MUSCATINE, Iowa–Dr. Jerry Riibe first came to Muscatine in 2013 to serve as Muscatine Community School District’s Superintendent. In his seven years on the job, he spurred growth and improvement at all levels. To celebrate his retirement, the community held a car parade for him May 21.
“I’m truly amazed at Jerry’s ability to create and develop systems that support student learning and make Muscatine a great place to raise your children,” reflected Assistant Superintendent Mike McGrory.
To help students thrive academically, Riibe championed Advanced Placement (AP) classes, growing offerings from eight courses to 21. To prepare younger students for rigorous course work, he encouraged the introduction of Spring Board pre-AP curricula. To allow more students to attend college and earn college credit early, Riibe led the district in making ACT testing free for all juniors and AP testing free for all students in AP courses. To help students develop in all areas, Riibe also supported an increase in fine arts funding, allowing for the purchase of $1 million in instruments.
Riibe also oversaw several major infrastructure projects. They included building the new Jefferson Elementary School, adding the Van Hecke Center to Muscatine High School’s campus to increase gym class and sports practice space, converting Colorado Elementary School to the Muskie Early Learning Center, making an addition to McKinley Elementary to allow each elementary school to house sixth grade students, creating the STEM Wing at Muscatine high school set to open in the 2020-2021 school year, and upgrading the former West Middle School that will allow it to become Susan Clark Junior High School and house all seventh and eight grade students beginning this fall. Riibe found ways to finance each of these projects without putting the district into debt or raising property taxes.
“Jerry’s mindset has always been to grow, improve, and serve others well,” shared Director of Student Services Becky Witchers.
To help all students access vital services, Riibe and the district worked to hire additional guidance counselors at all levels. He helped foster a partnership with Trinity Muscatine Public Health to provide resource navigators to better assist students and their families in addressing a variety of needs.
“I am proud to have worked side-by-side with a leader who has truly put students and their families first, said Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Lisa Mosier-Bunn. As the numerous well wishers in the car parade showed, many throughout the community echo Mosier-Bunn’s sentiments.