When people hear that my daughter attends Davenport North High School, it sometimes seems as though they feel the urge to extend their sympathies.

It’s usually unspoken but you can see it in their eyes. “She goes to North? I’m sorry. You know, with open enrollment, she could go to a better high school.”

No, she couldn’t. Because I really don’t think there is a better high school in the Quad-Cities than Davenport North.

There’s this stigma about North that is totally unfair and unwarranted, based on myths, exaggerations and superficial judgments made by people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

This is one of the underlying aspects of the current debate over open enrollment in the Davenport public schools. People who live in the northern part of Davenport want to retain the ability to send their kids to Central or West or other schools outside the district.

They’ve been misled. There’s no need for them to look elsewhere. They have a great high school right there in their own neighborhood. In this case, perception is not reality.

It seems as if people judge a school by its football team or its athletic programs in general. If that’s your criteria, then sure, North leaves something to be desired. My daughter will graduate this spring having seen her high school win just one football game in four years. Some of the school’s other athletic teams aren’t significantly better.

It’s largely a product of the philosophy that if you can’t beat them you should join them. Many athletes who live within the North district have decided they can’t beat the other high schools in the Mississippi Athletic Conference in their chosen sport so they’ve defected. They’ve taken the easy way out.

That’s why the proposed tightening of the open enrollment rules is a good idea. If all the athletes in the north part of town actually attended North, the sports programs wouldn’t need to take a backseat. As a sportswriter, I’ve seen how open enrollment can create an unhealthy imbalance in the on-field success of teams.

But athletics aside, North doesn’t take a backseat to anyone.

I have had two kids go through this high school, 10 years apart. I’ve never feared for their safety. I’ve never doubted that they were receiving the proper level of discipline and guidance. I’ve never had the slightest question that they were getting the best education possible.

My son, Ryne, graduated from North in 2003 after competing in three sports there and being part of a show choir that finished second in a national competition in his junior year. He is well on his way to a solid career in law enforcement.

My daughter, Emily, is a senior at North and has had a great four years of high school.

She’s a three-time member of the All-Iowa Honor dance team, one of two from North to make it this year and one of three to do so last year.

She was All-State in chorus, one of seven North kids to make it. (No Davenport high school had more than that. Davenport Central had four. West had two.)

She is the captain of the dance team, two-year captain of the colorguard, dance captain in a tremendous show choir program.

She has earned a Distinguished Scholar Award to attend Northern Iowa and has been inspired enough by the teaching she has received that she aspires to enter the profession herself.

Enough parental bragging. Here’s the point: In the past four years, Emily’s natural abilities have been identified, nurtured, encouraged, enriched and enhanced by the teachers and administrators with whom she has come into contact.

And isn’t that what we want from a high school? Isn’t that what we should expect?

There’s no need to sympathize. If I had a third child, I know exactly what high school I would send them to. And I wouldn’t need open enrollment to make it happen.

Don Doxsie is sports editor of the Quad-City Times. Contact him at ddoxsie@qctimes.com.

(93) comments


Hats off to Dav. North teachers, administrators, and other staff. My 3 sons attended North with the last one graduating in 2011. I agree with Don that the school is high quality. What it lacks in sports accomplishments, it makes up for in the arts. The teachers I met with over the years were dedicated, intelligent, and truly cared about and liked my sons. My only request with the district would be that they make logical boundaries for lower grades. When my oldest son was in Kindergarten, we lived in the north part of the city off of Brady street and my son had to bus to McKinley school south of Locust. For a 5 year old and his mother, this was too worrisome so we moved. Little ones should all go to a school close to home.
-Janet Peterson
mom of Jon, Ryan, and Kurt

Sam Flesburg

Being another high school student that goes to Central but lives in the North district, and im not saying i wouldn't go to North, im saying i wouldnt be as happy thier as i am at Central. I have nothing against North, i just like Central better. People are saying North is great and it has great atmosphere and i believe that, so my whole thing is why force kids to go their and ruin that? If they dont want to go there, then their not gonna be happy there no matter how good. So why do it? Because of enrollment numbers? I feel like were being punished. Not being punished to go to North (or West for that matter) but punished because we are getting something taken away that we like and we didnt do anything wrong The people who dont like it are most likely ones it doesnt pretain to. It doesnt even seem to benfit Central. Nothing against any other school, I am just for Central.


I'm a current senior at Davenport Central, I've open enrolled in schools the majority of my life to stay with friends and where I'm comfortable. I live in the North district and see all the positives to that school but have always wanted to go to Central. Central is where my entire family has gone and I couldn't imagine going to any other school even if I'm supposed to. My younger sister will be a freshman in a few years, coming from a private school she wants to go to Central just like all of our fam ily before her has. If the redestricting happens and she is told to go to North she'll most likely stay at Assumption with her friends. If going through with these plans happens we're just plotting the Davenport schools against each other and it will push people into choosing schools outside of the Davenport School district. I am a firm believer in letting families chose where to send their children.


It is great that your family has Pride in your high school, you SHOULD. There is NOTHING wrong with North High School..... why do people feel if they are not allowed to go to Central that they will have no other option than to go to Bettendorf or PV? If open enrollment continues... that is when you are REALLY plotting the schools against each other. They all will be competing to get the same student to their school for their programs. Not the best way forward.


Bravo! Love this article. My daughter is a sophomore at West, and I have ALWAYS thought open enrollment causes a great deal of problems. And believe me, West loses many to Central, too. All three schools have GREAT education and activities, and I am certain the staff is great at all three. I know that I could not be happier with the staff at West.
Successful programs and activities often come from parents who are involved. Often an "involved" parent hears of a good program at a school and selects that school to open enroll at. The school they are "suppose" to go to suffers because they have lost a parent and student that would have helped their program...because they chose to go to the school they "heard" had a good program.
I think we should remember the words of John F. Kennedy here...slightly changed..."Ask not what your school can do for you, but what you can do for your school!"


Looking back on my life, it seems people worry way too much about "what" high school...The reality is they should worry not even where they go to college, but WHAT they major in.......

Certain fields will have jobs for years to come and always have....Certain majors cost students lots of money, but are completely worthless as far as getting a decent job........

