An Award-Winning Attitude
From Olympic gold medalists to award-winning authors, the West Des Moines Community School District has a history of excellence both inside and outside the classroom. Former students such as Olympian Shawn Johnson, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” author Peter Hedges, Motown artist Carrie McDowell-Hodge and American Idol contestant Katelyn Epperly provide our students true success stories they can look to and know they can also reach for the stars. This award-winning attitude is evident in every program throughout the district:
- Graduates have earned countless awards, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Coca-Cola Scholars and a National Peace Essay Contest winner.
- Many of our teachers have been recognized for their excellence as well, including the 2012 ITEC Teacher of the Year and 2012 Living History Farms Teacher of the Year.
- Phenix Early Childhood Center was named the healthiest school in Iowa in 2012 by the the Academy for a Healthy Iowa – a collaboration between the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Nutrition and Wellness Council of Iowa.
- Valley was awarded the Iowa All-Sports High School Championship by the Des Moines Register five consecutive years from 2003 to 2007 and again in 2010, for a total of six.
- The Valley debate program was named to the National Forensic League’s prestigious Societe De 300 after placing in the top one percent of all NFL chapters nationwide in 2010.
- The Valley Marchmasters were selected to perform in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade.
- The Valley High School Music Department was honored with the first GRAMMY® Signature School award in 1999.
- The district was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association and the International Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Association of School Business Officials.
Approximately 95 percent of Valley High School graduates continue their education beyond high school, with more than 63 percent attending a four-year college or university. Our teachers also know the importance of continuing their education, as 54.1 percent of the district’s certified staff hold a master’s degree or higher.