Life in the WDMCS is a new weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

District
It’s not often that a debate team closes out the final round of a debate tournament. In order to accomplish that, a team has to advance the top two competitors all the way to the conclusion of the tournament. But Valley novice Lincoln-Douglas debaters accomplished just that at the UNI and Waterloo East tournaments. Not content with that accomplishment, the novice Lincoln-Douglas debaters closed out the semifinal round at DM Roosevelt. The top four debaters were freshman Emily Mann, Western Hills sixth grader Conal Thomas-McGinnis and Indian Hills eighth graders TJ Foley and Trent Gilbert. 

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek students will be celebrating Character Counts Week, Anti-Bullying Week and Red Ribbon Week this week at school. There are special themes each day. Monday’s theme was, “I will be caring to take a stand, lend a hand and help stop bullying!” All students and staff received a Take a Stand! Lend a Hand! Stop Bullying! bookmark. Students and staff were asked to make a pledge to help stop bullying by signing an all-school stop bullying banner. Kindergarten through sixth grade students participated in an all school Rock-in-Prevention Anti-Bullying assembly. They listened to short lecture components, participated in experiential exercises and sang and danced to songs all directed at anti-bullying issues and how to create a caring community. CD’s with anti-bullying songs, and follow-up anti-bullying family activities were sent home. Tuesday’s theme is, I will use my thinking cap to be responsible to say no to drugs! All students and staff wore their favorite hat to school and received red ribbons to wear. Classes tied red ribbons around a pole or tree at school to show we are being responsible by saying no to drugs. Wednesday’s theme is, I won’t slip up! I will be fair by socking it to drugs and bullying! All students and staff can wear pajamas, slippers and fun socks to school to show they are fair in saying no to drugs and bullying behaviors. Thursday’s theme is, I respect my body. I will run away from drugs and bullies! All students/staff can wear exercise or running clothes to show they respect their bodies and will keep them safe by running away from drugs and bullies, and will get help from an adult if they, or someone they know, is getting bullied. Friday’s theme is, I will be trustworthy in teaming up against drugs and bullies! All students and staff have been invited to wear their favorite team shirt or colors to show they are being trustworthy to team up together to take a stand against bullies, and will team up to always say no to drugs.

Phenix Elementary
Phenix Elementary, the Healthiest School in Iowa, began its Wellness Wednesday program October 10.  Each Wednesday, all Phenix students and staff start off the morning gathered together in the gym.  They exercise, have guest speakers and celebrate successes.  Wellness Wednesday is just one of the many programs at Phenix Elementary used to teach and promote a healthy life style.  A healthy life is a happy life.

Stilwell Junior High
Students on team T at Stilwell took their annual field trip to Wesley Woods, enjoying activities throughout the day that focused on things like character building, working within a group, and trustworthiness. The day allowed for students to work together on a variety of events like a low ropes course, challenge games and even a scavenger hunt. A special thanks to those parent volunteers who helped with the this very special day.

Valley Southwoods
Valley Southwoods’ debate students had a great showing at the DM Roosevelt tournament. Sean Hilzendeger and his partner, VHS sophomore Nolan Dahm, placed fifth in novice policy debate. In novice Lincoln-Douglas, Emily Mann helped to close out the semifinals of the division. David Ewing also advanced to the elimination round.

Valley High School
Get a jump on your holiday shopping! The Valley Voices Booster Club is hosting a Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Store Prop Sale! You’ll find hundreds of unique items, including Halloween and Christmas decor, gifts, bake ware, scrapbooking tools, home accents and more — all for 50-75 percent off retail. The Holiday Store will be open in the Valley High School Cafeteria Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, October 28 from noon – 5 p.m. A percentage of all profits will go to benefit the Valley and Valley Southwoods vocal music programs.

Congratulations to the following students who were named to the all-state orchestra: violinists Tricia Shi, Ben Wade, Alex Zhou, Alan Rongkavilit, Daniel Marcus, Conner Dickson, Hannah Willard and Laura Carther; violists Claudia Malchow, Leah Thompson and Danny Miller; cellist David Duvall; bassist David Merriman; viola alternate Lexi Brennan.

Congratulations to the following students who were named to the all-state band: Derek Yu on oboe; Taylor Altemeier and Bryce Sederburg on clarinet; Brooke Beatty on bass clarinet; Keegan Hockett on bassoon; David Nicholson on alto saxophone; Todd Johnson on bari saxophone; Ryan Garmoe on trumpet; Matt Johnson on trombone; Alec Garringer on tuba; Lauren Johnson on bass; Elsa Klein on harp. Alternates were Joe Peterson, Jared Lancaster, and Stephanie Hansen.

Congratulations to the following students who were named to the all-state choir: Chloe Goodman, Casey Johnson, Noah Reddig, Sam Cacciatore, Abby Hudson, Joel Snyder, Tommy Lau, Emily Swallow, Broc Everett, Dylan DeClerck, Zach Lepperd, Jessica Martens, Michael Keay, Emma Stier, Emma Lind, Will Ward, Mary Hudson, Becca Finkelshteyn, Connor Wang and Kellen Schneider.

Clive Elementary
First graders at Clive Elementary have been studying insects over the past couple of weeks.  They have learned many things including the characteristics of insects, the life cycle of a butterfly and how insects and humans are alike and different.  During this unit, the students learned that insects have three body parts: the head, thorax and abdomen.  They also learned that they have six legs and two antennae.  One of the most exciting parts of this unit was watching our real, live caterpillars form chrysalises and come out as butterflies.  It was a great learning experience to watch the life cycle happen!

Hillside Elementary
The adventure to Hope for Hillside students has made for another adventure in physical education and recess times.  A walking/jogging program called Hillside Hikers began as the school year started as a way to keep kids active at recess.  Students at recess and throughout the day can go walking or jogging to earn hiker coupons.  Each grade level is in a friendly competition to see which grade level can hike the farthest before our return to Hillside!  Teachers can use the coupons to work math and geography problems, as each coupon is worth one tenth of a mile.  At this time the fourth grade classes are in first place with over 150 miles hiked since school started.  The biggest benefit  of the program is kids moving!