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Comic Art and Visual Storytelling, Grades 4-6

Want to learn how to create your own comic book or graphic novel? This hands-on class uses demonstration and lots of hands-on training to teach the basics of the entire creative process. This process includes concept, page layout, various pencil and ink techniques, as well as digital art. Class taught by Will Richer.

Mondays, 11/30-12/14 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., $42. Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, Room 254, #ADV09.

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Western Hills Presents the “Lion King Kids” Iowa Premiere

Western Hills Elementary Drama will present the premiere Iowa performance of “Lion King Kids,” an elementary school adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20, 3 and 6 p.m. on Nov. 21, and 3 p.m. on Nov. 22, in the Western Hills Elementary Gym, 600 39th St., West Des Moines.

Western Hills is the first Iowa elementary school to secure rights to perform “Lion King Kids.” Multiple ensembles of students in grades 2-6 make up the 75-person cast. Community volunteers have provided support for the production, directed by district parent Jim Miller. Musical numbers in the adaptation include “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Be Prepared,” and other favorites from the 1994 film and the musical, now in its 17th year on Broadway. The set centers on a climbable Pride Rock, and handcrafted costumes from Coal City Middle School in Coal City, Illinois, include body-size puppets, masks, headpieces, and stilts.

This production is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. The performance is free and open to the public, but will accept free will donations.



Valley High School Hosting Iowa Supreme Court

Valley High School will host the Iowa Supreme Court on Monday, Nov. 16. The court will hear oral arguments starting at 7 p.m. in the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Avenue, West Des Moines.

The court will hear oral arguments for one case: State of Iowa v. Donald Benjamin Earl Reed, case no. 13-0988, from Black Hawk County District Court. The Iowa Supreme Court stated in a news release that, “Defendant Donald Reed seeks further review of an Iowa Court of Appeals decision affirming his convictions on a variety of drug-related charges and affirming the sentence of 100 years imposed on him that was enhanced by a prior juvenile adjudication. Issues before the Iowa Supreme Court include whether the evidence at trial was sufficient to support the convictions, whether trial counsel was ineffective, and whether the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Iowa Constitution affords defendant an individualized evidentiary sentencing hearing.”

An oral argument guide and case briefs can be found on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at

A reception with the Iowa Supreme Court justices will be sponsored by the Polk County Bar Association and take place in the Staplin Center lobby following the oral arguments. The oral arguments and reception are both open to the public.


Feed the POD for the Food Bank of Iowa

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34 Musicians Selected for Iowa All-State Music Festival

The Valley High School and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School fine arts departments will have 34 students participate in the Iowa All-State Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.

All-state band members:
Clarinet — Bradley Qin
Trombone — Jacob Bedia, Joe Brennan
Alto Saxophone — Matt Nicholson
Euphonium — Samanthan Shea
Alternates — Julian Castillo, oboe; Mitchel Smith, tuba; Noah Welch, tenor saxophone

All-state choir members:
Soprano —Sarah Clarke, Sofi Mandil, Linda Tong, Elizabeth Watson
Alto — Izzy Keoppel, Clara Lyden, Maddy Swaim
Tenor — David Bone, Matthew Hrdlicka, Conlin Lane, Derek Lutt, Josh Miksch, Anthony Reno
Bass — Sam Galligan, Luke Rustin, Owen Snyder, Jack Wilson

All-state orchestra members:
Violin — Elizabeth Ash, Victoria Cassady, Olympia Manning, Guowei Qi, Joe Reck
Viola — Aleia Manning
Cello — Cayden Codel, Kate Jaros, Ben Wiese
Bass — Matt Christensen, Jacob Swanson
Harp — Corinne Watters
Alternate — Brian Gu, violin

Tickets to the Iowa All-State Music Festival concert are $20, with an $18 group rate for orders of 20 or more tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the Iowa State athletic ticket office or online at The concert will also be shown on Iowa Public Television at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. For more information on the Iowa All-State Music Festival, visit the IHSMA All-State website.