I personally graduated 25 years ago from HS....you didn't need any foreign language to get into college....I guess I survived, have never needed it in any profession I have been in and never will. The humanities course I took in college was a complete waste and added NOTHING to my future paycheck......Having a "rounded" education is great, but in the working world most of those courses add ZERO to your paycheck.

In the grand scheme of things other than getting into college and maybe scholarship consideration, your HS gradepoint average is irrelevant.....after your first college class, no one of any importance cares where you went to HS or what your grade point was.....Just like the working world, they care about what you've done lately....Many parents who have never had a good job, don't get that concept at all!!!

If people want to choose, let them....with the completely wacko liberal world we live in, having a choice in this should be a no brainer...Surprised Obama and all his tree hugging friends haven't stepped in.......Really not sure why this is such a big deal.....


Everyone here wants to do what they believe to be best for their children. That's our role as parents, so whether you come down on the closed or open side of the boudaries issue, I'm sure it is for good reason.

The problem is, when you tell me that in order for you to get what's best for your children I can't do what I believe to be best for my children. How can that be right?

There are so many different reasons that parents would want to open enroll and I think the only one that Don pointing out is that they want their kids to do better at sports. That's certainly not my reason.

My kids went to Eisenhower - their home school, Sudlow - their home school, and want to go to Central with the friends they grew up with (90% of Sudlow students are in the Central Boundary). If your pre-teen daughter has a cirlce of friends that she had been with for 10 years and was suddenly told she couldn't be with those friends you would do what you could to let her go to high school with those friends.

If you look at the map there is a big section of Davenport where the current school boundaries have created this issue. My kids grew up with people who are going to go to Central and so they want to go to Central. If they had grown up with kids going to North I'm sure they would want to go to North.

If a parent really wants to open enroll their kid for athletics (or anything else for that matter), closing the boundaries within Davenport won't stop them. They can enroll in Bettendorf, PV, North Scott, etc. Then we lose the student and we (the Davenport Tax Payers) send money to these other School Districts to educate our kids. Does anyone really want that?

If all our schools are great (and I believe they are) then why not let me do what is best for my kids and you do what is best for your kids?

God Old Boy
God Old Boy

Moved out of the Davenport school district when our daughter was old enough to attend HS. She was attending a private school which at that time did not offer high school classes. It was betweent PVHS or North Scott HS. We decided on PVHS and it was the best choice we could have ever made. North Scott's land was more or we may have chosen there instead.
It is true Davenport Schools have a bad rep...that is exactly why we moved. Not saying the rep is correct it was just one of the reasons we sold our home and built a new one in PVHS district.


Sounds like Davenport needs to start a voucher system.
Then parents can chose for themselves, instead of having their children forced
into whatever school the redistricting politicians think is most politically advantageous.

ia mom

QC mom, exactly! We have a significant overcrowding issue at several elementary schools and Eishenhower's border, for one example, is only a block or so from the school building! But no one is talking about that. The coverage is all about the whining about three high schools, none of which is approaching the 100% capacity level that we have several grade schools in now. This is this the immediate problem to be addressed. We all understand everyone thinks the high school they attend is best. Let's move on from that and solve the elementary boundary issues that are creating hardships for students, staffs, and families on a daily basis.


Tackling only the elementary issue first and ignoring the other problems will only dig us deeper into the hole. Why upset the apple cart time and time agin? Do it once, fix the issues and lets all move forward and thrive together. And to the above notion about vouchers, I wouldn't mind seeing that concept state or nationwide but that's another issue! Perhaps that would work within our district at all grade levels. At least it would hold ALL parents accountable for participating in their children's education choice with no right to complain if they don't do their part.


After moving to the Davenport School District several years ago, I've concluded that the reputation lags the reality, meaning the schools are better than the common perception. None of the high schools in Davenport are bad schools: in fact each offers some excellent programs. We've sent three kids through West, and they are each doing well. Sure, the high schools have some challenges, too, but nothing that you wouldn't expect to find in large city public high schools that are mandated to educate folks from all walks of life.
I'm not keen to see open enrollment eliminated because there are good reasons to give parents some choice. However, the abuse of the practice around athletics could likely be reduced if the wait times for eligibility were longer. The lack of success of Davenport high schools in most athletic areas compared to prior decades has as much to do with the entire communty's dispirited attitude after the farm crisis of the '80s and the closing of manufacturing in subsequent decades. A focus on building youth sports programs at the grade school and middle school level, and a commitment to excellence on the part of the district administration and community leaders could turn that round in not too many years.


Does anyone else find it interesting that most of the comments for closing open enrollment and from the students are positive in nature rather than bashing other schools, whereas when pot shots are taken they are only against North? I don't see any of these North fans making derogatory statements towards the other schools. Way to keep it classy North family. I also agree this isn't only about the high schools. The elementary situation is out of control with three buildings at 100+% capacity. The students in these buildings and those far below capacity will be much better served with redistricting. Hopefully this will ease budget concerns as well. But the current proposal is a bad one and needs more careful thought for multiple reasons. I only hope the district and school board view the whole picture and tackle this issue all at once. Draw the boundaries in a way that is in the best academic interest of all students! Create a true feeder program to the elementary, intermediate and high schools to promote pride and direction! CLOSE the boundaries to eliminate perpetuation of this problem!!

Brock Cavett

Thank you Mr. Doxsie, I couldn't have said it better myself! I am a 2012 graduate of North and wouldn't have it any other way. My 4 years at North were great and I don't know if I would be able to say that if I had gone to any other school. I met so many amazing people and made friendships that I see lasting a long time. Not only that, but North offers so many opportunities. Many days I was at the school from sun up until sun down going from activity to activity. North is filled with hard working students who don't let what others say about North discourage them. The sports programs aren't even that bad really. Had everyone that was in North's district actually went to North, they would be that much better. I am proud to say that my dad, brother, as well as myself all graduated from North.

open minded

Imagine you own three houses , one in the Central part of town one in the West and one in the North .When you bought these houses you knew what shcool district you would send your kids to. Elementry, Middle School, and High School. The idea of districting was to provide the best education at the most efffeciate cost for all students in public education. But something happened some time in the past that allowed students to leave their assigned school and go to another school because one is better than the other (who says) Some people could't afford private school and sport teams weren't that much better across town, so Davenport School Board allowed open enrollment . Could it be because the area their kids lived in were to go to that new high school that was converted from a middle school, without the facilities that the other two schools had to offer?If someone was allowed to pick a $100 dollar bill A $10 dollar bill or a $1 bill the choice is predictable. For far too long students came up with a reason in their mind that says one school is better than the other. Of course two were better than that one because the bare minimum was offered without thought into the the most likely place that the city would expand is to the North . Those selfish decision makers who allowed the situation we find ourselves in as a community need to correct things and if people want to attend another school out of their district pay for private or move to your desired district ,this includes to those other cities to the East.


