District News

VHS Students Sweep Video Contest

L to R: Karen Jones (Unity Point Health), Tory DeVries (VHS art teacher), Andrew Dickerson, Hanna Anderson, Tara Efobi, Cameron Cooper, Izzy Templeton, Joe Anderson, Jessica Lacroix (Unity Point Health)

L to R: Karen Jones (Unity Point Health), Tory DeVries (VHS art teacher), Andrew Dickerson, Hanna Anderson, Tara Efobi, Cameron Cooper, Izzy Templeton, Joe Anderson, Jessica Lacroix (Unity Point Health)

Students at Valley High School placed first, second and third in the UnityPoint Health Teen Video Challenge to create a 90-second public service announcement on distracted driving.

The team of senior Cameron Cooper, senior Tara Efobi and junior Hanna Anderson won the competition and will have the opportunity to work with UnityPoint marketing staff to re-shoot their video and create a billboard for the company’s new One Second campaign which will focus on distracted driving and how one second can change your life.

The video will appear on Unity Point’s website and social media as well as be used in training.

1st Place – Cameron Cooper, Tara Efobi and Hanna Anderson
2nd Place – Andrew Dickerson
3rd Place – Izzy Templeton, Alex Elmitt and Talia Torpy
Honorable Mention – Joe Anderson; Braze Nolin and Admir Djedovic

Nominate Someone for the Susan Asklof Award Today!

Who in the WDMCS has been your source of enthusiasm and inspiration for well-being? Let others know how special this person is by nominating them for the 2013-2014 Susan Asklof Enthusiasm Award.

Here’s how:

  • Fill out the Susan Asklof Award Nomination Form>> http://ow.ly/vfoG7
  • Complete the form and return it to Julie Lundy at the LRC by Friday, May 30.

Since the award’s inception in 1991, it has been a testament to all of the quality individuals who have blessed, influenced and encouraged students, families and colleagues in the West Des Moines School District. Please take the time to continue this tradition and nominate an individual in our district who deserves to be recognized.

Contact: Julie Lundy, WDMCS Community Education, 633-5006

Life in the WDMCS 5/19/14

Life in the WDMCS is a 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

The Valley Orchestra Guild will hold its annual Instrument Return/Rental Night on Tues., May 27 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Valley orchestra room. Students may re-evaluate, resize or re-rent their instruments. The cost to rent an instrument is $75 per year plus a $100 refundable deposit. If you have questions, please contact Michele Stevens at 710-4468.

West Des Moines School’s Nutrition Department will be providing free meals to children under the age of 18 this summer! Every day, a hot and cold lunch option is available as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, arrangements can be made to have infant formula, baby cereal and baby food available for children under the age of one if requested in advance. This summer, meals will be served at six different sites Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 8 and running every week until Friday, August 9. All sites will be closed Friday, July 4.

  • Crestview Elementary – Breakfast from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Hillside Elementary – Breakfast from 7;45-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Valley High School – Breakfast from 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Phenix Elementary – Lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • American Legion Park – Lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Rex Mathes School – Lunch from noon-12:30 p.m.

There are no income requirements or registration necessary. Any child under age 18 is welcome to come eat. For more information, contact the West Des Moines Community School’s Nutrition department at 515-633-5085 or check the West Des Moines School’s homepage for updates at www.wdmcs.org. Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations like West Des Moines Schools, to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. For more information about the national Summer Food Service Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer.

Clive Elementary

Once a month, kindergartners at Clive Elementary get together with their second grade reading buddies to read. The kindergarteners and second graders both love reading to their reading buddy, and the second graders are great reading role models to the younger students. Having the older children demonstrate their reading fluency and joy of reading is a great way to get the kindergarten students more interested in reading and advancing their reading skills. At the beginning of the year in the reading buddy program, the second graders start off doing all of the reading to their kindergarten buddy. As the year advances, and the kindergarteners become more proficient in reading, the second graders and kindergarteners will take turns reading to each other. We have also enjoyed the nice weather by reading outside in the grass, which the students greatly enjoy. The reading program is yet another way to teach the kids to love reading, and to show them just how fun reading can be.

Crestview Elementary

Twelve students represented Crestview Elementary at the district’s annual Spanish Quiz Bowl. This competition is for students who are not native Spanish speakers. Kids who are good at Spanish, work hard in class and demonstrate a good attitude were invited to go to the Spanish Quiz Bowl. These teams competed against teams from other schools around the district. The Crestview teams were fourth graders Benjamin Mann, Finn Nadel, Jasmyn Tran, Katie Stahl; fifth graders Payton Lombardi, Ericka Elston, Natalie Ulrich; and sixth graders Levi Butler, Nathaniel Thomas, Zerrick Gurley, Nate Willcockson. The sixth graders who are native Spanish speakers, work hard in class and have a good attitude were invited to help run the competition. Those students were Eric Paniagua and Stacey Sanchez.