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Valley Senior John Raridon to Play in US Army All-American Bowl

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Valley senior offensive lineman John Raridon has been honored as one of the top high school football players in the nation and will appear in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game will air live on NBC at noon CT on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Raridon, a Nebraska recruit, will play for the West team. He is currently ranked as the No. 76 player in the country, according to and was selected as one the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Eight members.

A total of 299 U.S. Army All-Americans have been selected in the NFL Draft.


Valley Competition Squad Competes at Iowa Cheerleading Championships

The Valley Competition Cheerleading squad will compete at the Iowa Cheerleading Championships at 3:22 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 7. The squad will perform its 2.5 minute routine in the Jacobson Exhibition Hall at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The competition cheerleading squad has won the 4A Large Division at state for the last eight years. This year, the 4A and 4A Large  divisions are combining, allowing Valley to compete against all other 4A schools for the first time.

Please come to support the cheerleaders on Saturday, or at the dress rehearsal at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, in the North Gym at Valley. Go Tigers!



Buy Tickets for Valley Semifinal Football Game!

Valley High School will be playing Dowling Catholic in the semifinals, Friday, Nov. 13 at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Game time is 7:06 p.m. Tickets are available to purchase in the Valley High School activities office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13. All tickets are $10. Avoid long lines at the game, and buy your tickets early!


Valley Students Recognized for Academic Excellence

Valley High School recognized 634 students for academic achievement at its annual Academic Awards Ceremony, on Oct. 19, 2015. Students can earn an academic letter for maintaining a 3.4 GPA or better for two consecutive semesters in the same year, while carrying at least 5.5 credits for letter grades. After earning the letter, they can earn first and second bars for the same criteria.

There were 228 sophomores, 39 juniors, and 23 seniors who earned their academic letter this year, for achievement in the 2014-15 school year. One hundred seventy-six juniors and 33 seniors earned their first bar, and 135 seniors earned their second bar.

Valley High School (VHS) is located in West Des Moines, a suburb of Des Moines with approximately 55,000 residents. VHS is a three-year comprehensive high school with approximately 1,900 students. It is accredited by the State of Iowa. Valley emphasizes the Four As of education: Academics, Activities, Arts, and Athletics. The faculty at Valley provides exciting opportunities and challenges to stretch students’ minds and abilities — preparing them for college and their careers.

The full list of recognized students:

228 Sophomores Isabelle Acheson, Rachel Aksamit, Samantha Allbee, Lauren Anderson, Zoe-Ella Anderson, Jordyn Anglea, Laxmi Annapureddy, Samantha Auer, Isabella Avila, Grace, Axman, Maria Barbosa, Jackson Barr, Grace Basler, Maggie Baughman, Tyler Beveridge, Aubrey Bier, Trinity Bierl, Kelsey Boal, Emma Bohn, Tyler Bolton, David Bone, Austin Bray, Chase Brown, Lucy Brown, Mary Brown, Michael Brown, Michael Bryan, Joshua Buelow, Greta Carlson, Kailey Casper, Xavier Chasar, Marcus Chew, Ashley Christenson, Nicholas Cinnamon, Abigail Colby, Brianna Cole, Preston Collignon Doerrfeld, Hailey Collins, Robert Colosimo, Nathan Conte, Anna Correa, Dominic Cravero, Craig Davis, Elizabeth Day, Ronni DeCarlo, Alissa DeLisle, Kaitlyn Derouin, Aarushi Dervesh, Natalie Dirkx, Mason Drees, Chloe Dreyer, Ajla Dubinovic, Joshua Dvorak, Cooper Earle, Ellen Erickson, Zachary Essman, Bethany Evans, Sydney Fisher, Mary Fitzpatrick, Quinn Fox, Catherine France, Jarred Gaudineer, Taylor Gion, Audrey Glad, Suzanna Groves, Madelyn Hansen, Olivia Hansen, Zachary Harn, Preston Hayes, Evan Hellman, Chase Henderson, Dakota, Hensley, Roberto Hernandez, Faith Hingl, Hailey Hoffman, Grace Howard, Matthew Hsieh, Mastura Ibnat, Tatjana Jevremovic, Amy Johnson, Arin Johnson, Emily Johnson, Gus  Johnson, Hailey Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Nicholas Johnson, Shayna Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Clairissa Jones, Alex Joos, Christopher Jun, Stacy   Kabenda, Jeevanjot Kapur, Chinar Kaul, Ariz Keshwani, Kelly Kieu, Matthew Kigin, Crystal Kimama, Kayla Kinney, Jack Kinseth, Austin Kock, Kyle Kopf, Emma Ksiazak, Abigail Kuennen, Armaan Kumar, Sarah  Lagomarcino, Catherine Larson, Elizabeth Lau, Grayson Leaders, Elizabeth LeMar, Gregg Lichinsky, Josephine Lie, Grace Lincoln, Joseph Lovell, Matthew Lowe, Long Ly, Jillian Mack, Emily Maller, Aleia Manning, Brandi Marlett, Kyle Martens, Madison, Martin, Grace Matera, Samuel Maudsley, Harrison Maule, Alainna McAuliff, Erin McCoy, Miller McCoy, Molly McDermott, Cassandra McKinney, Josephine McNunn, Grant Meek, Brennen Michael, Jackson Miller, Jade Miller, Camille Mireault, Sidney Mitchell, Susanna Moore, Kolby Morrill, Varun Myneni, Elizabeth Napier, Britney Nguyen, Christina Nguyen, Danielle Nichols, Mitchell O’Meara, McKenzie Paulsen, Aidan, Pearl, Madeline Penick, Hannah Penniman, Alex Peterson, Robert Pike, Riley Plummer, Grace Pollack, Reagan Porter, Lillian Poulsen, Anvay Pradhan, LaKendra Punteney, Claire Quigle, Carson Rashid, Collin Reeves, Marisa Rethman, Brett Rieks, Ryan Roberts, Molly Rodgers, Sekerra Ross, Andrew Rottinghaus, Kathryn Rozanek, Nairah Saldana, Lauren Salloum, Andrew Sandor, Charles Schmalz, Amy Schmudlach, Emma Schmudlach, Madison Schulte, Henry Schwob, Natalie Segura, Joel Shapiro, Samuel Sheffield, Abigail Sinclair, Ashwin Sinha, Erik Skoog, Jane Smeins, Mitchell Smith, Caroline Smoldt, Kalista Socarras, Saylor Sonnenburg, Jennifer Sprecher, Claire Stalzer, Hailey Stark, Alexa Stein, Rebecca Stockham, Benjamin Studebaker, Luke Sueppel, Sean Suetsugu, Krih Nei Sung, Madelyn Swaim, Joseph Swanson, Naomi Tan, Shubham Tayal, Emily Taylor, Hannah Taylor, Kara Thai, Joseph Thiel, Ann Thomas, Jack Thompson, Elliot Thornton, Almir Tica, Linh Tran, Jordy Triana, Madeline Triplett, Addi Truhlsen, Nancy Truong, Stephany Twit, Jack Vander Weide, Julie VanKirk, Verona Victoria, Abigail Wahlig, Rebecca Webb, Riley Weissinger, Jocelyn Westerhold, Sara White, Oliver Willham, Ashlyn Williams, Ellie Willse, Riley Wood, Samuel Worlie, Zachary Wright, Manar Yaseen

39 Juniors Anthony Burgos, Benjamin Carlisle, Erin Claeys, Samuel Cole, Alec Freeman, Dylan Grable, Cheyenne Hemmer, Sarah Henry, John House, Emma Judge, Baylie Katcher, Malaika Kigen, Karlee Kilkenny, Austin Koch, Jonathan Koele, Janine Korell, Erica Lack, Tom Le, Meier Lipman, Makenna Lloyd, Travis Moore, Jacob Morris, Maddison Perdue, Zoe Rand, Blake Richards, Samuel Rogers, Samuel Rogers, Dillon Sampson, Chamakpal Sandhu, Amelia Scallon, Jared Shapert, Julie Sisler, Elizabeth Smith, Tluang Sung, Eleanor Thorne, Sarah Turri, Isabella Vettese, Cora Walker, Izabel Wilde, George Youngwirth

