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Archive for Tag: 'students'

Valley Graduate Tanner Stine Stars on Nickelodeon

When Tanner Stine was eight years old, he told his mom he wanted to be a movie star. jc_TannerStine_1

The 2013 Valley High School graduate is on his way to reaching his goal. This fall he is starring as “Oyster” in Nickelodeon’s “The Thundermans.”

  • Click here to see Tanner Stine as “Oyster” in Nickelodeon’s “The Thundermans.” The show airs Saturdays at 8 p.m.
  • See his return to Valley High School here.

Now living in Los Angeles, the 19-year-old Stine recently returned home to watch the premiere of his appearance in the TV show, and to stop by Jordan Creek Elementary to have lunch with his younger brother Dawson. He also visited his friend Abbie Kliegl at Valley High School and younger brother Chase, who is a senior at Valley.

Coming back to school was nostalgic for Stine.  “The biggest thing I noticed is how much smaller it is,” Stine said of Jordan Creek Elementary compared to when he was younger.

Although Stine knew early on he wanted to be an actor, it was not his only interest. After being in plays at the Des Moines Playhouse in fifth and sixth grade, he changed his focus in seventh grade and started to play football.

jc_TannerStine_lunch2“I love football and I still watch it today and wonder if I should have played football instead of coming out to L.A.,” Stine said. He was a junior when Valley High School won the state championship in 2011. Stine said he has great memories of playing football, but it wasn’t easy. He worked hard to improve while playing second string for most of high school.

Things changed his senior year. He become a starter for the Valley football team and competed in the IMTA (International Modeling and Talent Association) in Los Angeles, where he won Junior Male Actor of the Year and Junior Male Model of the Year.

Stine was signed right away with an agent. He moved to California and started attending Santa Monica College. He also started auditioning and got a part for one episode on Nickelodeon’s “The Haunted Hathaways.” He later auditioned for the “The Thundermans.”

“It was like a one audition deal,” Stine explained of his audition for “The Thundermans.” “They filmed it and the casting directors in the room liked what I did. A few days later they called and said you booked it. I said, ‘No call back?'”

He was initially hired for only two episodes, but the show kept calling him back. He ended up filming eight episodes.jc_TannerStine_teacher

In addition to acting, Stine attends Santa Monica College. Looking back on his education, Stine said what has helped him the most is learning that hard work leads to success.

“I think that was the biggest lesson for me in school was learning that the effort you choose to put into things is what you are going to get out,” he said. “I believe that you can do whatever you want to do — it’s just a matter of how hard you work to get it.”


Topics: Student Achievements, Uncategorized

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5 Tips for Tweeting Your Way to the Top

What would the world be like without social media? Your parents could tell you, but Generations Y and Z have grown up in an era of sharing online. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine – it’s just what you do.

But where exactly are all of your thoughts and photos going? Just to your friends and followers? Not quite. Most of your parents follow you, but so are the local TV, radio and print media. Case in point: Local radio personality Trent Condon tagging VHS football players on game night.


Tweets can follow you after the big game, too. Recently, the Iowa State basketball team took a break from Twitter because of the attention players were receiving.

More and more colleges and universities are looking to students’ social media profiles as part of their entrance criteria – and denying student applications because of what they find.

But you can just delete it, right? Sure, but can you contact all of your followers who re-Tweeted and favorited to delete it as well? Do you think the Library of Congress will go through its archives for you? Probably not.

We’ve come up with five tips for students to make sure your social media profiles will get you where you want to be.

  • news-social-media-on-benchThink before you post. If you wouldn’t say it out loud in front of your parents, think twice about posting it.
  • Be yourself. Don’t let others antagonize you into posting things you know are wrong and go against your character.
  • Use your power for good. Let the world know all of the great things you come across on a daily basis. If you see negativity, check them on it.
  • Brag. Get a good grade? Got a part in the play? Let the world know about it!
  • Network. Think about where your life will go after high school and interact with colleges, businesses or community leaders you admire. But remember…they’ll be following you back!

Topics: Students

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A Mom’s Reflections on the First Day of Kindergarten

I knew the day would come when I would send my daughter, who was once my little 5-pound peanut, off to kindergarten. That day has arrived.

Today, with hundreds of other parents, I dropped off my daughter, Melayna, for her first day of kindergarten in West Des Moines schools. She was all smiles with her new haircut and dress, but I could tell she was nervous because she was wide-eyed and fidgety. She posed outside the school with her best friend, Lauren, for pictures. Then we found her teacher, Ms. Hirsch, and she sat and patiently waited with her classmates until everyone had arrived and they could go to their classroom. (more…)

Topics: Education

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A Voice Raised

The voice of Valley High School student Samantha Greer rang out during the West Des Moines Community School District Board of Education meeting on May 14, 2012.

She wasn’t speaking on a specific board issue; she was singing.

The Watchman’s Daughter” by Samantha Greer


Topics: Education, School Board News

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Students Teach Students About Bullying Prevention

Drew, a sixth grader at Crossroads Park Elementary, stands at a microphone in the gym before about 550 of his classmates.

Being in front of an audience is nothing new to him. Drew has been dancing since he was very young and has performed in such productions as the Iowa Dance Theater’s “The Nutcracker.”

Today, however, he won’t be dancing and the topic isn’t festive. Drew and about 15 of his classmates are performing a skit about bullying.

It is a topic Drew understands.


Topics: Education

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