Life in the WDMCS 12/3/12

Life in the WDMCS is a new 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.

Stilwell Junior High
The Turkey Bowl is the Superbowl of Stilwell’s intramural football season. Four teams competed at Valley Stadium in a round robin tournament to decide a winner. Although the No Namers only had four players and had to forfeit, they still played and received an honorable mention. The third place team was the Lorien Phenix and the runner-up team was The Agitated Unicorns. The winners were the team of Ryan Clemens, Kevin Duncan, Joey Koenen, Marquese Tate and Paul Weaver, The CHEETOS! A special thank you goes out to the Walnut Creek YMCA for supplying the pizza at the conclusion of the games.

Stilwell participated in the district-wide Winter Warmth Drive organized by Valley High School Student Council. Stilwell students donated around 100 items of warm clothing that will go to area schools in need. The eighth grade G Team won the donating contest at Stilwell. All six teams competed against each other with a point system: coats, sweaters and snow pants were worth three points; hats, mittens and gloves were worth one point.

Teen Club is a club for teens, run by teens. Any Stilwell student can join. The club meets two Fridays a month in the media center. Club members suggest activities and any items needed for the activity are supplied by the Teen Club staff. Teen Club helped to collect non-perishable food items for Combat Hunger, sponsored by the Food Pantry of Iowa. They were able to collect over 200 items including crackers, peanut butter, tuna, soup, fruits and vegetables. Thank you to all the Stilwell students and staff who contributed.

On November 20, Stilwell’s Team “I” students took a day to learn about and celebrate Iowa. Students toured the Hall of Pride and participated in a lot of fun-filled and informative activities. The students then walked the downtown Skywalk system and journeyed to Kaleidoscope at the Hub for lunch. The students headed back to Stilwell to watch the movie “Field of Dreams,” filmed in Iowa. The day ended with celebrations of Team I’s own success stories by focusing on those with outstanding participation in school activities and applauding those students who made the team A and B Honor Rolls. Those students receiving Academic Recognition for their school work on the Team I are Rheanne Ames, Raquel Anderson, Jacqui Arriaga, Nick Bartusek, Logan Benson, Joe Bernhard, Allie Brackett, Wil Brown, Anthony Burgos, Cameron Burke, Pam Chander, Catherine Christian, Ryan Clemens, Emily Conard, Quinton Curry, Ari Cutler, Elizabeth Davidson, Jack Davis, Parker Day, Emma Degen, Evan Eastin, Taylor Glade, Brandon Gliem, Mario Gonzalez, Courtney Graham, Shay Griffith, Beth Hammond, Jamie Hanson, Azsia Hobson, Alec Johnson, Catie Judge, Baylie Katcher, Bri Klawonn, Karley Kopaska, Sarah Kuhlman, Kamden Lee, Jessica Lefler, Celine Lie, Van Ly, BreAnna McCartan, Olivia McQuerry, D’oveon Mallett, Megan Maly, Brennan Mastous, Jacob Mendoza, Naleesa Narayan, Brook Norwood, Tin Pham, Haritha Ponduri, Guowei Qi, Nezira Rizvanovic, Will Rodruck, Dani Roth, Connor Schatzberg, Sydney Schweitzer, Delaney Smith, Emma Sodder, Emily Steimel, Muhamed Stilic, Andy Thompson, Colin Tracy, Caleb Valadez, Lauren Weisshaar, Becca White, Izzy Wilde, Taylon Williams, Katie Wilson, and Piper Wood.

Valley High School
Do you want to be part of a WIN/WIN situation? Then sponsor a Valley Tigers basketball game or wrestling meet for WDMCS Student Scholarship Fund! Interested individual or business sponsors donate money for every 3-point shot made by any Valley basketball player or pin by our Tiger wrestlers. The cost of a sponsorship is $25 per 3-pointer and $25 per pin with a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $200 for the night. After each 3-pointer or pin, your name will be announced as a proud sponsor of the Student Scholarship Fund. All donations are tax deductible. Go to our quick sign up page to get a sponsorship form:, or contact Andrea Masteller at

Clive Elementary
Students in Shana Olson’s kindergarten class at Clive Elementary have been learning many new games to help them with their math skills. The students have been introduced to I <3 MATH, a management system, where they work in small groups to learn the lesson of the day and to play games independently, with an associate and on the computer. The children have been playing Monster Squeeze to work on comparing numbers and Domino Concentration to work on matching numbers to sets of objects and Roll a Number to work on graphing and counting. These games are part of the district’s math curriculum, Everyday Mathematics. The children are very engaged in the games and work cooperatively with partners and small groups to complete them.

