Noreen Bush. (KCRG TV photo)

Educators across the state are mourning the loss of Cedar Rapids Superintendent Noreen Bush who died Sunday after a more than two-year battle with cervical cancer.

Waukee Superintendent, Brad Buck, recalls first meeting Noreen Bush more than 35 years ago as a teenager at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. He is also the former superintendent in Cedar Rapids and talked with KCRG TV about Bush.
“Relentlessly optimistic. Just fun to be around, positive,” Buck explained. He maintained a friendship with Bush and says she was a visionary who could deliver.

That’s something Tracy Schipper at College Community Schools echoed. Bush worked in that district for 13 years before going to Cedar Rapids.  ”We are all going to miss her dearly and her daily presence in our lives but her spirit and her legacy is going to live on,” Schipper said. Schipper told KCRG TV she became friends with Bush outside of school, where she says Bush was the life of the party with a sense of humor, and an infectious laugh. “I know that her faith was very important to her and she lead that way and was somebody to admire both professionally and personally,” Schipper said.

And that’s true for those she mentored, like Megan Elsinger, Principal of Lincoln Elementary in Dubuque. ”First and foremost Noreen loved serving people and that was truly an inspiration for me in my role as a school administrator,” Elsinger said.

Mount Vernon Superintendent, Greg Batenhorst told KCRG TV that Bush maintained her positive attitude despite numerous obstacles beyond her health issues in her time as Superintendent in Cedar Rapids. ”She had the derecho, she had you know a cyber attack, she had COVID, all of those things and numerous other big challenges but she never lost focus on what drove her which was this whole idea of hope,” he said.

Bush’s family has posted an obituary, saying she was a member of St. Ludmila Catholic Church. A visitation will be held there from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 4th, with a prayer service beginning at 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on November 5th at the church, with a private entombment at Linwood Cemetery Mausoleum to follow.


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