23 Seniors Angelina Abbott, Jacob Benson, Sarah Bohlender, Ariana Boock, Samantha Bullington, Katie Eastridge, Sarah Estes, Preston Hasting, Kasey Kincaid, Melanie Lemon, Olivia McDermott, Brianne O’Meara, Alexis Pautvein, Deanna Persons, John Piper, Joseph Reck, Gabriel Rumsey, Hunter Schmidt, Madison Scott, Sabrina Shearer, Pearl Tate, Devkeshan Thaker, Marguerite Wildermuth, Stephen Wonbenyakeh

First Bar
176 Juniors Jordan Aguirre, Jessica Allen, Emily Andrews, Rachel Anfinson, Elizabeth Ash, Zachary Bailey, Salena Bantz, Grace Barker, Cassidy Beamer, Jacob Bedia, Logan Benson, Allison Bentzen, Joseph Bernhard, Walter Beuse, Ella Bishop, Grace Blazevich, Madelyn Bodin, Luke Bonner, Grace Brady, Sarah Braverman, Riley Bright, Cameron Brueck, Evan Burnham, Benjamin Burright, Hanna Bush, Brooke Butters, Emily Carroll, Kyra Casper, Catherine Christian, Ryan Clemens, Cayden Codel, Connor Corbin, Anna Crawford, Quinton Curry, Grace Dahlen, Elizabeth Davidson, Collin  Day, Emma Degen, Shamicka Delerme, Cameron Denker, Anne Marie Derouin, Heli Desai, Jack Domek, Timothy Dorn, Rebecca Dorsett, Kali Douglass, Evan Eastin, Allison Edgar, Ethan Ellinger, Emily Ellingson, Grace Erickson, Angie Espinoza, Jamie Feldt, Austin Fest, Keaton Floss, Timothy Foley, Elizabeth Forney, Sarah Friesth, Hannah Fuller, Arjun Ganga, Daniela Gaytan, Trent Gilbert, Elizabeth Gillaspey, Noah Givant, Anders Glad, Thomas Gould, Rachel Greene, Ryan Greenough, Brian Gu, Leila Hagan, Elizabeth Hammond, Bryanna Hawthorne, Emma Hayes, Madison Heinen, Ryan Hill, Austin Hinkle, Bao Hua, Aaqib Issa, Kate Jaros, Parker Jensen, Collin Johnson, Haiden Johnson, Justin Jones, Tatum Jones, Taylor Jones, Abigail Kigin, Michael Krist, Katherine Krusenstjerna, Kade Kuehl, Sarah Kuhlman, Rajat Kumar, Hallie Lawyer, Olivia Lee, Katherine Lewis, Joceline Lie, Elizabeth Linskens, Jadyn Loecke, Elizabeth Lorts, Christopher Loyd, Madeleine Loyd, Van Ly, Emma Madden, John Mahoney, Shifali Malhotra, Nicole Marlett, Michael Marsh, Alanna Maxwell, Logan Maxwell, Abby McCullough, Evan McKinney, Jacob Mendoza, Meta Miller, Caitlin Mills, Gabriel Mintzer, Aidan Morrow, Amanda Murphy, Denny Nguyen, Vincent Njane, Brook Norwood, Alina Nowicki, Carson Oakley, Elizabeth Osborn, Teresa Otanez-Ortiz, Carlos Perez, Cole Peterson, Tin Pham, Guowei Qi, Brillian Qi-Bell, Nora Raine, Ellen Reed, Shannon Renken, Kynsee Roby, Brendan Roe, Brooke Roe, Callie Roush, Lara Sabri, Lizbeth Salinas-Reyes, Chelsea Sapp, Ellen Sattler, Sydney Schweitzer, Nathan Schwery, Lillianna Seltz, Mara Smith, Rachel  Snodgrass, Owen Snyder, Jack Standefer, Emily Steimel, Muhamed Stilic, Madison Stoaks, Jessica Studer, Katherine Sullivan, Andrew Thompson, Samuel Thompson, Kaycie Tilton, Grace Trane, Isabella Trane, Braeden Trinder, Madison VanSickel, Emily Veatch, Silvia Verhofste, Siulley Vuong, Haley Waseskuk, Charles Weible, Noah Welch, Evan Westman, Samantha Whitcomb, Whitney Wiese, Ryan Williams, Emily Wilson, Piper Wood, Grace Worlie, Brooke Wrage, Genevieve Wyckoff, Madison Yaeger, Nathan Yencer, Annie Zhang