Crestview Elementary will have Wellness Day on Friday, May 30. This day allows kids be involved in fun activities and also activities that help the students improve their health and well-being. Presenters include Hy-Vee Dieticians, Walnut Creek YMCA, Clive Fire and Police Departments, Clive Parks and Recreation, Zumba and many others. This is a fun and educational day for the students at Crestview. If you would like to volunteer to help, please email Mr. Amundson at amundsonc@wdmcs.org.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Staff and students at Fairmeadows are focusing on being people of good character. The staff at Fairmeadows chose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day. These students showed the staff they are responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair, caring and good citizens. Students received a special certificate, pencil, and have their picture taken for display. Students included for the month of May are: Taylor Harris, Isabelle Beargeon, Emma Foster- Kruger, Harlow Blaser, Casey Ross, Daltry Hughes, Aiden Maina, Valerie Medina, Maya Crncevic, Laiya Kha, Miranda Alba, Meadow White. Bryan Williams, Lily Johnson, Biahna Weigandt, Austin Allen, Dulce Macedo, Hayden Fenimore, Owen Frizzell, Nic VanArkel, Kaden Derry, Haley Auen, Neil Madigan, Tyler Anderson, Elliott Oleson, Ben Fess, Keeley Hill, Charile Givant, Logan Hodge, Emerson Drake, Will Rubach, Abby Whitson, Cam Lechtenberg, Diana Agirre, Mikelle Murdock, Aldin Odzakovic, Taylor Engleman, Liam Feeley, Laura Kipnusu, Samuel Hanson, Raelyn Acklin, Alex Broughton, Aubrie Dewes, Ethan Whitham, Sam Aung, Mary Deyva, Cream Ruangwet, Jonathan Rojas, Kassidy Grissom, Alex Ling, Kolbe Luinstra, Kaitlyn Miller, Aidan Drake, Dylan Majeres, Kayleigh Lewis and Josh Yencer. Congratulations!

Hillside Elementary

The district hosted its 31st Annual Math Bowl on May 8th at Indian Hills Jr. High. Each classroom teacher in grades 3-6 selected two students from their homeroom to participate in the event. Students are selected on their interest in math and math problem solving abilities. Marshall Jarnagin 6th grade and Kauai Cua 4th grade received a special award for placing in the TOP 10% in the district. The following students were selected to attend: William Adams, Faraja Mukome, Grant Gilmore, Cora Waterman, Ethan Joy, Shivam Sharma, Conner Franklin, Ty Betts, Kauai Cua, Olivia Stout, James Malcolm, Teghan Bennett, Taylor Coe, Ian Gaunt, Reagan Demmon, Henry Shires, Hannah Felsen, Maisy O’Hern, Mia Rand, Jake Reuss, Austin Jarnagin, Maya Williams, David Gaunt, Sayvion Hines, Avi Gedler, Caleb Crawford, Marshall Jarnagin, Clayton Adamson, Perla Reveles and Zak Fleischman.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Fifth grade students at Jordan Creek Elementary visited the Iowa State Capitol Building and the State Historical Building as a component of their social studies units. Students have studied the government systems and U.S. history throughout the year. While in the Capitol building, the students took guided tours and were able to sit in the court room, the representative and senate houses, climb to the top of the dome, and visit the library. Students were also met by Representative Trimble, who had previously visited the students in their school. Fifth graders also visited the Historical building and were able to make connections to the units they have studied throughout the year. Students saw Conestoga wagons, Civil War displays, a woolly mammoth, different regions in nature, as well as other displays. These fifth graders are finishing their U.S. history study as they year winds down. They are completing a pioneer simulation in social studies. Science units have them creating a project about the changing earth. They will be studying rocks and minerals as their last topic. Learning about pre-algebra concepts, measuring the area of circles, and determining volume of 3-D figures includes some of the math topics they are working on. They will be starting end of the year assessments soon. Students are also competing reading units, performing Reader’s Theatre plays, reading and writing poetry, and competing biographies. Art sketchbooks are also being completed as well as fitness testing. Students in class 5A recently said good bye to their student teacher and 5B had a Drake practicum teacher that finished her work with the students as well. Fifth grade band students toured and presented concerts at Jordan Creek, Westridge, and for their parents. They were also able to eat lunch at the mall after their performances.

