Skip to content
School News

Archive for School: Valley High School

Valley Administrator David Maxwell Named 2017 Citizen of the Year

David MaxwellValley High School Associate Principal David Maxwell was named a 2017 Citizen of Year by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Maxwell was selected alongside West Des Moines citizen and former Valley High School parent Mark Hillenbrand for facilitating community discussions about equity, diversity, and multiculturalism in West Des Moines.

Maxwell has been an associate principal at Valley High School since 2005. He was previously a language arts teacher at Lincoln High School and the dean of students at Hoover High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Iowa State University.

Maxwell will be honored as a West Des Moines Citizen of the Year at a special reception from 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, at the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the reception, please contact the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce at 515-225-6009.

School:

Valley Students Named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar, Semifinalist

Valley High School senior Gabriel Mintzer has been named one of 161 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars. Mintzer was selected from a pool of 722 semifinalists by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, and is one of only two 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars from Iowa.

Senior headshot photo of Gabriel Mintzer.Mintzer is invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program, which culminates in the presentation of the Presidential Scholar Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors graduating high school seniors can receive. Scholars are selected based on academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated a commitment to high ideals.

Valley High School senior Cayden Codel was also selected as a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program from more than 5,100 candidates.

Mintzer, son of Michael Mintzer and Alla Mintzer-Zaprudsky of West Des Moines, is the co-founder and co-director of the Des Moines Student-to-Student Speaker Series, which provides students with monthly lectures given by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) professionals. Mintzer is a member of the Valley High School science and knowledge bowl teams and the Central Academy mathematics team. He is also a member of the Valley High School National Honor Society chapter and the chapter treasurer.

Senior headshot photo of Cayden Codel.Codel, son of Franklin and Tracy Codel of West Des Moines, is a member of the Valley High School knowledge bowl, mock trial and swim teams. He is also a member of Valley’s National Honor Society chapter and is head of the chapter’s student tutoring committee. He is a member of the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge Team and has worked as a summer junior counselor at the Science Center of Iowa. Codel also earned placement in the Valley High School show choir, Iowa Opus Honor Choir and Iowa All-State Orchestra, and he participates in the Plymouth Congregational Church Youth Choir.

Congratulations to both of these students!

School:

Valley Senior T.J. Foley’s Nonprofit Fills Global Gaps

T.J. Foley's senior headshot.Like many high school seniors, Valley High School student T.J. Foley is getting ready to graduate. Unlike most, he will graduate with experience as the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization, The Globus Project. Thanks in part to his work with The Globus Project, Foley has been awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship by The Bryan Cameron Education Foundation: one of the largest standalone academic scholarships ever received by a Valley student.

Despite all evidence, Foley insists he is an average teenager.

“There’s nothing extraordinary about me,” he said. “I just had an opportunity and did my best to take advantage of it.”

That opportunity came when representatives from Central and South America visited the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC) in October 2015. SIYAC is a policy advising organization of young adults from across the state. Foley was the council’s executive chair at the time. A representative for Guillermo Gallegos, president of the El Salvadoran Legislature, approached Foley to write a proposal calling for a similar youth council in El Salvador.

Three people hold up Foley's plan after presenting it to El Salvador's legislature in November 2015.

Foley’s plan is presented to El Salvador’s legislature.

The proposal was presented to the legislature in November 2015 but just started progressing in January 2017. With the familiarity of a politician three times his age, Foley acknowledged that everything in politics takes its own time, and he is willing to wait for the support he needs.

“One person doing something—no matter how grand—won’t be able to be successful if people don’t get involved and follow it,” he said.

Foley formally started The Globus Project with a friend from SIYAC in fall 2016, making it his capstone project at Valley High School. Always interested in politics and history, Foley’s focus on international connections was fostered by his ninth-grade social studies class at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.

Foley now works with contacts in countries including Cuba, Taiwan, and Kosovo. He hopes to travel to Cuba to help start a community garden he proposed, which is still seeking funding. He even has a world map on his wall, covered by sticky notes marking connections and potential target areas.

“In a world increasingly connected by technology, by travel, by trade, problems no longer stop at international borders,” he said.

Logo for The Globus Project, T.J. Foley's non-profit organization.That realization led to two of The Globus Project’s main goals: to connect infrastructures across international divides and get young adults excited about and engaged in social change. Foley is determined to provide opportunities for people his own age to discuss their ideas about removing the obstacles they face when pursuing success.

“(People are) responsible for their own success,” Foley said. “They have to have the freedom to solve problems the way they need to.”

In the fall, Foley will begin studying international relations at Harvard University. The Globus Project will make the journey with him. In his eyes, The Globus Project is simply taking the initiative to fix problems, and he believes anyone—especially young people—can and should do the same.

