Crossroads Park student Brie Salloum running in the track meet on May 14.

Life in the WDMCS 5/20/13

Life in the WDMCS is a 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.

The Student Scholarship Fund Golf Classic will be Tuesday, June 25 at the Legacy Golf Club in Norwalk. Create your own group of form, or be placed in a group. Not a golfer? You or your business can sponsor a hole! All proceeds go to scholarships for graduating Valley and Walnut Creek seniors. Online registration can be found here: Please email Sam Kranovich ( or Marj White ( with questions.

Recently the West Des Moines Community Schools hosted a Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) conference. Teachers from around the state shared ideas and learned more about teaching early language learners. Shanon Shreffler, FLES teacher at Crossroads and Western Hills, organized the event. Tammy Dann, FLES teacher at Crestview, and Shannon were also two of the presenters during the conference.

Clive Elementary
Special Education students at Clive Elementary are gearing up for a trip to Adventureland on May 31. In preparation the students have been working on a variety of activities and skills that will allow their trip to not only be fun, but meaningful and educational at the same time. The students have been focusing on the skills of patience, cooperation, safety and teamwork. Along with a variety of social skills activities, the students have also been working on applying their knowledge of money to real-life spending situations. Students are not only looking forward to riding amusement rides and playing games, but also building on skills they have been practicing all year.

Crestview Elementary
Spring is concert season for West Des Moines Community Schools’ orchestra students. Sixth grade orchestra students recently performed on tour throughout the district elementary schools and had a dynamic spring concert, which included a medley of “Fiddle Tunes” arranged by Curtis Barr, a WDMCS string teachers. During the late winter and early spring sixth grade string students auditioned for seats in the Honor Orchestra, with 71 string students selected representing all WDMCS elementary schools.

Fifth grade orchestra students recently participated in the annual fifth grade Orchestra Festival. They were excited and somewhat overwhelmed, meeting and working with Lucas Shogren, guest composer and conductor. Shogren was commissioned to write a piece of music for the fifth grade students. The commission project is graciously funded each year through the WMDCS parent organization, Valley Orchestra Guild. This year’s commissioned piece, “Enduring the Storm”, was a favorite for both students and audience member with its haunting melodies and driving rock-style beat.

Fourth grade orchestra students are coming to the conclusion of their beginning strings experience. For their final performance of the school year, the beginning strings will perform a musical, “Ali’s Adventures.” During the story, all of the musical selections are threaded together through a story narrated this year by Steph Wilson, curriculum director for WDMCS. In the story, 10 year old Allegro (Ali for short) is introduced to magical properties of bubbles and in the process discovers that if she keeps trying, she really can do most anything.

Crossroads Park Elementary
The annual sixth grade track meet was held on May 14. Crossroads was well represented with sportsmanship and their talent. Several students were Grand Champions this year and even more took ribbons for their outstanding track performance. The Grand Champions include Jacob Keller – 200 meter dash, Maggie House – 200 meter dash, Zoe Young – shot put, Nathan Williams, Michael Gray, Parker Marschel, and Akaya Tulapah – 4 X 200 meter boys. The 6B classroom also took home the second place trophy.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Iowa State football player Brandon Jensen and former Iowa State softball player Erin Johnson (former Valley basketball and softball player) visited the fifth grade students in Mrs. Daniels’ class last week. The Iowa State guests shared about their elementary school experiences and also told about sports and activities they were involved in during their high school careers. They encouraged students to become involved in sports and other activities to stay involved as well as meet new friends. Fifth grade students also asked Brandon and Erin about their class schedules, and their participation in sports.

Phenix Elementary
Phenix kindergartners have been studying the life cycle of plants. The study began with students looking at a variety of small objects, and trying to decide which of the objects might be seeds. Through several inquiry activities, students have discovered the parts of the seed, the three things seeds need to grow, and the different parts of a plant. The last of these discoveries involved learning about the life cycle of plants, with one of the plants of interest, a dandelion. The students watched the dandelions grow and flower, and turning into a “puffball.” Students then examined the seeds of the puffball, and watched each seed blow away.