Valley Southwoods

Valley Southwoods held its annual Tiger of the Month Recognition Breakfast to honor students who had been selected as a Tiger of the Month throughout the school year. VSW teachers and administrators collaborate to choose a candidate who contributes to VSW in a positive way each month. Students are selected for exhibiting a positive attitude towards learning; taking pride in their school work; being compassionate, cooperative, encouraging and inclusive of others; and making responsible choices. Students honored at the breakfast were Heather    Stout, Jordan Aguirre, Grace Worlie, Cassidy Potter, Hanna Bush, Osman Smajlovic, Aidan Morrow, Anna Crawford, Megan Maly, Carlos Perez, Jackson Gallentine, Hallie Lawyer, Samuel Galligan, Evan Westman, Jessica Studer, Shamicka Delerme, Emily Veatch, Cayden Codel, Cole Hahn, LaKendra Punteney, Sarah Friesth, Samuel Cox, Caleb Fox, Kaycie Tilton, Parker Jensen, Alyssa Danley, Hunter Schueler, Hannah Fuller, Alanna Maxwell, Quinton Curry, Anna Peterzalek, Ryan Hill, Kamden Lee, John Mahoney, Christopher Loyd, Kate Jaros, Abigail Kigin, Max Edmondson, Alyssa McKinney, Leila Hagan, Alexandra French, Grace Blazevich, Luke Bonner, Kade Kuehl, Ally de la Rosa, Julius Cooper, Jacob Bedia, Logan Maxwell, Brendan Roe, Sam Maudsley, Chase Stahl, Sonia Moorjani and Rachel Greene.

Valley High School

Valley High School doubled its donations from the previous year at the student council’s annual blood drive. Students and staff donated 107 pints of blood, saving 307 lives. Of the 156 individuals who signed up to donate, 123 were first time donors.

Valley senior Kyra Cooper was selected to receive a 2014-15 NSLI Youth Scholarship to study Arabic abroud in the summer of 2014. Her program will take place in Muscat, Oman, through the America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. The program emphasizes rapid language acquisition in a language immersion environment by combining in-class language instruction, a comprehensive cultural program and homestays. The NSLI Youth Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Government through the Bureau of Educatinoal and Cultural Affairs.

 

Congratulations, Graduates!

The West Des Moines Community Schools is proud to announce that 699 students will be graduating from the district this year.

Valley High School will be graduating 619 seniors, plus eight Certificates of Attendance (foreign exchange students), while 72 students will be graduating from Walnut Creek Campus.

Walnut Creek Campus Commencement
Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Rd., WDM)

Valley High School Commencement
Sunday, May 25 at 1 p.m.
Drake Knapp Center (2601 Forest Ave., DM)

U.S. News and World Report Ranks Valley as Best in Metro

vsw-studyingValley High School has received the highest ranking in the metro area of the best high schools by U.S. News and World Report. Valley ranks seventh in the state, ahead of Johnston, which was ranked eighth and is the only other metro school in the top 10. Cedar Rapids Kennedy was ranked first.

The 2014 U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools rankings are based on data collected from more than 19,000 public U.S. high schools from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The rankings are designed to capture how well high schools educate all of their students and prepare them for college-level work.

Schools are evaluated based on overall student performance on state assessments, Advanced Placement tests and International Baccalaureate exams. The ranking also takes into account how well schools educate black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

According to the website, “Students [at Valley] have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement course work and exams. The AP participation rate at Valley is 38 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 22 percent.”

The rankings methodology is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

 

Life in the WDMCS 5/12/14

Life in the WDMCS is a 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

The district 31st Annual Math Bowl included 209 participants from grades 3-6 representing all of the district’s elementary schools. Students scoring in the top 10 percent of their grade level were third graders Shreya Joshi (JC), Katelyn Coons (CL), Brenna Gion (WR), Lily Nelson (CL) and Cale Ortner (CL); fourth graders Abhushan Pradhan (WH), Oscar Andersen (WR), Noemie Dhont (CR) and Kauai Cua (HD); fifth graders Cael Elmore (CV), Drew Hedrick (WH), Shandhan Sureshbabu (JC), Asmi Patel (JC) and Jared Chmelka (WR); and sixth graders Animesh Joshi (JC), Sarah Montgomery (WR), Marshall Jarnagin (HD), Andrew Suh (WR) and Adam Wince (WH).