Yes in 1986-1996 North had the facilites of a middle school. But for anyone that has been to the building in the past decade to say the mininum is offered would be silly. (Auditorium, pool, gym, wieghtroom) There have been so many updates, and more to come with the Music dept. expansion. It is also a great benifit to have all of the sports fields on campus.

ia mom

The school board is considering boundary changes and open enrollment changes that would impact each of our elementary, intermediate, and high schools. At the forums I attended, and in the letters sent to local press, it seems that people would prefer to talk about why one school is better than the other. The public comment opportunity has essentially been hijacked and turned into a "which high school is best" PR campaign. This is a distraction from the very real decisions that need to be made as far as the district as a whole and its other 25 schools--it's not just about North.


I don't think it has to be a "which shool is best" contest. It is great that so many are standing up for North. To say good things about 1 school does mean the other schools are any less. But the North High community is tired of getting the short end of the stick, with all negative perceptions, articles and threads like this one help show all the great things there is to offer.


*To say good things about 1 school *doesn't* mean the other schools are any less desirable

Mary Jorth
Mary Jorth

Amen, Don! Thank you for expressing what many of us have felt for years. North High is a wonderful school and I feel fortunate that our 3 children had the opportunities that they had there. I do believe that all of our high schools have so much to offer and that the chance to choose your child's future schools begins with where you decide to live. We have always kept neighborhood schools in mind when selecting our home. I would like to see open enrollment replaced by improved support of our neighborhood schools.


I think most parents take elementary schools into account when selecting a home, and I fully support children attending their neighborhood elementary. One great thing about Davenport schools is the opportunity to open enroll to the high school which you see best fits your child. We definitely took open enrollment into account when we purchased our house, and will be extremely disappointed if forced into a specific high school. I would like to have the choice to not have my children separated from their friends after 8th grade. If Davenport schools want to eliminate open enrollment at the high school level, they really need to reevaluate their feeder system.


If North is such a great school why do you have to FORCE kids to go there. How soon until we switch again because Central becomes just an inner city school that requires desegregation? We have 3 great diverse schools in Davenport. Why mess it up because some North parents are upset that 75 people CHOSE to go to a different school. What makes you think if forced to choose they will choose North? I can see Assumption enrollment increasing already.


Know the facts please. It is not just 75 kids. We should be building a better district. And if you want to spend $5000 a year for Assumption for your child, please do so.


This school year the total it is over 200 student net loss for North, transfer in/out. With those that transferred out, well over 100+ participated in sports at either Central or West. Losing that many student athletes, seasons have been canceled! That needs to end, that affects the entire district and the reputation of the district as a whole. Many of these students have opted elsewhere due to "myths" and "false reputation" of North. Absolutly, change is difficult, but the truth is something needs to change.


So I need to force my children to go to North so North can have a better sports program. Is that really what this discussion has come down to? If the number is closer to 200 I guess I would ask why? Maybe we should go back to 2 high schools if the city can't support 3. Or do we just have to have 3 average schools but equal. PV is looking better all the time


You say FORCE like it would be a punishment to your family for someone to attend North, and I have seen it heard it several times now from others. There is no reason that anyone in Davenport should view going to any of 3 HS in Davneport as a punishment. That is the false reputation that needs to be changed. There is just no reason for that view. I am sure you are not going to have your mind changed here.


I don't think it would be a punishment to send my children to North. I just don't understand why I have to. My daughter would like to go to the same school her brother and sister went to. That is what was promised to me when we built in Davenport. Where else could I have built a new home and stayed in Central's boundaries? I built a new home and pay a premium in property taxes so I would have a choice of where my kids go. If I hadn't been given that choice I would not have built in Davenport. Sorry if North Parents seem to be upset that their football program isn't as good. North does have superior facility to Central but I feel the vocal department and the relationships we have made as a family within the school should count for something. It isn't a slam against North, I just feel like I should be able to choose. What if the state of Iowa said only half the state could go to Iowa the other half had to go to Iowa State. How would that make you feel.

Tom Paris

davres23 - You are showing quite a bit of ignorance here. North has been getting the shaft from open enrollment, period. It isn't just athletics, but it hurts as far as test scores as well. There are long standing North neighborhoods that will be switching, under the boundary proposals, from Harrison - Wood - North, to Adams - Williams - North. The same thing that happens with Windsor Crest (where these North district families now send their kids to Central) will start happening from the West side of North's district. If your kid goes to Adams and Williams, would you really send them away from 95% of their friends to go back to North? No. You will open enroll them to West. That is what is about to happen. Davenport needs solid feeder schools with pathways to North, Central, and West. I would also like to see a new middle and elementary school in NE Davenport. This might help losing so many students from that neck of the woods to Bettendorf. Open enrollment needs to end.


Tom Paris,
So we should have no choice where to send out kids. Do you realize that if anyone in the District chooses not to go to North if forced to and they decide to go to PV or Bett the Davenport School district needs to send money to PV or Bett. Not only will you lose the student but the district will lose the money. Parents should have a right to choose what they feel is best for their kids. Why don't we send them all to North for 9th grade and have 10-12 at Central and West. Solves all the problems


Solves all the problems? Solve the budget issue and help the district serve ALL students better by bussing them from South of Rockingham on a 45 minute bus ride to go to 9th grade on 53rd St....? Then when they get to 10th grade, lets bus them again to soccer and football and softball and baseball practice from Central to Brady St Complex and from West to the Baseball/softball complex somewhere out on Kimberly. Ohh, and for the Musicals and plays, lets bus everyone else up to that new Auditoruim up there at the Freshman Acadamy on 53rd St. then we can save some money by not constructing a auditorium at Central. Freshman Acadamy.... if that is really an option, why not make that a building that is Centrally located in the city, that may not have facilities that are up to date and are in need of constuction or renovation.... ie air conditioning, pool, auditorium, on site athletic facilities. There is only 1 high school campus that fits for a freshmen acadamy.... Has the RAC looked into that?