Western Hills Elementary
Students in third through sixth grades have read voraciously this year for the Iowa Children’s Choice Award. In order to vote they must read at least two titles provided from the state library association. The Western Hills’ winners included “I Survived Hurricane Katrina” with 44 votes, “Zoobreak” with 32 votes, and “Runaway Twin” with 25 votes, was also the state winner. Students who wish to read from next year’s list should visit this website: 

Westridge Elementary
Westridge students have been busy creating beautiful artwork this year. Kindergarten is working to create model magic sculpture caterpillars, and learned how to mix primary colors to create secondary colors. First graders have been drawing realistic and imaginary bugs to celebrate spring. Second and third graders have been learning how to draw three-dimensional buildings, creating a cityscape. Students in fourth grade have been learning how to create “Op Art”. Studying Bridget Riley’s work from the 1960’s students discovered how she used line to create the illusion of movement. In fifth grade students made their own looms and have been busy weaving ever since. Working with pattern and texture, we will create beautiful miniature rugs to be used as placemats or wall hangings. The sixth graders have been making coil baskets using yarn, which requires patience and technique. Several Westridge artists receive the honor of having their artwork on display for the Nurturing A Student’s Vision show this summer at the Des Moines Arts Festival. Their work will be on display in the student art tents during regular festival hours from Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30. The students include first grader Riley Brauckman, fourth grader Jennifer Harris, and fifth graders Sophie Hixson and Anna Lewis.

Stilwell Junior High
On May 14, Stilwell Junior High Team-I held a celebration assembly. The assembly focused on those with outstanding participation in school activities, honoring readers who read more than English teacher Mrs. Woods, bestowing accolades to those with a perfect score on the team’s 200 Word Vocabulary Test, and applauding those students who made the team A and B Honor Rolls for third quarter. Students receiving Academic Recognition for their school work on Team-I include Rheanne Ames, Raquel Anderson, Jamen Andrews, Nick Bartusek, Logan Benson, Joe Bernhard, Allie Brackett, Wil Brown, Anthony Burgos, Pam Chander, Catherine Christian, Ryan Clemens, Emily Conard, Quinton Curry, Ari Cutler, Elizabeth Davidson, Parker Day, Jack Davis, Luke Dawson, Emma Degen, Adriana Dominguez, Evan Eastin, Jackson Gallentine, Brandon Gliem, Courtney Graham, Logan Grems, Shay Griffith, Beth Hammond, Jamie Hanson, David Hettmann, Azsia Hobson, Catie Judge, Baylie Katcher, Bri Klawonn, Karley Kopaska, Sarah Kuhlman, Kamden Lee, Jessica Lefler, Katie Lewis, Celine Lie, Van Ly, BreAnna McCartan, Olivia McQuerry, Megan Maly, Elise Marguiles, Brennan Mastous, Jacob Mendoza, Naleesa Narayan, Brook Norwood, Sam Oberander, Tin Pham, Haritha Ponduri, Guowei Qi, Emir Rahic, Garry Reineke, Will RodruckDani 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, Katie Wilson, Natalie Witt, and Piper Wood.

Valley Southwoods
Valley Southwoods continued its tradition in recognizing students who contribute to the school community in a positive way. Starting in September, all six teams nominated one candidate each to receive the honor of being a Tiger of the Month. All of the recognized student’s pictures were posted outside Team 1 for the entire year. Letters were sent home to parents acknowledging this achievement. On May 17, there was a recognition breakfast for students and their parents thanking them for their positive contributions to VSW. Valley Principal Jim Mollison graciously agreed to speak on what it takes to be a positive leader. Tigers of the Month honorees were: September – Jada Smith, Thomas Bonus, Jenell Hassell, Daniel Gomez, William Basham and Daiquon Bogan; October – Colin Lane, Ariadra Ruiz-Ugalde, LaKendra Punteney, Maddie Leeper, Kelli Gustafson and Gretta Hingl; November – Haley Gion, Emma Avdic, Nick Miller, Caleb Herrick, Melissa Grinvalds and Jack Jaros; December – Tara Aldrich, Sarah Clark, Tom Smith, Tyler Van Arkel, Brandon Roman and Sarah Timmerman; January – Claudia Stewart, Alexa Kort, Jason Duchesneau, Michael Baker, Alexia Sanchez and Klever Miranda; February – Connor Ferjuson, Hunter Moon, Derek Kobolt, Adelyn Fallacaro, Lucas VanDyke and Nina Vo; March – Dalila Sapcanin, Emily Carr, Ruth Anspach, Khaymie Winters, Haley Anglea and Luke Rustin; and April – Wes Tellis, Meko Mandein, Chris Whitehouse, Brittany Burkland, Calvin Stalzer and Katie Freund.

Valley High School
Recently some Jordan Creek baseball players played a game against the Valley varsity baseball team. The game was held in order to help raise funds for the elementary school.

Congratulations Valley High School Best Buddies for being Chapter of the year for the state of Iowa!