Crestview Elementary

On Tuesday, May 27, Crestview with be holding an event in memory of first grader Camryn Storbeck. Special guests will be onsite including Children’s Cancer Connection, Clive Fire Department and Clive Police Department.  LifeServe will be onsite for a blood drive; call (515)633-5704 to set up an appointment.  Walk-ins are welcome!  Windsor Heights Hy-Vee will be selling a meal beginning at 4 p.m. for $5.  The meal includes your choice of hot dog, brat or hamburger/cheeseburger with chips and drink.  There will also be a No Sale Garage Sale with various items available to families including clothing (infant-adult), toys and household items.  Please join us for this event!

Crossroads Park Elementary

Music is so important to Crossroads Park third and fourth graders, that Music Matters was the theme of their recent concert.  This creative theme told the story of two students new to Crossroads Park who didn’t have music in their previous schools. Students sang songs to show these new students how important music is and how one can learn things through music.  For example, songs included lyrics about how math is used, how music can reinforce social studies (songs about the President and the 50 states), science (recycling), learning new languages, social skills (gratitude) and  PE (how music can get your body moving). Fourth graders also presented their recorder playing skills. Ever student had a job other than singing as well.  Some students were speakers, instrument players, sign holders, choreographers or dancers.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Second grade students at Fairmeadows made some memorable outdoor experiences by going to Jester Park and exploring some of Iowa’s best habitats like the woodland, prairie, and pond. Students were able to compare and contrast habitats/animals in these different settings and meet with knowledgeable naturalists during their educational field trip.

Hillside Elementary

Hillside Elementary students and staff used the Lorax theme by Dr. Seuss to celebrate Earth Day.  Upper grades found time to meet with their “buddy classrooms” (lower grades) to show support for environmental protection.  Most classes had their students watch “The Lorax” eBook followed by an activity to demonstrate an understanding of environmental protection.

The kindergarten classes at Hillside are planning several end-of-the-year events, including a field trip to the Blank Park Zoo and a picnic at Legion Park.  The classes will be walking to the park at 4th and Vine together. It will be a time to relax, play on the equipment, and enjoy games together over the lunch hour. Parents are asked to provide a sack lunch for their child. Kindergartners and their sixth grade Tiger Pals will meet one last time to make kites, decorate sidewalks with end-of-the-year messages, and enjoy ice cream treats.  This will culminate a year of monthly activities where students cooperated on various projects.

Jordan Creek Elementary

The 6th graders at Jordan Creek Elementary went to Engeldinger Marsh and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt on May 2.  Students walked through a marsh and went canoeing.  They also fished for aquatic life, where students found frogs, snails and even crayfish!  Students also had a scavenger hunt around Chichaqua, where they looked for animal tracks, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and more.  Some students even found snakes!  One final activity students participated in was service learning that involved tough work and trees.  Students cut down willow trees that are an invasive species in the marsh.  A lot of sixth graders said this was their favorite field trip at Jordan Creek and definitely recommend checking out these Polk County parks! – Written by Jordan Creek sixth graders rooke Boddicker and Lily Overstreet

The   Jordan Creek Kids Care Club met for its final meeting of the year, celebrating with breakfast and then recapping all the ways the Kids Care Club helped to put good Character into action all year.  Principal Graham Jones and Assistant Principal Brian Vaughan were guest speakers, sharing the importance of serving others and challenged each of our Kids Care members to continue to find ways to serve others in their daily lives going forward. Mr. Jones and Mr. Vaughan handed out Principal’s Award certificates to each Kids Care Club member as a way of recognizing all the efforts they have put forth this year on behalf of our school. Thank you to all the parent volunteers who helped out throughout the year, and a very special thank you to Melinda Dunnwald for all her help behind the scenes to organize each month’s meeting’s guest speaker, talking points and service project for the club to complete. Also, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Kids Care Club members helped to make and hang all the “Our Teachers Are Super Heroes” signs and banners around the front entryway of the school. They also signed an appreciation card and put it in the staff lounge with the breakfast provided by the PFC.

Congratulations to Andy Waters, Veda Amalkar and Animesh Johi for their winning entries in the Jordan Creek Science Fair. Students had eight weeks to research, gather materials, collect data, prepare a display and write a presentation. They were judged on neatness of display, use of graphics and use of artifacts. Students with an investigation project were also judged on their verbal presentation for stating a problem, background research, hypothesis, procedure, results and conclusion. Students with an invention project were judged on their use of problem, research, materials, demonstration and conclusion in their verbal presentation.

Phenix Elementary

Phenix third graders took their annual SCUBA diving field trip.  SCUBA instructor Steve Kitchen from Leyden’s Dive Shop put together a group of volunteer divers.  They helped each child try SCUBA at the Valley High School pool.  This is an experience that connects with their study of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.  Each child was able to put on a tank, regulator and swim around the pool with a certified diver.  It was an experience they won’t soon forget!