“This is why I feel more hopeful than ever,” he said. “It’s not always going to be pretty or perfect, but as long as people continue to find pieces missing and continue to fill those gaps, I think the world will be OK.”

School:

Join Valley High School for the 2017 Colors for Cancer 5k!

ColorsforCancer 1617 slideValley High School’s Fifth Annual Colors for Cancer 5k Run/Walk will start at 1 p.m., on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Registration is $20, and all proceeds will go to the John Stoddard Cancer Center.

Check-in begins at noon the day of the 5k. Color is optional, so stay on the sidewalk for no color, and enter the color stations in the grassy area to receive color.

Contact Tory DeVries, Valley High School, 515-633-4326, with questions.

School:

Design Studio Class Presents Original Clothing Lines at Fashion Show

Slideshow image for 2016-17 Design Studio Fashion Show: "Papyrus." Features a graphic of a woman with short dark hair wearing a hat tipped low over her face and a white blouse. Blue and orange triangles make up the background.

The Valley High School Design Studio class presented its end-of-year fashion show, “Papyrus,” at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center. Student models showcased original lines crafted by the Design Studio students.

Download the Event Poster

See photos from this year’s show taken by sophomore Daniel Truong, as well as a video of the show edited by sophomore Allison Ohringer.

See more photos from this year’s show on the district Flickr.

See photos from the 2016 show.

See photos from the 2015 show.

School:

Valley High School Presents “Anatomy of Gray”

Poster for Valley High School production of "Anatomy of Gray."Valley High School’s Performing Arts Department presents its spring play, “Anatomy of Gray” by playwright Jim Leonard Jr., award-winning author of “The Diviners” and “Crow and Weasel.”

Described by Leonard as “(a) children’s story for adults,” the play tells the story of teenager June Muldoon and her hometown, Gray, Indiana, in the 1800s. After her father dies, June prays for a healer to come to her town. Her prayers are answered when Dr. Galen P. Gray crashes his hot-air balloon near the town during a tornado. He gains the town’s favor by healing many of their ailments but is then blamed for a strange plague spreading through the town.

The play features senior Heather Stout as June Muldoon, senior Kamden Lee as Galen P. Gray and senior Jack Standefer as Homer, a farm boy in love with June. Senior Courtney Graham plays June’s mother, Rebekah, and senior Jared Fisher is the skeptical Pastor Phineas Wingfield. More than 140 Valley High School students make up the rest of the cast and crew, with senior Cheyenne Raney as head stage manager, senior Nora Raine as head production manager, senior Ben Burright as master carpenter, and senior Catie Judge as master electrician. A full cast and crew list can be found below.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on April 28 and 29, and at 2 p.m. on April 30, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. Tickets are $7 and $10, and can be purchased through MIDWESTIX at www.midwestix.com or by calling 515-244-2771.

This musical is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

 

Full Cast & Crew List

View a PDF of the full cast and crew list.

HEAD STAGE MANAGER…………………………………………………………………………………………… Cheyenne Raney

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER…………………………………………………. Carrie Cassady, Quinn Herbert, Linh Pham, Brillian Qi-Bell, Amy Wickenkamp

 

GALEN GRAY……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Kamden Lee  Understudy………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Gunner Hawthorne

JUNE MULDOON………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Heather Stout  Understudy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Riley Heil

REBEKAH MULDOON……………………………………………………………………………………………… Courtney Graham  Understudies………………………………………………………………………………….. Olivia Allard, Skylar Vanden Bosch

PASTOR PHINEAS WINGFIELD………………………………………………………………………………………….. Jared Fisher  Understudy………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Ethan Hansen

TINY WINGFIELD…………………………………………………………………………………………………… Justine Williamson  Understudy………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Caitlyn Potter

CRUTCH COLLINS………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Owen Snyder  Understudy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Alec Jessen

BELVA COLLINS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Becca Dorsett  Understudies………………………………………………………………………………….. Shannon Carroll, Josie Williamson

MAGGIE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Elena Soto  Understudies…………………………………………………………………………….. Lindsay Amundson, Marina Fredregill

HOMER……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Jack Standefer  Understudies…………………………………………………………………………………………….. T.J. Edge, Jackson LaFleur

VIOLIST……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Liz Lau

 

CHURCH CHOIR……………………………………………………………………. Kyra Casper, Lauren Johnson, Meta Miller, Lizzie Napier, Olivia Ramaekers, Kate Raridon, Mara Smith, Maddy Swaim

FARMERS……………………………………………………. Carter Burmester, Ethan Glenn, Preston Hayes, Zac Johnson, Keegan McCullough, Jordan Potter, Erik Skoog, Cole Strelecki