33 Seniors Ruthie Anspach, Connor Bawek, India Berry, Andrew Bohn, Thomas Bonus, Ethan Bridge, Rayven Brooks, Amos Ceu, Jack DeJong, Taylor Denman, Madeline Dunbar, Peter Easler, Joseph Erickson, Taylor Igram, Abdul-Badi Issa, Christopher Jamieson, Tristan Jones, Alexis Kirk, Derek Kobolt, Clara Lyden, Paige Marshall, Nicolais Mulhern, Brett Neustrom, Thomas Nguyen, Lucas Niffenegger, Jasmine Oseguera, Jack Parker, Lauren Porter, Abigail Quigle, Jessa Rhea, Abigail Smith, Lily Tial, Noah Tuttle, Matthew Watson

Second Bar
135 Seniors Kaamil Abid, Noah Allbee, Briana Andrew, Haley Anglea, Keara Anonson, Naorin Ashrafi, Andrew Austin, Emma Avdic, Lejla Avdic, Jason Baldus, Samuel Berry, Abbey Bierma, Joseph Brennan, Sarah Brown, Robert Bruinekool, Hannah Burke, Brittany Burklund, Victoria Cassady, Julian Castillo, Colton Chambers, Jacquelyne Chu, Molly Cline, Andrew Couch, Emma Cox, Curtis Craven, Susannah Crichton, Megan Cushing, John Danos, Harmony Davis, Devan Defenbaugh, Nathan Dickerson, Phuc Do, Brett Donahe, Peter Economos, Hannah Eide, Ethan Eiler, Samantha Ellis, Grant Fidler, Julia Foust, Michael Gerot, Haley Gion, Ann Gould, Joseph Grasso, Zachary Graves, Melissa Grinvalds, Jakob Grittmann, Matthew Guske, Graham Hagan, John Haney, Jennavieve Hanson, Kaitlyn Harrington, Nicholas Hawkins, Eric Henning, Grant Hillenbrand, Sean Hilzendeger, Gretta Hingl, John Howard, Matthew Hrdlicka, Alina Husain, Leah Huston, Jack Jaros, Alexander Johnson, Carly Johnson, Mario Jordan Bartolo, Lanee Jung, Grant Karnes, Philip Kiely, Kevin Kieu, Tiana King, Robert Knudsen, Alexa Kort, Ian Ksiazak, Jared Lagomarcino, Maria Larson, Michael Libin, Brandon Luong, Olympia Manning, Nicholas Marshall, Connor McGinness, Hailey McKinney, Lexi Merritt, Mira Metelman, Nicholas Miller, Margaret Mungai, Lauren Nielsen, Quinn Nolin, Jason Nye, Jack Ohringer, Madelyn Overton, Abigail Patterson, Rachel Pender, Samantha Pick, Salman Quntar, John Rafferty, Katherine Rauch, Anthony Reno, Danielle Reyes, Noah Ridgway, Katherine Ringgenberg, Christian Roberts, Amanda Roemmich, Luke Rustin, Alexia Sanchez Garcia, Annie Schacht, Nathan Schmitt, Cory Schneider, Cole Schulte, Sydney Sheffield, Bridget Shoemaker, Ashlyn Shumaker, Anne Simmons, Logan Simon, Carl Skoog, Calvin Stalzer, Claudia Stewart, Caroline Stump, Gloria Tanui, Sarah Thompson, Samuel Throm, Sarah Timmerman, Maren Tuttle, Trevor Tyma, Alexis Van Blair, Ramya Vemulapalli, Liuchang Wang, Elizabeth Watson, Paige Weiand, Cody Welch, Michael Welch, Anna Wellman, Benjamin Wiese, Benjamin Willcockson, Nateshia Wilson, Tyler Wirta, Brittany Zink