2015-16 Approved Calendar

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education has approved the 2015-16 school year calendar with a start date of August 12, 2015.

The Board approved the calendar after a public hearing was held on May 12, 2014.

 

2015-16 Calendar Recommendation

  • First Student Day: Wednesday, Aug. 12
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25-27
  • Semester 1 Ends: Tuesday, Dec. 22 (90-Day Semester)
  • Winter Break:  December 23-January 3
  • No School For Students (Staff Flex Days): November 25 & March 11
  • No School For Students (Staff Work Days): September 21, January 4, February 26, April 29
  • Spring Break: March 14-18
  • Last Student Day: Friday, May 20 (90-Day Semester)

Full 2015-16 Calendar – Approved

 

Please note these key features of the proposed calendar:

  • The August 12 start date accommodates all that the district wants to accomplish within the parameters of The Code of Iowa, The Iowa Administrative Code, the teacher and support staff contractual agreements and the feedback from parents and staff.
  • The November 25 and March 11 flex days are again part of the calendar. There is no school for students and staff because certified staff held parent-teacher conferences after contract hours.
  • Winter break is eight (8) school days.  Students return Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
  • There is no school for students and staff Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Spring break is five (5) school days.
  • September 21, January 4, February 26, and April 29 are designated as teacher professional development days. No school for students.
  • Certified staff finish the school year before university summer courses begin.
  • The calendar is based on instructional hours.
  • The first semester ends at winter break, with each semester being equal in number.
  • The proposed calendar maintains the Wednesday collaboration schedule for school staff, which is key for utilizing teacher leaders and implementing professional learning communities district-wide.

The proposed 2015-16 school calendar was developed through the work of a district calendar committee, which includes parents and teachers representing each school attendance center in the district. The calendar was reviewed by superintendent advisory committees, the Superintendent’s Leadership Cadre, and the Superintendency.

In developing the proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year, the committee considered information from: The Code of Iowa; The Iowa Administrative Code; teacher and support staff contractual agreements; student, parent and staff surveys; metro schools’ proposed calendars; district historical data; and religious and national holidays.

 

2013-14 & 2014-15 Calendars

Please see the links below for the Board-approved 2013-14 and 2014-15 school year calendars.

2013-14 Calendar

2014-15 Calendar

Public Hearing on 2015-16 Calendar

MicrophoneWPeopleThe West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 12, 2014 on the 2015-16 school calendar.

The 2015-16 school calendar public hearing:

  • is the time and place when interested individuals can express their views, both orally and in writing, on the proposed 2015-16 school year calendar.
  • will be held during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.
  • will be held at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines

After the public hearing, the School Board will have the opportunity during its meeting to take action on the proposed calendar.

 

2015-16 Calendar Recommendation

  • First Student Day: Wednesday, Aug. 12
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25-27
  • Semester 1 Ends: Tuesday, Dec. 22 (90-Day Semester)
  • Winter Break:  December 23-January 3
  • No School For Students (Staff Flex Days): November 25 & March 11
  • No School For Students (Staff Work Days): September 21, January 4, February 26, April 29
  • Spring Break: March 14-18
  • Last Student Day: Friday, May 20 (90-Day Semester)

Full 2015-16 Calendar – Proposed

 

Please note these key features of the proposed calendar:

  • The August 12 start date accommodates all that the district wants to accomplish within the parameters of The Code of Iowa, The Iowa Administrative Code, the teacher and support staff contractual agreements and the feedback from parents and staff.
  • The November 25 and March 11 flex days are again part of the calendar. There is no school for students and staff because certified staff held parent-teacher conferences after contract hours.
  • Winter break is eight (8) school days.  Students return Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
  • There is no school for students and staff Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Spring break is five (5) school days.
  • September 21, January 4, February 26, and April 29 are designated as teacher professional development days. No school for students.
  • Certified staff finish the school year before university summer courses begin.
  • The calendar is based on instructional hours.
  • The first semester ends at winter break, with each semester being equal in number.
  • The proposed calendar maintains the Wednesday collaboration schedule for school staff, which is key for utilizing teacher leaders and implementing professional learning communities district-wide.

The proposed 2015-16 school calendar was developed through the work of a district calendar committee, which includes parents and teachers representing each school attendance center in the district. The calendar was reviewed by superintendent advisory committees, the Superintendent’s Leadership Cadre, and the Superintendency.

In developing the proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year, the committee considered information from: The Code of Iowa; The Iowa Administrative Code; teacher and support staff contractual agreements; student, parent and staff surveys; metro schools’ proposed calendars; district historical data; and religious and national holidays.