THE WELCOME WAGON………………………………………… Zoe-Ella Anderson, Catherine Christian, Bre Eigenheer, Maddie Hansen, Kylie Miller, Caitlyn Potter, Lizbeth Salinas-Reyes, Natalie Segura, Andy Thompson, Anna Wood

CARPENTERS……………………………………………………………………… Ethan Hansen, Alec Jessen, Alex Matthews, Christian Patrick, Cole Stephenson

DRY GOODS CUSTOMERS…………………………. Lizzie Brackett, Savannah Burnham, Kailey Casper, Olivia Hansen, Carlyn Mann, Anna Peterzalek, Marisa Rethman, Skylar Vanden Bosch, Josie Williamson

GRAVE DIGGERS…………………………………………………… Cooper Earle, Nick Ellis, Gunner Hawthorne, Nic Lovan

CHILDREN…………………………………………………. Lindsay Amundson, Riley Bartlett, Emma Bohn, Rachel Forney, Taylor Gion, Riley Heil, Claire Sattler, Ellie Willse

FARRIERS……………………………………………………………….. Jackson LaFleur, Conner Smith, Andrew Vande Berg

WAITRESSES………………………………………………………………….. Faith Breiholz, Lexi Chesley, Rebecca Stockham

COFFEE CLUB…………………………………………………………………………… T.J. Edge, David Hettman, Jack Johnson, Owen Lerg, Jake Smith, Bryce Stewart

CAFÉ CUSTOMERS………………………………………………………….. Olivia Allard, Shannon Carroll, Marina Fredregill, Bella Giudicessi, Sasha Hentzen, Mekhia Hillgren, Isabella LaMarca, Alainna McAuliff, Jasmine Peterson, Lillian Poulsen, Ashlan Simpson, Sofia Tsiamparlis

 

CAMP CREW HEAD PRODUCTION MANAGER

HEAD PRODUCTION MANAGER…………………………………………………………………………………………. Nora Raine

HEAD PUBLICITY MANAGER………………………………………………………………………………………….. Jamie Hanson

DESIGN TEAM……………………………… Grace Basler, Kiona Dodson, Mia Klaric, Brandi Martlett, Isabella Vettese,

LEAD MAKE-UP ARTISTS……………………………………………………………………… Kathryn Rozanek, Macayla Smith

LEAD PROPS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Taylor Johnson

LEAD COSTUME……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Sadie Baker

PUBLICITY TEAM……………………………………… Hadley Abbas, Emma Karns, Marina Fredrigill, McKenzie Michael

PRODUCTION TEAM…………………………………… Grace Axman, Tim Dorn, Emily Schnoor, Sam Shea, Zack Wright

 

TECHNICAL CREW

MASTER CARPENTER……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ben Burright

ASSISTANT MASTER CARPENTERS…………………………………………………………….. Tyler Beveridge, Chase Brown

MASTER PAINT CHARGE…………………………………………………………………………………………. Justine Williamson

ASSISTANT PAINT CHARGES…………………………………. Jo Craven, Bre Eigenheer, Beth Hammond, Abi Whitford

MASTER ELECTRICIAN……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Catie Judge

ASSISTANT MASTER ELECTRICIANS……………………………………………………………….. Sarah Freund, Abi Whitford

LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR………………………………………………………………………………………………… Catie Judge

SOUND BOARD OPERATOR………………………………………………………………………………. Mary Scout Cole-Duvall

CARPENTERS………………………………………………… Kaleb Dale, Ena Moreno, Christian Patrick, Marisa Rethman, Aaron Reno, Ashlan Simpson, Cole Stephenson

ELECTRICIANS…………………………………………………….. Joshua Benjamin, Ben Burright, Mary Scout Cole Duvall, Bre Eigenheer, Kenny Epstein, Cole McCann, Aaron Reno

PAINT CHARGES……………………………………………………….. Olivia Allard, Bre Cole, Riley Heil, Jasmine Peterson, Marisa Rethman, Lauren Russo, Ellie Whisler

School:

Prom 2017 Information

This year’s prom will be held from 8-11 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.

The “Starry Night”-themed dance is for Valley High School and Walnut Creek Campus juniors and seniors and their guests. Guests must be under 21 to attend; guest request forms will be available in the office and are due April 14. Tickets will be on sale during lunch the week of prom and at the dance. Tickets cost $25 for all students except Valley and Walnut Creek seniors, who will get in free. All students must have a ticket and an ID to enter the dance. Formal attire is expected; jeans, hats, costumes, and athletic wear are not allowed.