Crestview Elementary
Winter is Concert Season for West Des Moines string players – and it is just beginning. Here are a few of the Crestview orchestra highlights for the upcoming season. Crestview sixth grade strings performed chamber music at Barnes and Nobel Nov. 27. They played a collection of pieces for the Holiday in addition to their winter concert repertoire. The halls of Crestview were filled with music Nov. 28 as the sixth grade strings performed a noon serenade in the front entry. The fifth grade strings performed their first ever lunch concert that week. On December 11, sixth grade strings will join string players from all across the WDMCS as they tour elementary schools in the district. Winter tour concerts will be performed at Crestview, Clive, Crossroads Park and Westridge this December. The tour concerts will be the first opportunity for the sixth graders to perform together as an orchestra. Both the district fifth grade orchestra and the district sixth grade orchestra will have concert performances on the evening of Dec. 13 at Valley Southwoods. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the VSW gym. The fifth grade orchestra will perform “Southside Blues,” a country fiddle tune called “Cripple Creek,” “Sailor’s Song” and a perennial favorite called “Dragon Slayer.” The sixth grade orchestra will perform “Morning Lights,” “Frontier Phantom,” “Appalachian Hymn” and a seasonal piece with a global flare called “International Jingle Bells.” Crestview sixth grade orchestra students are Sam Carpenter, Caroline Lankton , Gabe Lockin, Lindsey Loper, Barbara Nicholson, Maya Shah, Kate Snodgrass, and Joeseph Whisler. Fifth grade Crestview orchestra students are Hans Bun, Aaliyah Cao, Cade Dobesh, Hailey Etzel, Grace Hoepker, Kolbi Jorgensen, Laura Kiely, Skylar Manna, Delfina Mihura, Ashley Sorensen, Solomn Stewart, Maria Suarez, Ashley Tan, Isabel Thomas, Chloe Thorn and Yajaira Triana.

Crestview families enjoyed an evening Book Fair at Barnes and Noble. Besides browsing the shelves, everyone enjoyed a 6th grade stringed ensemble, International Dancers, the Tiger Choir, storytelling of “Pete the Cat” and a professional harpist. Kudos to Crestview students as well as Jeanne Caldwell, Ruth Dorr, Principal John Villotti, Kristen Maas and visiting author Rebecca Davis with her dog, Freya, for making this a memorable evening for all in attendance. Proceeds from the book fair will purchase books for Crestview children.

Author Rebecca Fjelland Davis traveled to Crestview Elementary and Indian Hills Junior High with her Newfoundland, Freya, to speak with students about writing, bikes, dogs and truly living. Davis currently teaches composition, literature and film and humanities at South Central College in Mankato, Minn. The students enjoyed asking questions, hearing her stories and learning what makes for successful writing. Students, parents and staff enjoyed hearing and meeting both Rebecca and gentle Freya.

Crossroads Park Elementary
Crossroads Park held its fifth annual Turkey Disguise contest where students helped save the turkeys by disguising each of them into their own unique disguise. Students took an outline of a turkey and camouflaged it to look like anything but an actual turkey. Cougar Council is excited to announce the winners class winners were Julia Tighe- 6A, Christina Melendez- 6B, Samia Abdalla- 6C, Alexa Christiansen- 5A, J.R. Leger- 5B, Caitlin Kelley-5C, Isabelle Hancock- 4A, Joe Templeton- 4B, Oliver Parizek- 4C, Kayla King- 3A, Hunter Essmann- 3B, Katy Gillaspey- 3C, Sophia Graves- 2A, Trey Andrew- 2B, Siena Bond- 2C, A.J. Crownover- 1A, Johanna Barajas-Lopez- 1B, Anshul Barve- 1C, Maddi DiDio- KA, Olivia Wiliamson- KB, and Aiden Artikov- KC. The two school-wide winners were awarded an actual turkey to take home thanks to the generous donation from Hy-Vee.