 

2013-14 & 2014-15 Calendars

Please see the links below for the Board-approved 2013-14 and 2014-15 school year calendars.

2013-14 Calendar

2014-15 Calendar

Community Celebrates WDMCS Teachers and Staff

For more than 30 years, the community-based, all-volunteer Staff Recognition Committee has organized a celebration to honor the West Des Moines Community School District retirees and staff with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service. The event is supported fully by fundraising efforts on behalf of the community-based committee. This event is not funded through taxpayer dollars.

Thank you to the 2014 committee members for all of your efforts - Stephanie Burnett, Tammy Cline, Amy Kuennen, Christa Kuennen, Teresa McLaughlin, Karla Simon and Joan Skoog.

This year, a record number of more than 160 teachers and staff will be honored at a reception on Thursday, May 8. View the event program or see the list below of teachers and staff being recognized in 2014:

Clive Elementary

  • Dennis Barton, 35 years & Retiree
  • Diane Darling, 25 years & Retiree
  • Dawn Dillivan, 15 years
  • Brenda Kirschman, 20 years
  • Connie Johnson, 15 years

 

Community Education

  • Maria Arthur, 20 years
  • William Bloom, 20 years
  • Gerald Cernohous, 35 years
  • Judith Cernohous, 35 years
  • Linda Hamm, 15 years
  • Rosalie Rollins, 20 years
  • Jim Wallace, Retiree

 

Crestview Elementary  

  • Beverly Bauder, Retiree
  • Julie Cairo, Retiree
  • Tamera Dann, 15 years
  • Ruth Dorr, 15 years
  • Kristine Miller, 15 years
  • Robin Nelson, 25 years

 

Crossroads Park Elementary

  • Bonnie Brockberg, 30 years
  • Sylvia Flores, Retiree, also at Western Hills
  • Molly Hoger, Retiree
  • Jacqueline Shaffer, 15 years
  • Lisa Tasler, 15 years
  • Vicki Wright, Retiree, also at Fairmeadows

 

Fairmeadows Elementary

  • Carrie Boik, 15 years
  • Dianne Davis, Retiree
  • Kim Gansemer, 25 years
  • Karen Klinge, 15 years
  • Rhonda Koerselman, 25 years
  • Amanda Oleson, 15 years
  • Kelly Sherrick, 15 years
  • Karen Wolcott, 25 years

 

Hillside Elementary

  • Pamela Ballard, 15 years
  • John Bixler, 20 years
  • Michelle Dirks, 15 years
  • Holly Gilmore, 15 years
  • Jeri Havener, Retiree
  • Jean Hoifeldt, Retiree
  • Holly Killam, 25 years
  • Linda Lantz, Retiree
  • Linda Lemke, 25 years
  • Lori Logan, 15 years
  • Candice McMains, 40 years & Retiree

 

Indian Hills Jr High

  • Nicholas Bogue, 20 years
  • Jennifer Flaugh, 15 years
  • Pamela Grant, 15 years & Retiree
  • Geoffrey Grubb, 25 years
  • Kathy Jacobson, 15 years
  • David Newendorp, 30 years
  • Jasmeen Overlin, 20 years
  • Steven Pond, 15 years

 

Learning Resource Center

  • Marilyn Coleman, Retiree
  • Betty Cox, Retiree
  • Lori Diebel, Retiree
  • Kristine Gardner, 20 years
  • Beth Hanna, Retiree
  • Rebecca Harless, 15 years
  • Tami Prescott, 25 years

 

Jordan Creek Elementary

  • Elizabeth Basile, 15 years
  • Janice Bergman, 25 years
  • Bethany Brant, 15 years
  • Judy Card, 15 years
  • Gail DeZorzi, 30 years
  • Jennifer Harper-Mendenhall, 15 years
  • Susan Healy, 20 years
  • Theresa Klein, 20 years
  • Julie Martinez, 15 years
  • Jennifer McLaughlin, 25 years
  • Catherine Moratz, 15 years
  • Andrea Peters, 15 years
  • Kristy Skoglund, 20 years
  • Barbara Tigges, 20 years
  • Jeffrey Verhelst, 15 years

 

Phenix Elementary

  • Emma Hines, 25 years
  • Patty Konecny, 30 years & Retiree

 

