The Turkey Valley Athletic Boosters inducted three alumni into the Hall of Fame at halftime of the Friday, Sept. 17, football game. Those inducted included (l-r) Mary Burns with her husband Dave Christiansen; Carter Dietrich (grandson), Kara Dietrich (daughter) and Lindsey Allende (sister) accepting for Bob Huinker; and Dick Cuvelier with wife Lindsay. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Becky Walz)
The Turkey Valley Athletic Boosters inducted three alumni into the Hall of Fame at halftime of the Friday, Sept. 17, football game. Those inducted included (l-r) Mary Burns with her husband Dave Christiansen; Carter Dietrich (grandson), Kara Dietrich (daughter) and Lindsey Allende (sister) accepting for Bob Huinker; and Dick Cuvelier with wife Lindsay. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Becky Walz)
The Turkey Valley Athletic Boosters recognized a trio of individuals Friday, Sept. 17, during halftime of the home football game as inductees into the school’s Hall of Fame. Those inducted include Mary Burns, Bob Huinker and Dick Cuvelier.

Mary Burns
A 1977 graduate of Turkey Valley and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Mary Burns grew up with four brothers on the family farm west of Lawler. After pursuing careers in the Twin Cities and New York areas, Mary and her husband of 35 years, Dale, currently reside in Custer, S.D. 
“I am deeply honored to be recognized as a Hall of Fame inductee. Turkey Valley made a difference for me, and I wanted to make a difference for Turkey Valley. Our contributions are only a single component and a spoke in the wheel. The recognition goes beyond us. It is parents, teachers, administrators, and individuals in our communities that continue to demonstrate their commitment and desire in the achievement of excellence in the education of its youth, and the wellbeing of all community members,” said Burns.
Support of education, military veterans, and the local communities are just three of the key areas of importance in their philanthropic endeavors.
Mary and her husband Dale have been unbelievably generous and selfless throughout their lifetimes and have received both the Turkey Valley Education Association (TVEA) Friend of Education Award and the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) Friend of Education Award. Projects and endeavors that Mary and Dale have been contributors and supporters of include the Turkey Valley Education Foundation (TVEF), the Turkey Valley High School Library renovation, the Turkey Valley Fitness Facility, the Turkey Valley Trap Range, the Turkey Valley FFA, and the Turkey Valley Athletic Boosters (TVAB). They also sponsored several Turkey Valley students at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt’s Youth Hunting Camp.
Mary and Dale support the local community of Lawler and the surrounding areas through their charitable and unwavering donations of time, talent and money. Recipients of their generosity include the Lawler Firefighters Foundation, the Lawler Irish Fest, the Lawler Historical Society, the Lawler Sons of the American Legion Squadron Post #279 and Lawler American Legion Auxiliary Unit #279.
Mary was instrumental in initiating Lawler’s “Meals to Doorsteps” endeavor. When COVID-19 hit in early 2020 and meals for senior citizens at the Lawler City Hall and Meals on Wheels were stopped, Mary contacted area friends to discuss the situation and figure out how to replace this need. From this discussion and in conjunction with the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, weekly frozen meals to approximately 35 Lawler senior citizens started in April 2020. This endeavor continues to this day.
“By providing for a safe environment, an inspirational culture of academics and a foundation for building character, integrity, leadership, confidence and self-esteem, it is no secret that the value of a good education is truly priceless. It is such a fundamental need. Dale and I continue to be inspired by the individuals, organizations, and businesses that make up the Turkey Valley School district as to their respective missions in making a difference and a lasting positive impact within their communities. Dale and I each feel fortunate and blessed to have had many opportunities and successes and attribute these to our schools, small town heritage, families, and friends,” concluded Burns.

