Loras College Alumni Kellie Klein ('13) outside Campus In Dubuque, Iowa

Teacher of the Year

June Duhawk Dozen

Kellie Klein (’13)
Elementary Education 
Dubuque, Iowa

2013 grad, Kellie Klein, is doing nothing short of amazing work in the classroom, on the softball field, and in the entirety of the Dubuque community. Kellie started her work with the Dubuque Community School District in 2014, and ever since she has adapted and grown to an ever-changing education system. “I started there right after I graduated from Loras. I love it and I see myself working there for years to come!” Since then, she has helped countless students both as a teacher and coach. Through all of this, she has been able to keep calm but stay excited with the help of some other Duhawks. Kellie said, “My teaching partner, Annie Kashmar (’18) was awesome in hyping me up for this and she would keep me humble too.”  Her work in the classroom didn’t start after graduating, though. She had spent time working at Resurrection, Irving, Audubon, and St. Marks Elementary schools during her time at Loras. In reflecting on her time in the classroom and the impact she had made, she realized that ‘younger Kellie’ had some great insights during her senior year while creating her portfolio for Elementary Education. “Good job, younger Kellie!” Klein said before she went on to solidify that her success has come from the mutual respect that she shares with her students.

All of Kellie’s strong work ethic dates to her days working at the Hy-vee Bakery when she was younger. Now, in addition to her full-time teaching job, she has helped coach softball at Wahlert Catholic High School, Loras College, and more. “I always assumed I would coach,” Kellie started. “I naturally slipped into that position because my passion is Softball and helping kids do what they love.” Long before she had known she wanted to be a coach, she had more of a love-hate relationship with the sport. “I remember specifically, I was the worst player on the team,” Kellie started. “I told my dad, ‘No. This isn’t happening I need to get better.” However, as she and her sister Holly Klein (’16), grew up they both found a healthy level of competition and were constantly improving together with the help of their dad who drove them both to practice perfecting their craft.  

Kellie and Holly both went on to play softball at Wahlert High School and then at Loras as well. Kellie became Loras’ first softball All-American as well as the only member of the softball program to earn All-IIAC recognition all four years of her career as a pitcher, designated hitter, and first baseman. Looking back on her experience, she felt a great deal of excitement about the current successes of the program. “I was so happy, smiling ear-to-ear the whole season. I am proud of coach Ashley Winter and the program she has continued to build.”  Affectionately known as “Fun Aunt Kellie” to her classmates, Kellie has stayed incredibly connected with her network of Duhawk alumni. “Any time that all of us Loras girls get together, it’s so much fun and exciting to see how successful everyone is.”

She had some pretty simple but helpful advice for other young alumni who are in similar stages of life, trying to stay connected. “It’s very easy to get caught up in everything that you have going on,” Kellie started. “My recommendation: if you’re thinking about them, big or small, reach out to them.” Kellie is hopeful to make it back for the Alumni Softball game during Homecoming Weekend: October 7, 8, and 9.

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