Operations, Nutrition and Transportation

  • Daryl Bailey, Retiree
  • Betty Beveridge, Retiree
  • Tom Beveridge, Retiree
  • Marlene Bright, Retiree
  • Tim Cavan, Retiree
  • John Cerretti, Retiree
  • Paul Clark, Retiree
  • James Clearman, 15 years
  • Darrell Cochran, Jr., 15 years
  • Will Doumas, Retiree
  • Jonita Fisher, 30 years
  • Richard Gipe, Retiree
  • Ed Jones, Retiree
  • Cynthia Kilker, 25 years & Retiree
  • Mark Marco, 25 years & Retiree
  • Julie McFarland, Retiree
  • Mark McKechnie, 15 years
  • Brenda Moorehead, 15 years
  • Jerry Nichols, Retiree
  • James Raker, 15 years & Retiree
  • Jeffrey Robbins, 25 years & Retiree
  • Melody Salazar, 25 years
  • Michael Sheeder, 15 years
  • Beth Steiger, Retiree
  • Donna Stevens, 20 years
  • Madonna Wallace, Retiree
  • Wayne Welsh, 25 years
  • Karen Wiesemann, Retiree
  • Kenneth Spetman, 15 years

 

Stilwell Jr High

  • Larry Beals, Retiree
  • Eric Boyle, 15 years
  • Craig Herr, Retiree
  • Dale Herzberg, Retiree
  • Pam Herzberg, Retiree
  • V. Patrice Kraus, 35 years & Retiree
  • Judy Lisle, Retiree
  • Joy Macy, 30 years
  • Cheryl McConnell, 40 years
  • Timothy Miller, 15 years
  • Nancy Morgan, Retiree
  • Meg Smith, Retiree
  • Mary St. Cyr, Retiree
  • Kathleen Talbot, 30 years & Retiree
  • Marilee Westergaard, Retiree

 

Valley High School

  • Tom Bakey, 20 years
  • Linda Bergeson, 15 years & Retiree
  • Wanda Borger, 15 years
  • Margaret Christiansen, 25 years
  • Krista Cooley, 15 years
  • Vicki Gallagher, Retiree
  • Robert Hardin, 35 years
  • Janice Hartz, Retiree
  • Heather Hope, 15 years
  • Kimberly Knight, 15 years
  • Larry Mandernach, 15 years
  • Karen Mendenhall, 25 years
  • Kristine Milburn, 15 years
  • Alan Muenzenmay, 20 years
  • Thomas Murphy, 25 years
  • Kevin Neal, 15 years
  • Linda Osborne, Retiree
  • Randy Ripperger, Retiree
  • Nathan Speichinger, 15 years
  • Gary Swenson, Retiree
  • Diane Vanwyk, 25 years
  • J. Travis Young, 20 years

 

Valley Southwoods Freshman High School

  • Elizabeth Baum-Ferree, Retiree
  • Kim Dilky, Retiree
  • Doug Garringer, 20 years & Retiree
  • Jill George, 20 years
  • Lisa Sobotka, 20 years
  • Carmen Wade, Retiree
  • Leyria Walters, Retiree
  • Kathleen Wunder, Retiree

 

Walnut Creek Campus 

  • Staci Koenig, 15 years
  • Catherine Nicolella, 15 years

 

Western Hills Elementary

  • Kathy Bullis, Retiree
  • Sharon Gibson, 20 years
  • Ann Quinn, 15 years
  • Karen Schneider, 15 years
  • Karla Snodgrass, 25 years
  • Felicia Twit, 20 years

 

Westridge Elementary

  • Patricia Dornacker, 15 years
  • Nancy Hartsock, 20 years
  • Julie Kaufman, 20 years
  • Jane Knudtson, 15 years
  • Sandra Newell, 15 years

 

 

Life in the WDMCS 5/5/14

Life in the WDMCS is a 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.

Clive Elementary

Sixth graders in the WDMCS study Optics as a part of their science curriculum.  One activity of the unit is the dissection of a cow’s eye. Each sixth grader at Clive Elementary gets to dissect an eye to locate the major parts: cornea, pupil, iris, retina, optic nerve, optic disk and sclera.  The cow also has tapetum that gives many animals night vision.  Some students were somewhat apprehensive about this activity, but once they started the process, all were able to successfully dissect their cow’s eye and identify the parts studied.  For some students, this was “the best science day ever!”

Crestview Elementary

Crestview Gives Back, a blood drive in memory of first grader Camryn Storbeck, will be held in the school’s art room on May 27 from 1-6 p.m. Camryn was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in 2010, and in her fight, had been through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, a stem cell transplant and radiation treatments. She had received blood and/or platelets every 7-10 days towards the end of her battle. In memory of Camryn and to help those in need of blood transfusions, please sign up to donate at Crestview Gives Back by visiting www.lifeservebloodcoenter.org or calling Bridget Jacobson at 633-5704.

