Oelwein High School Principal Travis Druvenga has verbally accepted an offer to be the next principal of his alma mater, Dike-New Hartford High School, according to a tweet Thursday by that school district’s superintendent, Justin Stockdale.
Druvenga’s hiring will be official pending a formal background check and School Board approval. His contract would begin July 1.
Druvenga had already been assistant principal for a year when Oelwein Superintendent Josh Ehn joined the district five school-years ago as a principal.
Three years ago, Druvenga took over as high school principal. He has been with the district for 19, according to a news release from the search firm that assisted D-NH with this hire, Grundmeyer Leader Services.
Druvenga has also been an athletic director, teacher and coach. He was honored with Rotary Teacher of the Year as a social studies teacher in 2013.
“More than anything was his ability to build a relationship with our kids,” Ehn said as to what made Druvenga stand out as an administrator. “As my assistant principal, it was foundational in our work to build a positive climate and culture in our building... and helping staff do the same thing.”
Druvenga achieved this by conducting culture surveys through a state grant, leading faculty and later fellow students to enact resultant desired culture changes, and ensured the positive changes endured after the funding sunset.
Druvenga has been active in his community as a youth sports coach and Oelwein Rotarian, as well as by serving on the United Way Board of Directors and Wellness Center Park and Recreation Board.
He and his wife, Kristi, graduated from D-NH High School; he in 1996 and she in 1997. She is a K-12 instructional coach in the Oelwein School District and taught special education here prior, after having taught at Wapsie Valley. They have two children: Trey is in eighth grade and Dane is in fourth grade.
“She will be looking,” Ehn said, as to whether she intended to leave.
“She will be an excellent asset to any district that would be able to get her, or an area education agency [in] any kind of instructional leadership role. She’s got a vast background in technology, constructional strategies, special education, intervention strategies. She’s going to continue to helping kids to learn, wherever she lands.
“Both will be major losses to our community and our school system,” Ehn said.
Both completed their post-secondary education at the University of Northern Iowa. Travis Druvenga received his bachelor’s degree in social studies teaching in 2001 and returned to earn a master’s degree in 2012.
“My family and I are very excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to a school and community that has had such a positive impact on our lives,” Travis Druvenga said. “I am looking forward to the chance to work with the staff and students at DNH to contribute to all the great things happening in the district.”