Durant High School (Iowa)

Coordinates: 41°36′11″N 90°54′47″W / 41.603°N 90.913°W / 41.603; -90.913

Durant High School is a rural public high school located in Durant, Iowa. The school is part of the Durant Community School District, and has an enrollment of approximately 300 students in grades nine through 12.

Durant High School
Address
408 Seventh Street

,
Information
TypePublic Secondary
Establishedc. 1910s
OversightDurant Community School District
SuperintendentDuane Bennett
PrincipalJoel Diederichs
Staff17.75 (FTE)[1]
Grades9–12
Enrollment225 (2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio12.68[1]
Color(s)Blue and Gold    
Athletics conferenceRiver Valley Conference
MascotWildcat
WebsiteDHS Web site

Located at 408 Seventh Street in Durant (approximately two miles south of Interstate 80), Durant High School draws students from areas of southeastern Cedar County, northeastern Muscatine County and western Scott County, plus the community of Stockton.

HistoryEdit

The current Durant High School was completed in 1957, the same year the school fielded its first competitive football team. There have been many additions and renovations to the buildings in the years since.

Durant High School is a participant in a whole-grade sharing agreement with the nearby Bennett Community School District.[4] Each district is responsible for its own elementary school, while Bennett sends its junior high and high school students to Durant. This agreement has been in place since the 2005-2006 school year.

AthleticsEdit

Durant (teams were Durant-Bennett from 2005 to 2008) sports teams are known as the Wildcats; their uniforms display the school's colors of blue and gold.

As of 2020, Durant is classified as a 2A school (Iowa's second-smallest tier schools) in some sports, and 1A (smallest tier schools) in others, according to the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. The school is a member of the 13-team River Valley Conference (RVC), which comprises similar-sized schools from communities in eastern Iowa. Prior to joining the RVC and its predecessor, the Cedar Valley Conference, in 2008, Durant was a member of the Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference (EIHC), a league that dated to the 1950s.

The school fields athletic teams in 13 sports, including:

  • Summer: Baseball and softball.
  • Fall: Football, volleyball, and boys' and girls' cross country.
    • Boys' Cross Country - 2001 Class 1A State Champions[2]
    • Girls' Cross Country - 4-time State Champions (1996, 1997, 2000, 2002)[citation needed]
  • Winter: Boys' and girls' basketball and wrestling.
  • Spring: Boys' and girls' track and field; and boys' and girls' golf.
    • Boys' Golf - 1985 Class 2A State Champions[3]

Durant enjoys its biggest rivalries with neighboring school Wilton.

SuccessesEdit

Throughout the school's history, Durant has enjoyed great success in many of its sports, earning many EIHC and CVC conference titles and producing all-state athletes that have enjoyed success at the collegiate level and in their careers.

In recent years[when?], volleyball has been the most successful sport for Durant-Bennett, with the Wildcats winning 35 consecutive games to date in the EIHC and CVC. The 2007 team posted a perfect 35-0 regular season record prior to the state tournament.

While the Wildcats have traditionally struggled in football, the 2006 team posted a 6-3 regular season record and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in school history.

In recent years[when?] the school's softball program has become a powerhouse in softball, winning multiple CVC titles. In 2012, the Wildcats placed third at the state softball tournament, and topped it in 2013 by winning the state championship.

The Wildcat cross country program has also experienced some successes since the new millennium. The boys program captured a state title in class 1A in 2001[2]

ControversyEdit

In the fall of 2009, Durant High School principal Monica Rouse was placed on administrative leave, beginning several years of turmoil in the Durant community. Durant school officials cited a failure on Rouse's part to maintain accurate student records, a lack of professional judgement and inability to be a positive leader or role model, and the school board agreed to consider firing Rouse.[4] Rouse had the case appealed to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, and in March 2010 an administrative law judge issued an 86-page decision declaring Rouse should keep her job.[5] On March 30, the school board agreed to terminate high school principal Monica Rouse's contract; Iowa law allows entities such as school boards to reject administrative law judges' rulings, since they are non-binding.

Rouse appealed the Board's decision in Cedar County District court. On March 11, 2011, Judge Nancy Tabor sided with Rouse and ordered the district to reinstate her as principal, saying, "Ms. Rouse was a competent and devoted principal". The courts re-affirmed this ruling on May 11, 2011.

The Board appealed this decision to the Iowa Appellate Courts. On January 19, 2012, The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's ruling that Rouse should get her job back. The Durant School Board appealed this to the Iowa Supreme Court. On April 11, 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court voted not to hear the appeal, affirming the lower courts decisions. [4]

The board allowed Rouse to return to active employment, but in a reduced capacity. The board placed restrictions on Rouse's access to the building, educational records, and communication with students and staff. Rouse file an action against the board claiming a hostile work environment. That action, a contempt of court order, and other suits against the board were settled in December 2012 with the school board agreeing to pay Rouse approximately $850,000 in addition to her salary and benefits from the 2009 through 2012 school years, bringing her total compensation to about $1.25 million. As part of the settlement, Rouse agreed to step down as principal, ending the three-year legal battle with the district.[6]

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Durant High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b 2020 Cross Country State Book
  3. ^ 2019-20-Golf Stat Book
  4. ^ a b Beaudette, Cynthia, "Durant School Board upholds firing of Rouse," Muscatine Journal, March 30, 2010. Accessed 04-22-2010.[1]
  5. ^ "Durant H.S. principal ruling," Wilton-Durant Advocate News. Accessed 04-22-2010 [2][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Beaudette, Cynthia, "Rouse steps down as principal: Durant School District settles with its former employee for $850,000," Muscatine Journal, December 18, 2012. Accessed 05-02-2013. [3]

External linksEdit