Fourth grade orchestra students are coming to the conclusion of their beginning strings experience. For their final performance of the school year, the beginning strings will perform the musical “At The Ball Game” by Curtis Barr. During the story, all of the musical selections are threaded together through a story narrated this year by Milton Cole, who serves as board member for WDMCS. In the story, twin siblings are treated to a ball game and discover that “if we keep trying, we really can do most anything.” Fourth grade students learn and perform benchmark pieces, “Ode to Joy” (theme from the final movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony), “Can Can” (from the opera Orpheus in the Underworld) and “Allegro” by Shiniki Suzuki, perhaps one of the most renown string teachers in history. In addition to benchmark pieces, students will perform a variety of additional musical selections including “Happy Birthday,” “Old Mac Donald,” “Mission Impossible” which are also integrated into the story as well as sound effects which are fun to play – but actually used to introduce advanced string techniques. We are looking forward to an energetic conclusion to the first year for our beginning string students as they work together to share their accomplishments and the joy of the music!

The Annual 5th Grade Festival was held recently for all orchestra students in the WMDCS. A new piece was commissioned for the occasion and the composer, Brian Balmages, was the conductor in residence for the festival. Students performed perennial favorites “Star Spangled Banner,” “Pachelbel Canon” and “Dragon Hunter” as well as the world premiere of “Velocity” byguest composer/conductor, Brian Balmages.

Fairmeadows Elementary

This year’s District Challenge of the Book event was held April 24  at Jordan Creek Elementary.  Seventeen teams competed in the event and included 137 students from Clive, Crestview, Fairmeadows, Jordan Creek and Western Hills Elementary. The emcee for the event was Betsy Richter, children’s librarian from the WDM Public Library.  Judges for the event were Morgan Miller and Kristy Skoglund, media specialists at Clive, Fairmeadows and Jordan Creek; and Dr. Nancy Moorhead and Beth Thornton, principals at Fairmeadows and Western Hills. After three nail-biting tie-breaking questions Fairmeadows won the final challenge question.

Hillside Elementary

Hillside Elementary had 12 students from fourth, fifth and sixth grade compete at the district’s annual Spanish Quiz Bowl. Alan Lopez, Dany Ponce and Julio Sanchez, sixth grade native Spanish-speakers from Hillside, also helped lead the games. Quiz Bowl participants included Connor Franklin, Emma Linder, Norah Malfara, Ben Ahlrichs, Shayla McMains, Ziona Foley, Bobby Cobine, Henry Shires, Marshall Jarnagin, Jacob Hunt, Dylan Valadez and Brittany Farwell.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Jordan Creek first graders joined together to sing for their families and guests in a Musical Informance on April 29. Music teacher Traci Klein led them in sharing many of the activities and songs they have enjoyed learning and singing throughout this school year.

Western Hills Elementary

As the year winds down, fourth graders at Western Hills haven’t slowed down a bit. In science, they are wrapping up a unit on the human body.  The students have learned all the important bones in the body, and how each of the body systems works.  To explore a little bit more on bones, students dissected owl pellets.  By looking at the bones that were in the pellets, the kids were able to identify what the owl had eaten. In reading, the classes have just celebrated a couple of their favorite readers theatre’s throughout the year.  Parents and relatives were invited to see the performance.  Students made props and created their own actions while demonstrating their fluency skills.

For PBIS, Western Hills is working hard on earning 5,000 tickets to earn a movie party.  To do this, each individual class has a goal that their class feels they need to work on (for example: to be kind).  Throughout the day, the teachers will put tickets in their class bucket every time they see someone demonstrating the class goal.  Those tickets will go towards the buildings goal of 5,000 tickets!  The kids are really excited about this, and are motivated to show how safe, responsible, and respectful they can be!

Westridge Elementary

Westridge fifth and sixth grade ELP students painted the US map on the school playground. Last spring the then fifth graders presented a proposal to the PTA for funding for the project.  They researched the cost of the stencil, chose and priced the paint and supplies, and convinced the PTA that it was a worthy project. Those students plus the current fifth grade ELP students, their parents and three Westridge ELP alums working on Silver Cord spend about three hours painting the map.

Walnut Creek Campus

Walnut Creek Campus students are hosting a plant sale on May 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to benefit the Walnut Creek Food Pantry and further the school’s vegetable garden project. It will be held at Walnut Creek Campus (1020 8th street, WDM) rain or shine. A project based learning group of 12 students have been working on the project, seeding and growing the plants to be sold. The plant sale is also aimed at promote gardening in West Des Moines. Plants will not be priced; instead there will be suggested donation to help the cause.d Pantry and further the school’s vegetable garden project. plants for sale will include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, winter squash, peas, cucumbers, broccoli and herbs.