Does it impact testing... not sure about that.


Wonderful article Mr. Doxie!! Thank you for taking the time to write this and give North HS the recognition it deserves!

As so many have already expressed, North will continue to be a great school and will continue to thrive. In fact, all this hoopla has probably brought newfound school spirit and a bond between North families and students alike!

As for the families that will have to go to North if the open enrollment goes away....it may seem like it will be tough, but I am here to tell you that you and your children will have a great experience at North HS if you keep positive and get involved! Its been some of the best years of my life! And I'm a parent....lol!!

I'm a graduate of West HS and still have Falcon pride, but also know that more importantly, I have Davenport pride and look forward to all of Davenport feeling that way!

Sure hope the school board takes the time to read the article and the comments because as Mrs. Rasmussen said "its time to listen to the facts and not the past"!

Its time for some changes!


Nice article, Don! We live in North district and have had 4 kids go through North. Our oldest 2 graduated in 2003, one in 2006 and one in 2007. We also had an exchange student live with us and graduate in 2007 also. Between the 5 of them, we were involved in baseball, show choir, poms, cheerleading, soccer and various clubs. Our youngest qualified for National Honor Society, All Iowa Honor Dance Team 3 years in a row and took several AP classes that allowed her to test out of some classes when entering St. Ambrose University. We also had one graduate from Upper Iowa University and one from cosmetology school. All kids are successful, productive adults. Our youngest was able to go back to North to be the Pom coach and that program has improved and grown each year she's been there. I can't say enough good things about North and the staff. I agree parents should get a choice...either go to the school in your district OR move to the district where the school is, that you want your kids to attend.

Amy Clarke Rios
Amy Clarke Rios

As a parent I am having many conflicts with these changes. I am a North graduate( loved my high school years ) my husband was a West graduate. My inlaws taught at North for many years. I have nothing negative to say about North at all....but my son, who is a sophomore attends Central. My daughter...hopefully will be there next year( depending on changes) We live in Norths district. Because of the elementary and middle school they attended we chose Central because that's where the majority of thier piers were going. We are lucky to have 3 great high schools to chose from. Throughout both my children's jr high years at Sudlow. Central has been the school represented. I have only recently started seeing info from North now that my daughter is in 8th grade, but never got anything from my son who is again now a sophomore at Central. I believe it should still be the parents right to choose wich school thier child can attend . Or at least siblings should be grandfathered in because I certainly would not be sending my children to two different highschools and would look for other alternatives.


Mr. Doxie, I think you prove the point that good parenting is just as important as which school the child attends.


Nice article. I agree North is a good school as well. I also feel however that we should have the freedom to choose the school we as parents feel is best for our children. Why should my children be forced to attend North, West or Central. Why shouldn't I have a right to choose. I agree the school district should not supply transportation if I am out of the boundaries but if I supply my own what does it hurt. The only way it hurts is if we leave the all three. It appears that North has a lot of fans and supporters. I am sure it will continue to thrive without having students there that would rather be at a different school. With the only new construction in Davenport being in West and North school districts you limit people building in Davenport to only those 2 schools or Bettendorf or Assumption. This should not be a decision that is made based on school loyalty it should be based on ability to choose. Especially at the high school level.


Let me correct something. It should be based on the ability to choose even if it is loyalty. I am sure Don if you somehow moved outside the boundaries or they were re-drawn so you no longer were in North School District you would want your daughter to go to North. I feel the same way about Central. And it is not about the sports programs but about the relationships with the teachers and the same musical and educational programs you are talking about. I have no doubt that they would get an incredible education at North. I just want them to get an incredible education at Central. Blue Devil. "82"

Jacklynn Ripperton

Thank you so much, Mr. Doxie! As a senior at North, I would have not wanted to experience my past four years anywhere else. Everyday I am surronded by incredible educators who are always willing to help their students achieve. I have made so many memories being involved with National Honors Society, Student Senate and volleyball. It is not always about the scoreboard but about the lessons you've learned. I have learned what it means to be a part of a team and to always give 100%. North has prepared me so well for my future and has given me so many opportunities. It is always a great day to be a Wildcat!

Arc Angel


billy hoyle

I absolutely agree that fools place too much importance of how a HS is judged by its football team's record, but for this paper's sports columnist to write "It’s largely a product of the philosophy that if you can’t beat them you should join them" is just lazy. In today's age of sports-industrial complex, it goes deeper than that.


North has always been dealing with "conditional" open enrollment, allowing Sudlow students to go to Central, there is no doubt that has affected the competitiveness of the sports scene since North opened. But in the 90's and early 2000's they still were very competitive across the board multiple MAC Championships Boys and Girls in many different sports. But now in the last 10 years with the "complete" open enrollment policy, athletes from Wood started transferring, 1 by 1, and 2 by 2 due to many factors. Over the past decade that slippery slope as begun to be a landslide, and many are starting to feel it as they have no option other than transferring out. "Cant beat' em, join 'em" It has to stop, it is starting to kill sports programs completely. With open enrollment North had a net -75 student athlete transfer out. That has caused entire seasons to be cancelled this year, that takes games away from those teammates at North but also at West and Central due to lose of games. The sports scene is a big deal in this issue. There have been some great efforts made at the foundation of the sports scene to make sure we don’t lose anymore of the only "feeder" kids the district gives North. But the fact is with or without open enrollment North is a great school and is going to be a great place for sports for my kids and all those they are growing up with. It is great to be a Wildcat!

Caroline Rasmussen

Thank you Don for taking a stand and letting people know how North has directly impacted your children in such a positive way! I am a relatively new North parent but have become involved with other parents in supporting our wonderful music and athletic programs. I have seen my daughter give 110 %, become disciplined and grow into a Wildcat! She has been inspired by her music teachers at Truman, Wood and now North. Her talent has continued to grow because her teachers have brought out the best in her. I have witnessed teachers being very committed to the students' academics, well being and growth in character developing their "life skills".

