"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

WATTS, Helen

From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Revision as of 13:08, 10 June 2019 by Randylyon (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Watts picture.jpg
WATTS, Helen Streed. (Fairfield, IA, Dec. 19, 1916--Dubuque, IA, June 8, 2017). Helen and a twin brother, Howard, were born to Grace (Howard) Streed and August W. Streed. She attended elementary school in Fairfield and Middletown, Iowa, graduating from the Burlington, Iowa High School in 1935 and junior college in 1937. Helen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls (later University of Northern Iowa) in 1941 and a Masters Degree in Educational Supervision and Administration from the University of Iowa in 1955. (1)

Helen married William J. Watts from Brooklyn N.Y., in 1944 at Norfolk, Va. (2)

In her 42 years of teaching, she taught at all levels from kindergarten to college, beginning her career in a rural school (Concordia), in Des Moines County, Iowa, in 1937. Securing her college degree she taught in high school at Montezuma, Iowa until WORLD WAR II in which she served as a WAVE. After the war, she was employed as a high school teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y. for a year, and then in 1949 became principal/teacher at the Middletown, Iowa elementary school. (3)

Because her husband served in the Navy, she continued as a teacher and as a principal in the Department of Defense schools in Trinidad, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Rota, Spain and Sidi Yahia, Morocco. When the family moved to Dubuque in 1957 she taught briefly at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE. Returning to Dubuque in 1964 she taught at IRVING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. (4)

In 1965, she was employed by the University of Dubuque as an Assistant Professor of Education. She taught Children's Literature, Psychology of Learning, Elementary Methods, Student Teaching in the Kindergarten-Primary Grades, Student Teaching in the Intermediate-Upper Grades, Reading-Language Arts, and Remedial Reading. In 1975 she was promoted to Associate Professor of Education and retired in 1982. She was deeply involved in the development of the TRI-COLLEGE COOPERATIVE EFFORT. (5)

Helen was a member of several educational organizations including Phi Delta Kappa (one term as president of the local chapter), Kappa Delta Pi, and Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a Life Member of the Iowa State Teachers Association and the NEA. She also was a member and president for three terms of the Dubuque Chapter of the AAUW and the IP chapter of P.E.O. As a member of WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, she served as moderator of the Presbyterian Women and as an Elder for several terms. She represented the church on several committees in the John Knox Presbytery. (6)

Her special interest was in Camp Courageous of Iowa where she served on the Camp Courageous Honorary Board and the Camp Courageous Foundation Board. On June 25, 2015 Helen Watts was named "The Educator of the Twentieth Century by Dubuque's Delta Kappa Gamma-Lamba Chapter for her fifty years of membership. (7)



1. Obituaries. Dubuque Today. Online: http://www.dubuquetoday.com/obituaries.cfm#Helen%20Streed%20Watts

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Blinks, Barbara and Dieterich, Arline, "A Tribute to Helen Watts," Thonline.com. November 14, 2015. Online: http://p8080-

6. Obituaries

7. Blinks and Dieterich