Who was Ronald C. Dunlap?

Ronald C. DunlapFor thirty-six years, Ron’s professional life was devoted to education. For sixteen of those years, he served as the Principal of Lincoln Elementary School. During his sixteen years, he exemplified the Appleton Area School District’s motto of “Every Student, Every Day.” The profound impact Ron had on his students carried with them long after they left Lincoln Elementary, and his commitment to showing “Dignity and Respect” to all was evident in everything he did. 

Following his time as principal at Lincoln, Ron served as the District’s first Coordinator of Minority Services. Ron was active in countless community activities, including the board of director positions with Appleton Public Library, Wisconsin Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (WASCD), Goodwill Industries, the YMCA, and Wisconsin PTA. 

Other community involvements and accolades include the Unity in Diversity Award, Outstanding Community Leadership Award by the Rotary Club of Appleton, the first recipient of the Diversity Award given at the City and AASD MLK event, Life Membership in the PTA, Heritage Award for Promoting Leadership, and Diversity in the Fox Valley Community, Needy Children’s Committee of the Community Foundation, State Superintendent of Schools Task Force, Appleton Noon Lions Club, City of Appleton Police and Fire Commission, Wisconsin Public Radio Board of Directors, and Diversity Advisory Committee at Fox Valley Technical College. Ron continued his community advocacy through his involvement in African Heritage, Inc. He also served on an advisory committee that worked with the City of Appleton's diversity coordinator when it was first created as a position within the police department.

Learn more about Ronald C. Dunlap

In 2019, the Fox Valley lost a leader and a legend when Ron Dunlap passed away. He was a pioneer in public education, and a leading voice for diversity in Northeast Wisconsin. Ron also saw the need for personal responsibility and accountability, especially in the classroom. He changed countless lives, and we will never forget his larger-than-life presence.

In June of 2021, Lincoln Elementary School was officially renamed in Ron’s honor to Ronald C. Dunlap Elementary School - Home of the Lincoln Lions. In August of 2022, we officially dedicated the new sign and celebrated with Ron's family, colleagues, and our community.

Learn more about Ron’s worldview in these interviews from the Fresh Take archive. Then listen to memories of their life together shared by his wife Yvette.

History Museum at the Castle
In 2014, the History Museum at the Castle and partners launched a committee to research and share local Black history. As part of the project, curators conducted six oral histories of current city residents who are leaders and impacting the city. This snippet features retired educator Ronald C. Dunlap.

African Heritage Inc.
This a tribute to honor a great statesman and elder, Mr. Ronald C.Dunlap of Appleton, Wisconsin from African Heritage Inc.

Mr. Dunlap with a former student
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