Dreyer’s retirement marks end to 30 years at CF

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By Audrey Kittrell 2008

Some people may know him as the compassionate man behind the desk. Others may know him as a staunch Tiger fan from various sorting events. Others may see him more regularly as the head of the high school.

But no matter when or where one sees Principal Dean Dreyer, all can agree he has been a great influence at Cedar Falls High School for the last 30 years.

Even though he has taken the high school to new heights under his leadership, Dreyer is ready to hand in his title of principal in exchange for the proud title of grandpa, after his last official day on June 30.

“I still enjoy what I’m doing, but after 37 years you reach a point where you tell yourself ‘maybe it’s time,’” Dreyer said.

Dreyer and his wife, Sherrie, who is an art teacher at Dike-New Hartford, announced their retirements right after Christmas break when they heard their family would be adding another member shortly.

“I have two granddaughters in Switzerland and am looking forward to a third grandchild who’s on the way.”

Dreyer and his wife plan to travel to Switzerland along with other short-term trips in their first year of retirement.

“The first couple months I want to enjoy what retirement is all about. I plan to grow gardens, build thing … probably make a lot of sawdust,” Dreyer said.

Though Dreyer is looking forward to his relaxation time, he anticipates boredom.

“I might find another part-time job that gets me involved with people again. I’ve always worked with people and really enjoy it,” Dreyer said.

But for now, Dreyer is looking forward to picking up his lost hobbies.

“Now I will finally have the time to go fishing and do other things that I used to do with my dad when I was young,” he said.

Dreyer recalls learning his hard work ethics from his dad growing up on their family farm.

“I would always work in the fields with my dad and help harvest the crops in the fall, all day long.”

Dreyer later attended college at the University of Northern Iowa, where he graduated in 1968 with a major in junior high education and a math and physical education minor.

“I went on to student teach math at West Waterloo Junior High School during college and then became the activity coordinator at Logan Junior High (also in Waterloo) for five years.”

Dreyer went back to college in 1972 to receive his masters for school administration, and shortly after was offered a job as associate principal for McKinstry Junior High in Waterloo.

“Two years later, in 1975, I became Cedar Falls’ associate principal, and 10 years later became the head principal.”

Dreyer has been in this rewarding position ever since.

“(My favorite part about being principal is) the people thing. There’s always something going on. We are in a great community that is extremely supportive, and we have a great student body,” he said.

The lasting memories from Dreyer’s career at Cedar Falls High bring up bittersweet emotions as the school year comes to an end.

“The realization sets in as the last day is coming, but looking back on working 10 to 12 hour days for 30 years makes me look forward to the free time I will be gaining.”

Looking back on his career in the Cedar Falls Community School District, Dreyer is proud of all the achievements and goals reaches with efforts made by the supportive parents and community.

“There are so many things I will remember, but the fact that students have excelled academically and have become well-rounded students are the memories that will last,” Dreyer said.

Under Dreyer, Cedar Falls navigated the challenges of No Child Left Behind and the challenges produced by declining enrollment. But Dreyer kept Cedar Falls on the straight and narrow, and while enrollment has leveled off, and CF has continued to achieve on the field, in the auditorium and most importantly in the classroom.

Students ‘kidnap’ principal in Operation Dreyer Sheet

Audrey Kittrell

It all started with a premeditated kidnap: Operation Dreyer Sheet. The masterminded plan behind capturing Principal Dean Dreyer. The motive: a thank you to his 30-year career at Cedar Falls High School.

“Good Afternoon, Mr. Dreyer. The teenagers you are about to see will no harm you in any way. For security reasons we ask you to remain calm. Operation Dreyer Sheet has now been activated (hence the dryer sheet.) This message will self destruct in 5 seconds … Good luck, Dean.”

At precisely 3:16 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, senior Spencer Ford hastily handed this ransom note, which was scribbled on a dryer sheet, to the retiring principal. Following Ford, senior leadership interrupted the staff meeting by chanting and waving pompons, steamers and balloons brought just the occasion.

“DREYER! DREYER!” was the only sound heard while the mob dressed the principal in his own customized T-shirt, oversized sunglasses, a furry hat and a matching red cape.

“I was so busy getting stuff thrown over my head that I couldn’t tell what else was going on around me,” Dreyer said.

The victim was then hurried off to a waiting car where “Eye of the Tiger” was blasted to the final destination: the Cedar Falls Soccer Complex.

“He was absolutely stunned,” Ford said.

With a few strange glance from onlookers, Dreyer and the enthusiastic seniors dubbed the operation officially “complete” and tailgating festivities began.

Reflecting on the incident, the seniors felt they pulled off their plan without any mishaps. “We just wanted say thank you for cooperating, Mr. Dreyer. We would have found handcuffs if you didn’t come with us,” senior Kia Frazier joked.

The operation was indeed a success and finished off the year with some fun and surprises. “It’s been a whole fun afternoon. I’ve never been kidnapped before,” Dreyer said.

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