Long-time Hempstead High School Principal Lee Kolker announced 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 assistant principal.
A search for the next principal of Hempstead High School will begin in 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 nine 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.