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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

GREER, Jerome

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Jerome Greer, Dubuque's first African American principal outside of Irving School. Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

GREER, Jerome. ( ) Dr. Greer was the principal of the Garfield Elementary School in St. Louis in 1991. He had twelve years teaching experience and 19 years of administrative experience when he was hired to join the staff of the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. With the hiring, the District was making progress in fulfilling its affirmative action plan, adopted in October of 1990 to hire women and minorities to four administrative position by 1993. At the time of Greer's hiring, the District had also hired a female principal. District officials assured the public that the hirings were not part of any quota system. (1)

In November, 1991 the nationally syndicated "Phil Donahue Show" featured Dubuque Mayor James BRADY, Dr. Greer, and DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL guidance counselor Kim Clayton supporting the constructive integration plan to bring one hundred minority families to the city by 1995. (2)

FULTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL held an "Our Heritage of Diversity Day" in April, 1992. Twenty different presentations ranging from quilting, learning Japanese, and learning a dance from Thailand were offered to students for their choice. Dr. Greer talked about his life in Tennessee and told some tall tales. (3)

A cross-burning occurred in FLORA PARK in October, 1992. The location was across the street from IRVING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL leading Dr. Greer to comment at the time that he felt the incident was aimed at him although no proof was ever found of this by the police. (4)

Dr. Greer served as the Irving principal from 1991-1994 to take an administrative position in Peoria, Illinois. His leaving, he stated, was to take advantage of a better career opportunity and not because of any problems he had experienced in Dubuque. (5)



1. Hanson, Lyn, "Dubuque District Hires First Black Principal," Telegraph Herald, June 11, 1991, p. 1

2. "ABC's 20/20 to Feature Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, December 6, 1991, p. 1

3. Bergstrom, Kathy, "Cultures Combine at Fulton," Telegraph Herald, April 25, 1992, p. 1

4. Bagsarian, Tom, "Cross Burning: 2nd Teen Held on Probation," Telegraph Herald, March 19, 1992, p. 1

5. Heldt, Diane, "Teacher's Initial Shock Short-Lived," Telegraph Herald, March 20, 2002, p. 1