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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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BEES, Claudette

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Photo courtesy Telegraph Herald

BEES, Claudette. (Nassau, Bahamas-- ) Bees graduated from high school in the Bahamas and then went to work before coming to the United States to college. She earned her master's degree in mathematics at De Paul University and she moved to Dubuque in 2002 after living in Chicago when her husband became a local pastor. (1)

She was hired as the first African American teacher at STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL and the first special needs facilitator and in 2010 became the first black principal at CENTRAL ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL. (2) In 2009 she accepted the position of assistant principal at Hempstead.

In 2019 Bees received a $500 check, distributed by the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools, from the Judi Chandlee Tribute to Teachers Endowment. Bees applied for a grant to set up transportation for parents who cannot get to and from the parent, teacher, and student conferences. In her 10 years at Hempstead, Bees said a lack of reliable transportation had prevented parents from attending. (3)

Bees was involved with the MULTICULTURAL FAMILY CENTER for a number of years including her service on the board of directors since 2013. She served on the Education Committee and the Freedom Fund Committee with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (N.A.A.C.P.) to advance educational opportunities for the youth of Dubuque. She also serveD on faces&voices – the committee that plans the Dr. Martin Luther Jr. King Breakfast. (4)



1. YouTube video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y560Pf51zl4

2. Ibid.

3. Wong, Allison, "Dubuque Teacher Uses Judi Chandlee Grant to Solve Transportation Barrier," KCRG Online: https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Dubuque-teacher-uses-Judi-Chandlee-grant-to-solve-transportation-barrier-509602741.html

4. Multicultural Family Center, Online: https://www.mfcdbq.org/about-us/board-of-directors/claudette-bees