicated staff on all levels.
“One of the things it signifies is what a great staff we have here and how dedicated we are to working together to ensure the success of all our students,” he said. “We have a strong and supportive school board, a strong administrative team and one of the best teaching staffs in the state of Iowa.”
According to Osterhaus, one of the high school’s biggest strengths is its recognition of the unique needs and learning styles of different kinds of students. Additionally, Osterhaus said the school works to make the lessons applicable outside of the classroom.
“Our teachers are willing to put in the extra time to ensure students are not only successful in the classroom but beyond it. We’re always looking at what we can provide our students, because it’s not one size fits all. Certain students are interested in different areas. They do a great job of using different instructional practices to meet the needs of their students, as well as understand there are times when they have to take a step back and reteach or look at a different way to present the lesson for students to better understand the concept.”
In order to have students receptive to lessons, the school focuses on building relationships with students and creating a positive climate and culture. This includes being available for one-on-one meetings before or after school if a student needs some extra help.
“When students feel welcomed and comfortable, it makes them ready to learn,” said Osterhaus.
In addition to success in core education areas like math and English, the school has a well rounded set of strong programs such as fine arts and extracurricular activities. The school’s career and technical education includes family consumer science, business classes, industrial arts and technology, agricultural classes and FFA.
Osterhaus said, “When you have all those things available for students to choose from, but still hold them to high expectations, we work together as a staff and it makes a big difference in how our students perform.”
Maquoketa Valley finds the high ranking very encouraging, but isn’t content to rest on their laurels and is always looking for ways they can improve.
Osterhaus said, “We’re very reflective, we’re always looking at what’s going well and what’s not going as well. How do we get better at what’s going well and how are we going to change if we need to? We’re always looking at anything we need to do to get better at meeting the needs of our students.”
Osterhaus would like to thank the Delhi community for their strong value of education, the wonderful student body, and the parents who raise and encourage them.