Bob Huinker
Robert “Bob” Huinker retired from the education profession in 2011 after 33 years of teaching, including the last 30 years at Turkey Valley. Huinker graduated high school from MFL (now MFL MarMac) in 1974. He received his undergraduate degree from Drake University and his master’s degree from Viterbo University. Huinker began his teaching career at Alden Community Schools (near Iowa Falls) where he taught for three years before being hired at Turkey Valley in 1981 as the band instructor and head boys’ and girls’ golf coach.
During his long and successful tenure, the Turkey Valley bands consistently received superior ratings from the Iowa High School Music Association in both concert band and jazz band performances. Students under Huinker’s expert tutelage and guidance quickly developed lofty standards and productive work habits, which then led to high-level expectations year after year. Countless members of the Turkey Valley bands earned prestigious “Division I” ratings in individual and small group ensembles along with “All-State Band” and “Outstanding Musicians” awards.
Huinker was recognized by the distinguished members of the Northeast Iowa Bandmasters Association in 1996 when they awarded him the coveted “Phillip Sehmann Excellence in Teaching Award” at the high school level, and again in 2003 with the “Karl King Distinguished Service Award.”
Huinker was instrumental in organizing the Turkey Valley Jazz Band “Headlines.” The Trojans’ Jazz Band qualified for and competed at the Iowa Jazz Championships 25 times in Huinker’s 30 years at Turkey Valley. Widely recognized as one of the premier high school jazz bands in the state, “Headlines” garnered numerous top 10 placings at the state competition in the spring.
Huinker worked diligently every fall when he helped spearhead the annual Turkey Valley Music Booster supper fundraiser, and again in the spring when he directed the Turkey Valley Pit Band for the widely successful and highly-entertaining high school musicals that showcased the Turkey Valley students’ excellence in the Fine Arts Program.
In 1997, Huinker was recognized for “Outstanding Dedicated Service” by American Legion Post 279 of Lawler. The Turkey Valley Band always proudly participated in Memorial Day activities held throughout the school district. 
In 2011, Bob received the Lifetime Service Award at the Iowa Bandmasters Convention in recognition for his 33 years of service. Since Huinker’s retirement, each year one member of the Turkey Valley graduating class is awarded the coveted “Robert Huinker Exemplary Musician Award” in honor of Huinker’s dedication and commitment to excellence to the Fine Arts Program at Turkey Valley.
Huinker also was the head boys’ and girls’ golf coach at TV for 29 years. With Huinker at the helm the Turkey Valley girls’ teams competed in the State Golf Tournament five times. The Lady Trojans placed third in 1998, 2001 and 2008. They finished fourth in 2007 and seventh in 2006. The Turkey Valley girls also won the Upper Iowa Conference tournament in both 1997 and 2008. The Turkey Valley boys’ teams won UIC conference tournament crowns in 1994 and again in 2009 with numerous golfers earning all-state honors during his tenure. Huinker was named Class 1A District Golf Coach of the Year by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association in 2008.
Huinker and his wife Renea still reside in Lawler and cherish the time spent with their three daughters, Kara, Robin and Lindsey and their husbands, along with seven active grandchildren. A six-time Jackson Heights Golf Club Men’s Champion, Huinker still enjoys playing golf and working on various carpentry and remodeling projects around the house. The Huinkers continue to volunteer their musical talents as music directors at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler, which they have done for many years.
“I am very happy and proud in receiving this recognition from the Turkey Valley Athletic Booster Club. My success was a culmination of working with many talented staff members, co-workers and students. Together we put in the time and the effort to accomplish some good things on a consistent basis. What more could anyone wish for in a career?” said Huinker.

Dick Cuvelier
Dick Cuvelier was a member of the 1976 Turkey Valley graduating class. During high school, Cuvelier was active in football, wrestling and track. He also participated in choir and many musicals throughout his high school career. Dick was a three-year starter and letter winner in football where he played both offensive and defensive tackle under TV Hall of Fame Coach Bill Mulder and earned First Team All-Conference honors both his junior and senior years. He was selected to play in the prestigious Iowa Shrine Game after his standout senior season.
During the winter, Cuvelier took his amazing athletic talents to the wrestling mat. He was undefeated throughout his stellar high school wrestling career and was a two-time state heavyweight champion for the Trojans. During Cuvelier’s junior and senior year, under the leadership of Hall of Fame Coach Jim

Arjes, the Turkey Valley Trojans won every dual, invitational, sectional and district tournament in which they participated. The Trojans placed fourth in 1975 and second in 1976 at the Class 2A state wrestling tournament. Dick was also named to the Wrestling USA Magazine’s Dream Team in 1975-76.
In the spring, Cuvelier threw the shot put in track and was also a state qualifier. During his senior year he was named the 1976 Athlete of the Year at Turkey Valley and was heavily recruited by many major colleges and universities across the country.
He later continued his athletic career at Iowa State University where he played football under the direction of Cyclone Coach Earl Bruce. While at ISU, Cuvelier was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter on the offensive line where he earned All-Big Eight Conference honors while blocking for Cyclone All-American running back Dexter Green. He received the Drury Moss award for Outstanding Sophomore, and later in his career he received the Arthur Floyd Scott award for Outstanding Lineman.
During his career at Iowa State, the Cyclones were invited to play in both the Peach Bowl and the Hall of Fame Bowl. Cuvelier was elected a Cyclone co-captain his senior year. He was also invited to play in the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. 
Cuvelier met his wife Lindsay at Iowa State, and they have been married for 41 years. He and his family moved to Decorah in 1985 where they currently reside. He has spent the last 36 years as an investment representative in Decorah and works at Raymond James Investments with his son-in-law. He now spends much of his time enjoying the outdoors and being with his three married children and his eight grandchildren.
Cuvelier stated, “I want to thank my family, the Turkey Valley Athletic Boosters, and everyone who helped make this award possible, especially all the administrators, coaches, teachers, teammates, and fans of the Trojans over the years. Turkey Valley is truly a very special place.”