Hempstead High School (Dubuque, Iowa)

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Hempstead High School
3715 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52002
Coordinates 42°30′07″N 90°44′02″W / 42.502°N 90.734°W / 42.502; -90.734Coordinates: 42°30′07″N 90°44′02″W / 42.502°N 90.734°W / 42.502; -90.734
School type Public high school
Established 1970
School district Dubuque Community School District
Oversight Iowa Department of Education
Principal J. Lee Kolker
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,824[1] (2008)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Green & Gold
Athletics conference Mississippi Valley Conference
Newspaper Equestrian
Yearbook Equine
Hempstead as seen in 2010

Stephen Hempstead High School (commonly Hempstead or HHS) is a four-year public high school located in Dubuque, Iowa. It is one of two high schools in the Dubuque Community School District, and enrolls 1,824 students in grades 9-12. Hempstead is named in honor of Stephen Hempstead, the second governor of Iowa. The school's mascot is the Mustang, and it competes in class 4A of the Iowa High School Athletic Association as part of the Mississippi Valley Conference.


After World War II, the population of Dubuque moved further out to the west. The children born during the post-war baby boom also were in their late teens at the time. The community found that Senior High School would no longer be enough to serve the needs of the community.

In 1966, district employees were encouraged to offer their thoughts on the design of the new building. In the spring of 1967, a $ 6.7 million dollar bond issue was approved to cover the costs of the building. Classes for Hempstead students were initially held at Senior High School. In the spring of 1970, students began receiving education at Hempstead for the first time. In 1970, there was no graduating class because there was no senior class that first year. In the 1990s and mid 2005, structural improvements and expansions were made to the buildings. Over the next several years the school district has formulated plans to completely remodel the school.


The building is a three-level structure with an open courtyard in the center of the school. The second level contains classrooms, an indoor pool, gyms, art, music, driver education, and FHACS (Family Health & Consumer Sciences) classrooms. The third level holds the administrative offices, library/media center, math, science, business classrooms, a physical fitness room, cafeteria/commons area, industrial technology, wood working, and automobile shops. The third level also features an auditorium complex.

Hempstead features a 25-yard indoor swimming pool. The city recreation department also allows the general public to use the pool when school is not in session. There is also an auditorium although musicals are currently performed at the Five Flags Theater, and concerts are held at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School.


In the 2007-2008 school year, HHS enrolled 1,824 students. Of those, 1,754 (96.2%) were White, 30 (1.6%) were Black, 21 (1.2%) were Asian, and 3 (.2%) were American Indian. 16 (.9%) students were Hispanic, and may be of any race. Additionally, 943 (51.7%) were male, and 881 (48.3%) were female.[1]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Hempstead had the distinction of being one of the first schools to perform a stage version of High School Musical, which was presented in January 2007.

Before she appeared in TV and movies, Kate Mulgrew appeared in performances in 1970[2] and 1971[3] at the school, which included "David and Lisa" and "The Importance of Being Ernest."


Hempstead competes in Class 4A, the largest classification in Iowa, and in the Mississippi Valley Conference. The conference consists of schools in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids/Marion, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Iowa City.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • LeRoy Cain, manager of Launch Integration at NASA's Kennedy Space Center
  • Tom Churchill, radio & TV meteorologist, inventor of digital weatherman; 1979 graduate
  • Kate Mulgrew, actress best known for playing Captain Kathryn Janeway in TV series 'Star Trek: Voyager'; (attended Hempstead in 1970-71[3])
  • Kevin Rhomberg, former Major League Baseball player
  • Mark Steines, host of Entertainment Tonight 2004-2012; 1982 graduate
  • Josh Lenz, former Iowa State WR. Current NFL WR for the Cleveland Browns.


In 2004, a renovation program began using proceeds from a one-cent sales tax approved by Dubuque County voters in December 2002. The seven-phase program is projected to eventually cost $30 million, roughly five times the original cost of constructing the school in the 1960s.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]