North has a way of bringing parents and students together. We are there to help each other and our school and we do it with pride. I grew up in the Department of Defense school system overseas and have a great appreciation for the proposed feeder system , hoping it ill include our high schools as well. Longevity and dedication creates great school pride!

Many of our students are ambassadors to North and they have been visiting our intermediate schools to talk about what's going on in their future high school. This is creating excitement and helping to mute the negativity that North has had in the past. My daughter has been friends with the same group of girls since 6th grade. They are all top notch in academics, sports and music activities.

Thanks Don for writing this article. I hope the school board listens to the facts instead of the past. North has a lot to be proud of!

pta mom

I am a parent of a Central student, and am quite happy with the education and opportunities she's been given. But I am very close friends with North families, and recognize it has some fantastic programs: the music and theater are what I am most familiar with--and even envious of. Plus, there is a fantastic community of kids and families at North.

The moral: we are fortunate to have three fine high schools. While improvements can be made at all, each are treasures in the eyes of its enrollees. Families must also remember that they need to take advantage of the activities offered them--and STAY INVOLVED in their children's schools.


Thank you very much Mr. Doxsie for this article. As a senior at North, I know just how great of a school it is firsthand. I have been involved in many student activities such as National Honor Society and was involved with volleyball for four years. I am very proud to say I am a wildcat and would have not had the same memories I have now if I had gone to another school. North has so many great qualities that many overlook because of its reputation. I believe that no matter what Davenport high school you go to you will get the exact same education no matter what. As for athletics, I was a proud member of the volleyball team and continue to support all North athletics regardless of their winning record. I wouldn't have changed anything about North and am honored to graduate in June as a wildcat!


As a parent of a open enrolled student to North, I have to say I love North, the students, parent's, families and staff. I just hope my other child will at least be grandfathered into North, she has no wish to go to her home school, and can't wait to be a Wildcat next year. For those of you that are in the boundary and left North WHY?????, It's not just about sports and winning and losing, try out some of the other activities and volunteer, it is a great school and I'm proud to be a Wildcat parent

chelsea roehm

Tthank you!! People in the community do not understand how north high school has shaped all the student's lives that graduate from there. I've played on an athletic team there and no matter the score or record, each athlete still comes back the following year. Needless to say, athletics don't make a high school superior to another. Of course we would like to see our teams successful, but even though they are not we still go out and support our fellow classmates. I would have to say that if I were given the choice to pick my high school, Davenport North would still have hands down been my choice. no other high school could have given me the knowledge and preparation for the future like North High School has. Thank you Don Doxsie for letting people know the real truth about North!! Being a senior, I cannot wait to be a proud graduate of North High School this June! Give North a chance people!


Thanks Don Doxsie for sharing your fantastic opinion!! Finally some validity and truth. It is truly ashame that most of those who oppose open enrollment do so because they are selfish. They want only what serves them and their children and their own interest, not necessarily what is best for ALL students in the district or the district as a whole. We should all be lobbying for better schools in the entire district which allows our entire community to benefit. With the best schools around people and businesses will want to locate in the Quad Cities and Davenport. If locking boundaries serves to equalize all high schools and eliminate the school jumping and recruiting that currently occurs it allows administrators, teachers, directors and coaches to focus on what is important....OUR KIDS....and improving all programs both educational and extra curricular! Come on Quad Cities, please wake up and realize what is really most important. Put aside your fears of change and work to make all of our schools and programs better for our children.


I am first, I must admit, a sports enthusiast, but for the last several years I have observed first hand the remarkable skills of the showchoir, orchestra, choir and drama departments at North. I am in awe of the hours of practice and dedication it takes in "putting it all together" for the live performances of the students. It takes as many hours and skills, if not more, in the cultural side of the students, as sports and just because North may not have a superior football team- my gosh, the other facets of student life at North are exceptional. Will open enrollment restrictions really make that much difference? As the other commentors and Don Doxsie have expressed, these students will undoubtedly go on to accomplish much, much more in their lives and we, as parents, will show our pride.

billy hoyle

cheerleaders @ the bowling matches - YES! come on NHS, I'm just giving you these for free


Billy the Bowling team is pretty good but FYI, in the past decade, even dealing with the open enrollment policy, North has qualified twice for the 4A State Baseball Tournament, only 1 MAC team had more apperances in that time, Central (but I wonder how many CHS players lived in NE Davenport).

billy hoyle

every home team strike, and even spares, should be followed by the wildcat roar over the loudspeaker - rrrrraaaaaarrrrr.

billy hoyle

Does the bowling lane @ home meets have the cat paws going down it........it should

billy hoyle

lol again - that crowd of HS students is FEELING IT for the NHS bowling team. HS hasn't changed a bit. I heard Earl Anthony's grandkid is going to open enroll to NHS to be on the bowling team.. If you want to be the best, you've got to be rolling in the toughest lanes every day.


Great article, thank you for sharing your personal experience. It is also great to see all these amazing comments by current students. With or without open enrollment being changed, North will continue to be a great school for long into the future.

billy hoyle

class project - lol.. I am not a student @ NHS. I was a 13 yr old JH student when NHS opened. Kids, the perceptions of NHS as a stepchild are there for a reason. I can't think of any instance that when a district opens a new HS, that HS is not new, in every sense of the word. Over the ensuing 25+ years, the district SLOWLY brought NHS up to match the old, existing HSs in terms of facilities. Maybe NHS is there now, I don't know. I will know, as my children are N of Kimberly, E of Eastern - the kids that should go to NHS but don't. If tightening boundaries raises the education level of Dav HS students, sign me up. Is that the argument being made? I don't know. @ the HS level, the issue has been tainted w/ sports.


