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Archive for Tag: 'West Des Moines'

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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Walnut Creek Campus Boat Regatta Makes a Splash

Some may think ending up neck deep in water wearing a Scooby Doo costume would make for a bad day. Not Walnut Creek Campus Senior Crystal Howard of Urbandale.

Standing in her drenched costume on the shore of the West Des Moines City Campus pond, she proclaimed the first annual Walnut Creek Campus Boat Regatta was a lot of fun.

Howard was one of 120 Walnut Creek Campus students who participated the boat regatta Friday, Aug. 23. The event was the culmination of two days of learning about science and teamwork through project-based curriculum.

The Walnut Creek Campus advisory program is moving toward a project-based learning, which involves students working to solve real world problems.

“The Walnut Creek regatta is an idea that arose from this change in curriculum as a fun way to kick off our year that requires our advisories to work collaboratively for a common purpose,” Walnut Creek Campus Social Studies Teacher Ted Vandeventer explained.

The task was to successfully build and launch a cardboard boat around the fountain at the pond next to the Learning Resource Center.  Advisory teams worked together with just one refrigerator box and duct tape to build their vessel. 

To prepare for the task, students learned about boating, canoeing and the principles surrounding water displacement and buoyancy.  They started by building models of their crafts that they tested by weighting them with pennies.

The next step was to construct the real boat based on a blueprint advisory team members developed. Groups had to solve equations for the amount of water displaced and the depth with which the boat would sink.

They also had to come up with a theme. Crystal’s team was “The Mystery Machine” from the Scooby Doo cartoon series.

Students also had a session with West Des Moines Police Officer Terry Brauch, who provided Real Colors Personality training, which gave students a better understanding of their temperament and that of their teammates. It also gave them a common language to use in working collaboratively.

There were three trophies handed out at the regatta:

  • Fastest Boat went to Team Italia,  which included Sarah Beck (West Des Moines), Monica Haes (West Des Moines), Ian Kinney (West Des Moines), Kirk Phillips (West Des Moines),  Jesus Rodriguez (Des Moines), Hannah Short (West Des Moines), Michael Toomer (West Des Moines), Brent Watkins (Des Moines), Adrienne Wright (West Des Moines) and Jack Yungclas (West Des Moines).
  • Best Team Spirit went to Team Mustache, which included Mitch Fransen (Clive), Justin Christianson (Clive), Mary Holmes (West Des Moines), Emily Clausen (West Des Moines), Falken Wright (West Des Moines), Sam Renda (West Des Moines), Anthony Ross (West Des Moines), John Reszel (West Des Moines), Peter Palomeque (West Des Moines), Halil Becic (West Des Moines), Morgan Hubbard (West Des Moines) and Jair Mendez (Clive).
  • Most Creative Boat went to Team Zebra Cakes, which included  Jayden Bender (West Des Moines), Chelsea Button (Windsor Heights), Diego Carreras (West Des Moines), Abby Dunn (West Des Moines), Jenna Marks (West Des Moines), Adan Robles (West Des Moines) and Fransico Sanchez (West Des Moines).

Boat Math Video

Topics: Student Achievements, Uncategorized

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Advisory Board & “SAMs” Program Approved by Board

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education held a regular meeting on October 22, 2012, and took the following action:

  • approved the consent agenda including personnel resignations, recommendations, support staff new hires, certified staff initial contracts, minutes from the Oct. 8 workshop and meeting;
  • approved a minor modification application for Hillside Elementary for the addition of a 1,500 sq.ft. concrete pad and an 200 sq. ft. expansion of the existing wood mulched swing set area located on the south side of the facility with the use of Site funds; (more…)

Topics: School Board News

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Features of the New District Website

We are a couple weeks away from the launch of the new district website and because I am not very good at waiting I thought I would give you a sneak peek of some features of the new site. As mentioned in a previous post during the planning process we surveyed students, parents, employees, and the community to gather data about their use of the current district  website, along with their likes and dislikes. The main objective was to create a website that is audience centric, has up-to-date information, and is easy to navigate. We are accomplishing this in several different ways, but a couple of the ways we are doing this is through the top and side navigation as seen here. Depending on what category you fall into you can go directly to “your” page and find the information that is relevant to you. The information that is provided on this page was decided after looking at Google analytics and user research.

Top Navigation

Another objective for the new site was to create an awareness of the happenings within our district. The main way that this is being done is through the news feed seen here. Up-to-date information and events will be announced on the home page along with press releases and happenings.

What's New NewsNews Full Page

A request that was mentioned in the survey over and over again was a more user online calendar system. The new site will have a very robust and user friendly online calendar system. You will now be able to have a more accurate calendar of the districts events year round. You will be able to search by month, day, activity and school. We will then carry this even one step further as we continue into phase two with the redesign of individual school websites. Each school will have a calendar on  their home pages which will include their own events.

Calendar on home page

The last item I am going to share today is the Staff Directory. This is something that I hear repeatedly, that people have a hard time using and finding the information they need in our current staff directory. Brian Abeling, Director of Technology worked closely with Flying Hippo Web Technologies to create, what we think, is a very useful and robust staff directory.

Staff Directory Search Box
I am looking forward to sharing the new and improved site with you in the next couple of weeks. We still have a lot of things to do in order to launch the new site so better get back to it!

Topics: Education

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WDMCS Board Approves Retirement Plan, Fresh Fruit Program and More

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education held its annual meeting Sept. 10, 2012, and took the following action:

  • approved the proposed 2013-2014 Early Retirement Plan, which has no changes from the previous year’s plans, to allow eligible district staff to have the opportunity to plan further in advance when making a decision concerning retirement; (more…)

Topics: Education

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WDMCS School Board Aug. 27 Meeting Summary

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, August 27, 2012, and took the following action: (more…)

Topics: Education

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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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WDMCS School Board Aug. 13 Meeting Summary

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, August 13, 2012, and took the following action:


Topics: Education

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WDMCS: “Way Better”

Well, we are here; the school year has ended. It seems so long ago that I introduced myself to you back in an August edition of the Informaline.

Being still relatively new, I am often asked whether Iowa/West Des Moines is “what I thought it would be.” My response is always, “It is way better than I thought it would be.” (more…)

Topics: Education, Superintendent

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School Lunch Prices to Increase 10 Cents

Students who wish to each school lunch will pay $.10 more per meal next school year. The new lunch prices were approved by the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education Monday, June 25, 2012. (more…)

Topics: Education

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