Welcome to Decorah Elementary ~ John Cline Campus!

John Cline Elementary serves students in transitional kindergarten through second grade in the Decorah Community School District and is home to approximately 315 students. In addition to strong core academic, social and emotional programs, our school offers support services in the areas of Title 1 Reading, Reading Recovery, Special Education, Extended Learning and English as a Second Language. We place strong emphasis on meeting the needs of all students through differentiated instruction and research-based practices.

We are a PBIS (Positive Behavior and Instruction Supports) School. We teach, model, and practice respectful, responsible, and safe behaviors that embody Viking Pride and character. We also believe that acknowledging and recognizing students when they demonstrate these core values will promote continued positive behavior.

John Cline has excellent teachers and support staff committed to using a collaborative approach to provide a safe and respectful learning environment that promotes and embraces growth for all learners. Our staff and students value the wonderful support of our families, the dedication of our volunteers, and the resources provided by our community. There are many opportunities to get involve at John Cline. We encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher, our office staff, or visit the Parent-Teacher Organization for more information on how you can partner in your children’s learning and growth. We are very proud to be a part of the Decorah Community School District!

Rick VarneyRick Varney, Principal

Rick Varney is currently in his sixteenth year as a principal at John Cline Elementary School. Before coming to Decorah, Mr. Varney served as a principal for three years in the Central Community School District in Elkader, Iowa. Prior to becoming a principal, he was an elementary teacher in the Lamar Consolidated School District in Richmond, Texas; Bennet Community School District in Bennett, Iowa; and Tipton Community School District in Tipton, Iowa. He currently serves on the School Administrators of Iowa’s Executive Committee and also serves as the state representative for The National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Varney has earned degrees at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa and Western Illinois in Macomb, Illinois. He enjoys working and living in Decorah, where his three children graduated high school. He takes great pride in our community and is thankful for the opportunities he has here!

Dana Bockman, Assistant PrincipalDana Bockman

Dana Bockman is currently in her ninth year as an administrator within the Decorah CSD and first year serving as Assistant Principal of the elementary. The previous eight years Bockman served as the Facilitator of Instruction and Assessment for the district, a position she continues to fulfill. Before coming to Decorah, Mrs. Bockman served as a principal for three years at St. Benedict School in Decorah and eight years as the principal of Trinity in Protivin, Iowa. Prior to becoming an administrator, Bockman was an elementary teacher spending time in grades 2, 5, 6, and 7 and facilitating the Extended Learning Program.

Bockman has degrees from Drake University and Upper Iowa University. Mrs. Bockman and her husband Jason together have six grown children and one child set to graduate Decorah High School in May. She is a proud grandmother of her first grandchildren, loves boating the Mississippi, and continuing to learn and grow as an educator. Bockman has lived in the area her entire life, growing up in Burr Oak and attending North Winneshiek CSD.