As a parent whose child that is affected by the current changes that are being proposed by Davenport School district I would like to share that I do not feel like North is inferior in any way. I believe that all three of the Davenport high schools are great places to learn and I feel as though the administration and staff at North are doing great things and want each student to be successful. For my family personally it is about the feeder structure. My children went to our neighborhood elementary school and are currently at the middle school that we were sent to. Through the entire time at elementary and so far at middle school my children have been influenced by Central High School music programs and sporting programs because that is where most of students in that building will feed into. Our children have been encouraged to attend the musicals at Central and attend the football games to cheer Central on. Eblasts sent by the elementary and middle school to us as parents have included information about the upcoming events at Central High School for years. Only recently have they started including North High Schools upcoming events. Our kids want to continue with their friends and they want to attend the high school that they are familiar with. It is not about the level of education or the athletics that is leading us to choose to open enroll to Central it's the familiarity of the school and the friends and families that we have met throughout the years that we hope we can continue with. Perhaps the elementary and middle schools should take some responsibility for promoting one school over the other.


Hopefully that can be a change that we see much more of in the near future. Even if strict boundaries are set, leaving friends should not be too much of a problem, most of he friends could be coming with you. Over 75% of Eisenhauers enrollment lives in the North district. It is unfortunate that any Intermediate has to be "split up" but the fact that only 1 feeds directly into North and all 5 others feed to the other 2 high schools now, something has to change.

Arc Angel

This appaers to be a class project. The word on the street is as you enter North turn right if you want to learn, turn left if you want to mess off for 4 yrs. Its up to the student, parents. Good luck as North will always be odd man out.


This does appear to have come from a class and to that I say KUDOS!! Great job students for openly participating and thank you to the teacher for giving this many students a chance to be heard. What more can you ask for than an educator educating our young adults about their right to freedom of speech and teaching them how to use that voice in an appropriate manner! Yet another example of the fine students and teachers at that great high school over there on the North side! Keep up the great work!!


Nicely written and certainly to the point. I had two kids go to Assumption and they did receive an excellent education and are doing excellent in the real world. But I have seen first hand what open enrollment does to kids, especially in sports. Skilled athletes in sports come into high school with talent and are merely thrust aside by kids coming from other districts at the beggoning (did I say "recruiting," ah oh,) of the coaches, i.e. Assumption, for one. The kids who normally would get a chance to hone their talent are often dropped down the ladder and either end up as spectators on the sidelines or quit without really being able to compete and improve. Balance is important in all aspects of high schools- academics, athletics, emotional and social. JB

Henry Runge

Thank you very much for letting people know how great Davenport North really is. People tend to think that North is below the other schools on all levels but that is certainly not the case. Here at North you receive the same level of education and opportunities that the other Davenport Schools have to offer. There are so many great things going on here at North that people don't hear about. If more people came to North, we would be just as good if not better than the other schools. I am proud to be a Wildcat!


It would be good if you had fairness in your sports. I see many young people at your games that don't really get to participate until the end of most of the games. No wonder most kids want to leave North to play sports where they can get a fair shot.


Thank you for sticking up for North! I am a student and am a part of many sports teams and music ensembles. We may not have the best sports record but its not all about the wins. It is also about the lesson you learn and the people you meet. I am a part of teams and groups that work together like a family and we are always giving 110%! I have learned how to be a leader, how to manage my time and had people (teachers and coaches) that push me to do my very best. My coaches and teachers truly care about me and my success. They are always here to answer questions and point me in the right direction! Choosing to go to North High School was the best choice I ever made and just want others to realize what our school has to offer!


You must not have been paying much attention to the basketball team then. Why are most of the players sitting on the bench the entire 4 quarters until the last 2 minutes, when the coach feels like putting them in? They look sad sitting there the entire game, some never leaving the bench.


I understand your concern for the children not playing in basketball games, but think about the reasons they aren't playing.
1. Are they failing a class?
2. Did they show up to practice?
3. Were they respectful to teammates/coaches?
I don't feel that you have the right to criticize North Athletics if you don't know all of the facts. The coaches know what they're doing; let them do their job.

I am a senior at North and I have had the opportunity to participate in both athletic programs and fine arts. I can safely say that I loved every second of being a wildcat and wouldn't trade it to go to Central or West.



Sports are an important aspect in High School life yes, and its not fair that kids have to play the bench the entire game, but sometimes you just can"t get what you want. Many players in pro-teams sometimes sit the bench the entire game because they may not have the skill level of some of the starters. This is all coming from personal experience, as I am a Davenport North Alumni, I played sports and sometime I had to sit the bench simply because the starting players were stilling going good in the game. Regardless of a win or lose of the match, North still has a fantastic program for sports and the musical arts. I am proud that I had the privileged to attend Davenport North and i would definitely recommend it to anyone!


I agree 100% that North is an excellent high school. Personally I don't think that open enrollment should be closed, that is due to the fact I'm currently a junior at Davenport North High and I live in Centrals District. I definitely think North shouldn't be looked down on at all! We have what we need and other schools do as well. Yes, the whole sports thing is the big deal with high schools and North isn't the strongest when it comes to them, but we have EXCELLENT Music, Drama, Art, and Journalism programs here. I agree with Mr. Doxie in the since that our school should be defined as a lesser school when compared to the other schools here in Davenport, because next to our drama department , who has a play going to nationals, our Show choir Currently hold grand champ at the Fort Madison invitational for the past 5 years and all the other GREAT achievements we have received, we sure don't seem like we are less great in anything if you ask me. So i say GO WILDCATS!

Anthony Foley

Thank you, as a student at North it becomes extremely annoying to hear all the trashing on North from my cousin who had been attending North before he transferred schools to west because he couldn't win a football game with our school. This is where most of the trashing starts for north then you get into people get bad grades, we aren't challenged to do better then we believe we can. I can honestly say none of that is true. My teachers are amazing they push me everyday to do the best that I can. Most of my teachers will stay as late as needed after school to make sure that you understand the material. We may not be great at football but we have an amazing bowling team that has gone to state 2 years and won it once and is currently looking for a 3rd time. the music department here is also outstanding. these seemed to be over looked because of the negative stereotypes other schools give us. It wouldn't be nearly as bad if the students that should becoming to our school with the talent that have were coming to North embarrassing "Wild Cat Pride" instead trashing everything that it stands for.


I am a Senior at North High School, I have only been here for roughly 2 years.The school i recently came from they were wildcats too. I enjoy every moment with this school.. I could honestly say that North is one of the GREATEST high schools in the Davenport community, I wouldn't want to go to any other school but here. The teachers care about every students education and want them to succeed in the great this that they do. I am also in Show Choir, and it is such a great experience. We work hard for our academics, sports, and many other great achievements we have earned. North is a GREAT high school. Yes, we may be a little rough around the edges of sports, but we put the effort and potential to try and win the game. Many of the students at North are thankful for the great opportunities and education that the educators provide.
As the saying says Once a "WILDCAT always a WILDCAT!"