Fairmeadows Elementary
Holiday sights and sounds will abound when the 23rd Street Singers go on tour December 12 to perform at the Hy-Vee on 35th Street in West Des Moines (9:45-10:15 a.m.) and Walnut Ridge, 1701 Campus Drive, Clive (10:30-11:00 a.m.). The singers would love it if family and friends could attend either or both locations. Selections to be performed include “Just Chillin’,” “Snowman Jump,” “Jingle-Bell Rock,” and “Light the Candles.” Singers are reminded to please wear their black pants and 23rd Street Singers’ logo shirts that day. We’re in the spirit – the holiday spirit!

Hillside Elementary
Kindergartners at Hillside are looking forward to meeting with their Tiger Pals before winter break.  Each kindergartner was paired with a sixth grade buddy at the beginning of the school year.  The sixth graders help the kindergarten students complete special activities they might not be able to do independently.  Last month, the Tiger Pals together created a tissue paper turkey centerpiece for the Kindergarten Pie Feast.  This month students will be working together to construct and decorate graham cracker gingerbread houses.  Tiger Pal activities give kindergarten and sixth grade students an opportunity to develop caring and respectful relationships and demonstrate good citizenship skills at school.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek Circle of Friends program has had a wonderful start to the year, with close to 100 students in second through sixth grade who participate. The goal of the program is to build and strengthen friendships. So far this year they have had a pizza party at school and had a kick-off event at Howells Pumpkin Patch and an event at the Science Center. This month, students will enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores while socializing during a lunch bunch. Other December events will be bowling at Val Lanes and jumping at Pump it Up!

Phenix Elementary
Phenix Elementary first graders demonstrated what they know and learned about Thanksgiving in an original production, “A First Grader’s Thanksgiving.” All classes read and wrote about Thanksgiving the week before. Each class then worked together to create a presentation that incorporated the arts and brought their writing and learning to life. Students performed reader’s theater, gave oral presentations, sang, and acted as they entertained the audience with their view of what Thanksgiving is all about. The first graders performed for kindergarten students and teachers. The experience builds writing skills, reading fluency, and public speaking skills. All of the students did a terrific job and were excited to participate in the fun learning experience.

Western Hills Elementary
Fourth graders at Western Hills have just finished a variables unit in science. During this unit, students learned through making pendulums and paper cup boats, how important it is to control the variables in an experiment. Some of the variables tested in the pendulum experiment were length of string, position of the release and weight. We also learned the longer the string, the more swings we had in a given amount of time. In the second part of the unit, students made boats out of paper cups and experimented the relationship between the capacity of their boat, and the number of passengers their boat can hold (or in this case, pennies). They found out that the bigger the boat, the more passengers it can hold. Overall, students learned that changing one thing at a time in experiments is important in finding out results.

Westridge Elementary
Second graders in Sheryl Neri’s class performed the annual Thanksgiving play at Westridge Elementary Nov. 20. The play was held in the media center with parents, grandparents, siblings, and staff enjoying the production. Orphan children, a fairy, pilgrims, Native Americans, an American family, a director and a turkey completed the cast. The play ended with a sing-along of “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

Indian Hills Junior High
Indian Hills Junior High has embraced the season of giving in a record-breaking way. Last year, the school began a project called Feed the Pod. Students were asked to bring in donations of nonperishable food items and personal hygiene products in hopes to fill a storage pod. Last year, they surprised the Food Bank of Iowa by setting a record for the most pounds donated by a school at 3,300 pounds. This year, they topped their record by 600 pounds with a grand total of 3,900 pounds of food and items donated. The school plans to continue the tradition next year, setting a goal of 4,000 pounds of donated items.