Doug Tuetken celebrates his retirement with a cake at his last school board meeting, June 15.

Working in the education field requires much patience and appreciation for the students, as well as dedication. Maquoketa Valley Community School District Superintendent Doug Tuetken has spent the majority of his working life doing this. He will be retiring at the end of June.

Over the last 15 years, Tuetken has served as the head of the Maquoketa Valley district. His history in the education field tracks back to his college years.

He got his undergraduate degree in science and physical education from Iowa and then his Masters. The next move took him to the University of South Dakota for his Superintendent Endorsement. He filled an assistant principal role while in South Dakota.

His journey brought him back to the University of Iowa where he served as a graduate assistant in the athletic department. After filling a few positions, he started teaching at Vinton-Shellsburg High School. Tuetken’s final stop before Maquoketa Valley was the principal of West Delaware High School.

“I have always wanted to be in the education field,” Tuetken said. “I wanted the opportunity to work with kids. I remember a few teachers had a positive influence on me when I was in middle school.”

District members who have attended a school board meeting during his time noted one message offered many times by Tuetken.

“It takes everybody going in the right direction to make the district great,” he said. “It has always been we, not I.”

Tuetken feels now is a good time to make the transition. It is not that he doesn’t love his job anymore, he wants to see the district continue to grow.

“Change will be good for me,” Tuetken said. “Change will be good for Maquoketa Valley. Now is a great time to move on, and it will allow for new ideas and growth.”

At Tuetken’s last school board meeting was June 15, a few of the directors shared some words.

“I have worked with seven or eight superintendents,” director John Zietlow said, “and you certainly put the students and staff first.”

“You have gotten us through a lot of hard times that a lot of other schools did not get through,” director Chris Huber said.

Tuetken is proud of the board members and administration. He feels that they have helped the district move forward during his time. One board member received heavy praise.

“I just want to thank the school board for the opportunity, especially Donna Kunde,” Tuetken said. “She was president of the board when I was hired and gave me this opportunity.”

He does not have any immediate plans during retirement aside from spending time with his four daughters, nine grandchildren and wife, Sara. He will also be staying active with local organizations and programs like Dollars for Scholars.

“I have enjoyed working with the kids, families, teachers, staff and everyone else,” Tuetken said. “There was an established culture that focused on the kids. It was an easy fit.”

There was one final note he wanted to leave for families who are considering the Maquoketa Valley School District.

“If you truly love your children,” he said, “send them to Maquoketa Valley.”