Mr. Doxsie I couldn't have said it any better, thank you so much for your support of North High School, it means a lot to many of us. Thanks again!
-Teria Litman


I am currently a student at Davenport North High School, and I would like to say thank you. So many people do not believe that we aren't as good or good enough to be recognized as the great school we are. This shows how much people don't understand or even take the time to realize that there are some great things happening here. I have enjoyed every moment here! The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing. The teachers are great, the programs are exceptionally well done and there's nothing I would give to change that. Of course we aren't the greatest with sports, but it's the effort that counts. We aren't just getting an education here we are learning about life, about ourselves, and how to thrive in this life accepting who we are. Once a WILDCAT always a WILDCAT!
So thank you so much Mr. Doxsie for writing this article. You have giving us the courage and starting support to stand up and speak out. Again, Thank You so much.

Sincerely, David V. Mayes-Butler.


Finally someone speaks the truth. Thank you. People always talk bad about North and in reality things are really good here. For example teachers put in time to help students on their own time. Yes we have had rough sports, but I know tons of great athletes that have ditched North and decided they would be "better off" at Central, West, or Bettendorf. If we would have all the students that are supposed to go to North actually go to North, then I think things would end up a lot better here at North. I am a Junior at North High School and I have had an amazing time here at North making tons of friends, l have excelled in the class room, sports, and activities. Thank you again and I will be listening for things to be done about this situation.

Haley Reatherford

Thanks to Mr. Doxie for letting everyone know how good of a school Davenport North is. North has always been the school i wanted to go to and i am so glad that i chose it. Here at North we receive the same education that other schools do and we have the same opportunities that other schools give. When students decided on a school to go to most chose the one with a good reputation about their sports. Unlike them, us here at North chose it because we knew we could succeed here. Because of open enrollment North has missed out on awesome students and athletes that could have made North a better school. I will always be a WILDCAT!


I am not ashamed to admit that I attend North. It has great extra curricular programs and enjoyable people. Our sports may not be the best, but we have pride in ourselves and our school. The arts programs are where we succeed, and I don't want to stop at just that. I feel North has the opportunity to keep changing in a positive manner, if you give it the chance.


Thank you Mr. Doxsie! I don't think this could of been written any better. North is an excellent school to attend. Everyone around judges North by the success of our football team. Whether or not you have a good football team, there is still more to high school than just football. I know that almost every North student and athlete works hard to achieve all that they do. I'm proud of what I've achieved and excited for the rest of my years at North. North High School has so much heart and pride. I would not want to be anything other than a North Wildcat!

Natalie Smith

Thank You Mr. Doxsie!! I am currently a senior here at North and I wouldn't want to attend any other high school in the area. I have enjoyed every experience North has had to offer throughout my high school career. The educators here at North are incredible and care for each one of their students, the vocal, drama, and instrumental arts departments show off some amazing talent as well. Although our sports aren't up to par with the other local high schools North is a great facility. I am proud to say I am a wildcat.

Bela Magalhaes

I began my public school career with high school, after years of being home schooled. I was understandably apprehensive, and felt better at the thought that I could decide which school to go to. Of the public high schools in the area I considered Central and North, the district of which I am in. After visiting both schools I decided on North, mostly because it is so near my house. I have never for a second regretted that decision. I have thrived here at North, and the growth I have experienced in the last four years (I am a senior) has been due in so small way to the teachers, administrators, directors, and, most of all, the student here. I have been highly involved in the arts, and am a three-year member of our outstanding show choirs, a four-year member of the chamber choirs, Drama Club VP, and have participated in 9 drama production. I have performed with groups twice at the Iowa Thespian Festival, and both times been selected to perform at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln Nebraska. That is an accomplishment very few schools ever get to celebrate, and I personally have experienced twice. I am also a member of National Honors Society, davenport North Student Ambassadors, and am Student Senate President. As anyone who has ever watched me in gym class knows, I am not athletically talented, but at North I still feel appreciated and have been undeniably successful. I will graduate this spring proud to be a wildcat, and glad of the opportunities North has allowed me. I, like Don Doxsie, encourage everyone to believe in North for what it has been, what it is, and what it will become with the support of the community. It truly is a great day to be a wildcat!!

kirsten sparbel

I am a sophomore at Davenport North High, also a member of Northside and I don't think I'd be the first to say thank you, thank you for sticking up for my school. I have never regretted attending North High School. I am big into music and I'd have to say that Davenport North has the best music program in Davenport. The teachers are very friendly and make you feel comfortable to be part of anything you want. We students at North High work hard at everything we do, including the amazing music program. North's show choir "Northside Establishment" is a group that i take much pride in and take very seriously. I love being a part of North High, and that will never change. WILDCAT PRIDE.


Thank you so much Mr. Doxsie. North is an excellent school with a lot of good things going on. I wouldn't want to have experienced high school anywhere else these past 4 years. Yes, we may not be as good as Central or West in sports but if everyone went to their correct schools we would be at the same level as them. It's frustrating when people talk bad about North that have no idea what it's like. I have truly enjoyed my high school years and the memories I made at North will last a lifetime. I have excelled both in the classroom and in my activities & sports. So if you are a student or parent and aren't sure that you want to go to North, I'm telling you that you won't be disappointed! As a student at North I wish to see open enrollment within the district come to a stop.


As a Special Educator with 28 years in the North HS building (started there as Wood JH), I understand what Mr. Doxsie is saying! This building, from the very beginning of North HS, was always a great place to work. All students are accepted and welcomed there. While we may not have the best athletics programs in town, we have had our share of successes. I feel sorry for those who are trapped to follow in parent and grandparent footsteps to attend the other schools in town. You don't know what you are missing!! Go, Wildcats!!!