Noah Barr, Jacob Bedia, Hanna Bush, Cayden Codel, Trent Gilbert, Austin Hinkle, Taylor Jones, Kamden Lee, Ellen Reed, Elena Soto, Cora Walker, and Genny Wyckoff make up the 2017 Prom Court. Junior and senior students will vote for prom king and queen on Tuesday, April 18, during advisory. The king and queen will be announced at the dance.

The after-prom party will take place from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. after the dance. This year’s theme is “Power Up For After-Prom.” Students must arrive between 11 p.m. and midnight to register and will not be allowed to re-enter once they leave. It is not necessary for students to attend prom to attend after-prom. Any guests must have been to the dance before the after-prom party and must attend after-prom with a Valley or Walnut Creek Campus student. There is no cost to attend after-prom.

After-prom entertainment will include a hypnotist, inflatables, mini golf, a movie, a silent disco, laser tag, a photo booth and other activities. Delicious food from vendors including Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-fil-A, Jimmy John’s, and Dairy Queen will also be available. Prizes will be available all night, including a grand prize awarded at the end of the night.

School: ,

WDMCS Jazz Ensembles, Soloists Earn Recognition at State Contests

Four West Des Moines Community Schools ensembles and several students earned awards at state jazz competitions this April.

The Valley High School Jazz Orchestra earned its fifth consecutive first place victory in the 4A division at the Iowa Jazz Championships on Tuesday, April 4, at Iowa State University. Six students also earned solo awards: senior Braeden Trinder (alto saxophone) and junior Jakhari Durham (percussion) were named two of the four top soloists of the day. Seniors Cole Peterson (alto saxophone), Noah Welch (tenor saxophone), Jacob Bedia (trombone) and Matt Lowe (trumpet) also earned 4A Outstanding Soloist Awards in recognition of their performances.

The three Valley jazz choirs hosted the Best of Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships at Valley High School on Tuesday, March 28. Junior Emily Maller was named the Top Outstanding Performer in the 4A category. Seven other students also earned outstanding musicianship awards: ninth-grade student Avi Gedler; sophomores Austin Ellingson (piano), Haley Losh, Camille Mireault, and Claire Sattler; junior Grace Howard; and senior Piper Wood. Howard, Gedler, sophomores Riley Bartlett, David Bone, and Erik Skoog; juniors Ellen Erickson, Matt Lowe, and Maddy Swaim; and senior Noah Welch also earned placements in the Iowa All-State Jazz Choir. Losh, Wood, and sophomores Gunner Hawthorne and Cole Strelecki were named All-State Jazz Choir alternates. The Vocalese Jazz Choir earned second place in the group competition. Vox earned fourth place, and Vocal Point earned sixth place.

Congratulations to these talented and hardworking students!

School: ,

Track & Field Event Features Remodeled Facility, 100 Events, and Wall of Fame Inductees

Track and field

The West Des Moines Community Schools and Valley High School will host the Dr. Robert C. Brooks Relay at the newly renovated Tiger Field on Saturday, April 8. This will be the first public event to be held on the remodeled facility, located at 3650 Woodland Ave. in West Des Moines.

The event will begin at 10:50 a.m. with a brief ceremony featuring former Valley High School track and field coaches and athletes welcoming everyone to the renovated field and track space.

The facility recently underwent a $3.5 million renovation paid for with sales tax dollars, which are required by the state to be spent on construction projects. The updates include a new track and running surface, long-jump pits, shot-put and discus area, stands with a 2,000-seat capacity, press box, sound system, lights, and turf. The space is used for physical education courses, school athletic programming, community sports programs, and more. The facility is open for public use.

The relay will begin at 11 a.m., featuring more than 100 track and field events and spotlighting the talent of student-athletes from more than 12 area high schools.

At 2:30 p.m., Valley High School will honor more than 50 outstanding athletes, who will be inducted into the school’s winter sports Wall of Fame. The school will also recognize its outstanding senior track and field athletes.

The relay honors Dr. Robert C. Brooks, a former Valley High School principal who served the school from 1978-2000.

Tiger Field Reconstruction Project Time-Lapse Video

School:

Valley Individual Speech Team Earns 22 Top Ratings

The 2017 IHSSA Individual Speech team.

The 2017 IHSSA Individual Speech team.

The Valley High School IHSSA Individual Speech team, which earned 22 “I” ratings at the State speech contest during spring break. Six students were selected to perform at the All-State Festival at UNI on March 20:

  • sophomore Alex Matthews—Acting
  • junior JJ Kapur—Spontaneous Speaking, Original Oratory
  • junior Marisa Rethman—Literary Program
  • senior Grace Barker—Storytelling
  • senior Kyra Berg—Solo Musical Theater
  • senior Julie Sisler—Acting

Congratulations to the entire IHSSA Individual Speech team—and special congratulations to Grace Barker, who has performed at All-State four times in Storytelling.

 

School: