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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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


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Wayne Drexler.jpg

DREXLER, Wayne. (Farley, IA on Sept. 12, 1928--Guttenberg, IA, July 31, 2020) A local icon of the Western Dubuque area and the first superintendent of the Western Dubuque Community School District, Wayne Drexler was also a former elementary teacher in Dubuque.

The son of Ben and Lida Drexler, Wayne attended St. Josephs High School where he graduated in 1946. Growing up in Farley he played baseball with brother John and the Farley town team and also played piano for many years in local area dance bands. He continued his education, receiving a B.A. degree from LORAS COLLEGE and then received advanced degrees from the Catholic University in Washington D.C. and the University of Iowa. He started his teaching career in 1950 as an elementary teacher in Farley. His career was interrupted by the KOREAN CONFLICT and he served in the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Austin until 1953.

Returning to education, Wayne taught high school in Farley from 1953 to 1956 when he taught elementary school in Dubuque. He served as the Dubuque County Superintendent of Schools from 1957 to 1960 covering over 100 rural schools. This was a period of school district reorganization in Iowa and by 1960, the Western Dubuque County School District was founded and Wayne was chosen to be its first superintendent. He continued in this position until he retired in 1991.

Under his leadership the district became a premier educational institution and grew from a mere 360 students in 1960 to near 4,000 in ten years. On September 9, 1996, Wayne was honored by the Western Dubuque School Board when they voted unanimously to rename the Farley elementary and middle schools to Drexler Elementary and Middle School. (1)

He was a member of Phi-Delta-Kappa (National Education Academic Honors Organization) as well as • Charter Member – Dyersville Hospital Board • Dubuque Hospital Board • State School Budget Review Committee • Dyersville Child Care Center Board • Dubuque County Historical Preservation Commission • Chairman – Area 1 Superintendents Organization • President of Northeast Iowa Superintendents Organization • President of Iowa Association of School Administrators • Board Member and Chairman National Academy of School Administrators (2)



1. Obituary, Reiff Funeral Home, Online: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/wayne-drexler-obituary?pid=196578167

2. Western Dubuque Community School District website. Online: http://www.wdbqschools.org/SuperintendentWayneDrexler.aspx