Marlee Speak

Thank you so so so so much, Mr. Doxsie. Coming from a senior at North High School, I cannot express how much I appreciate this article. Going to North has been one of the best experiences of my life. Memories I will never forget. There is so much diversity and something new to do or be apart of everyday. I'm always asked why I go here. I tell them because I couldn't picture myself going anywhere else. I've never once felt cheated out of academics or any opportunity that has came up in my high school career. I've had much success and I couldn't thank North enough for where I'm at in life and where this knowledge will be taking me in the future. I hope to see the boundaries set and open enrollment come to a stop. PLEASE give North High School a fair chance. This school and staff have so much to offer the upcoming years.

shane jankowski

Being a Senior at north my two years here have been great and a lot better then my old school i agree 100% things should be a lot more fair and even thank you for writing this i hope to hear how the boundaries are set for the districts people should know how good are music program is including concert choral and show choir in conclusion i cant wait to see how things are in the future and as always LETS GO WILDCATS!!!!!!!!!

Caroline E

My entire life I have been a student in the Davenport Community Schools. I attended Truman Elementary School, Wood Intermediate School, and am currently a student at Davenport North High School. Growing up, I knew what schools I would attend, as open enrollment was never presented to me as an option. However, reflecting on my years of schooling, I know that, given the option of open enrollment, I would still have ended up at North. The education I have received and the activities that I have been blessed to be a part of have all together given me a high school experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.


This is an amazing article. The negative perceptions of North High school are based entirely on the prejudices of other people, who don't realize what amazing benefits this this school has to offer. I have been going to North for 3 years now, and I have not missed out on any opportunities that I might have gotten at another school. It didn't matter to me that our school hasn't won a football game since last year. All that matters is that the players give everything they have on the field, and that we are cheering our hearts out. My pride in my high school has not been diminished by our athletic shortcomings. My pride is based around the students playing those sports, the coaches teaching them, and the students in the stands cheering on.


Thanks Mr. Doxsie, we get such a bad reputation just because we go to north. We may not be the best at sports but most of our other programs are just as good, if not better than a lot of other schools. Not to badmouth anyone but we have very successful students, your daughter being one of many. When I first moved to Davenport I knew nothing about the three high schools other than their names, but now that I am currently attending my third year at north the thought of transferring schools hasn't crossed my mind once. While we are a great school we lack drastically in numbers and that gives us certain disadvantages that the other schools don't have to deal with and while handling it is no problem, the extra students would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the positive feedback towards North, we feel the same way.


I am a current student a North High school and it is AWESOME to have someone stand up for us like this, because North is an amazing school! After being here for two years I couldn't imagine going anywhere else. I've made amazing friends and have had much help finding myself through being in show choir, on dance team (with the amazing Emily Doxsie) and
soccer team, and with the help of the amazing teachers!

Austin Simms

I agree. I currently go to North High School. I'm a junior and I really like it here. The classes are the right size the teachers are nice and help me when i need it. I think people think of us as a bad learning place and everything else. But it is a very good place to learn and make friends. I'm not worried about my safety when i come here. It's relaxing. Tightening open enrollment would help us with sports and everything. Though our show choir and choir programs are very good. North is a very good school no matter what anyone else says about it. i would like to thank Mr. Doxie for writing this article for North and standing up for it. North is a good school.


thank you so much for this article Mr Doxsie. I"m happy yo see that someone else takes pride in north.i love it here. we are an excellent school and i believe were just as good as any school out there. we may not be good at football but that small aspect doesn't distinguish how North and all its amazing programs are. we have a 2 year undefeated bowling team, a hard working committed show choir, and an MCJROTC that does so much for the community. take pride in being a wildcat. and i believe anyone who would go here would agree. we should be allowed to have a leveled laying field and close the open enrollment policy's .after all we can't fight a war with no soldiers.and we can have a great school if we have no students.


This article is completely right. North is a great school. It's sports might not be the best, but they could improve exponentially if the people who were supposed to go to North went to North instead of West or Central. People currently going to Central or West should be able to stay there though, and this should just be enforced on people entering High School or people who have just moved into the district. I'm a junior at North High School, and I never understood all of these bad things that are being said about North. People treat it like you should be ashamed to go to North and that you should want to go to West or Central. This is why all the people who should be going to North go to other high schools.

North has an amazing music department, drama department, and much more. If I had never went to North, I wouldn't of joined the music and drama departments. The teachers help you in your areas of interest, and if you can't decide on one, they help you find it. Before going to North, I would've never wanted to get up on a stage and act out a whole play. The very thought of it made me queasy and anxious. Now, I've gained a lot more confidence in myself because of all the support the teachers have given me, and I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. Like Mr. Doxsie said, isn't that what high schools are supposed to do? If North is already doing this, why let all of these people who should be going to North go to Central or West just because they believe all of these little rumors people are saying?


Hi my name is Jamika. I am a junior at Davenport North High School and I just want to say thank you to Mr. Doxsie for speaking up for North and also being there for us. I am in a lot of things at North and I really enjoy this school I'm happy my mom had me go to this school. I'm in show choir, color guard, cheer and I also in french. I love North I wouldn't change to another school because we don't have the best sport teams but we do have great school spirit. North is actually like a big family when you look at it from our point of view.
- Jamika H.


i could not have said this any better then it is stated here. Being a current student at North High, i really liked the way this article showed how we feel about what other schools say. We just want to be treated just like all of the other schools in the Davenport distict, no matter what people say about our sports progam or anything else, we deserve a chance to level the playing feild. Thank you again


Well said! And Emily is a great role model for the little future Wildcat dancers!


I could not have said this better myself.. Being a current student at North, it is nice to see someone capture the pride we feel here for our school. We just want the playing field to be fair. Thank you again.

Lelsie Oates
Lelsie Oates

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Doxie. I couldn't agree with you more. I was an educator in the Davenport District for 33 years, 16 of them at North High. North High School is the District's best kept secret. It is a shame that after 27 years, NHS continues to be the unwelcomed child of the District as far as public perception is concerned. My own two children lived north of Kimberly Road and could decide where to attend high school. Yes, they both left their friends and went to North. They didn't suffer from their separation. On the contrary, they each blossomed. Each followed interests they otherwise would not have. They developed life-long friendships and are successful adults today. So again, thank you for expressing what I don't feel I could have. It is much more affective coming form a great parent.
(PS Your daughter is a great young lady)

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