The West Des Moines Community Schools proudly announces that 686 students will graduate from the district this year. Valley High School will graduate 596 seniors with regular diplomas and 6 with Certificates of Attendance (foreign exchange students). Walnut Creek Campus will graduate 84 students.
Graduation Dates and Times
Walnut Creek Campus Commencement Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m.
Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School
3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines
Valley High School Commencement Sunday, May 26, at 12:30 p.m.
Drake Knapp Center
2601 Forest Ave., Des Moines
UPDATE (Monday, May 6): The family of Bill “Coach” Coldiron is hosting an open house in his memory.
The event will be held on from 1-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, in the Bill Coldiron Fieldhouse at Valley High School. Guests should enter the west gym doors off 39th Street.
ORIGINAL POST (April 16): Bill Coldiron, who served as a physical education teacher, activities director, and coach for the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) for 40 years and is the namesake of Valley High School’s fieldhouse, died Sunday, April 14.
He was 87.
Coldiron was hired by WDMCS in 1955, when he began his career as a physical education teacher. During the start of his tenure, he coached football, basketball, and track, but the longtime coach is popularly known for leading the Valley boys’ and girls’ golf programs for nearly 35 years.
Under Coldiron’s leadership since taking over the program in 1962-63, both Valley boys’ and girls’ teams won multiple state titles. His girls’ squads won Iowa prep sports’ top honor in 1968, 1976-79, 1982, and 1983, while his boys’ teams won in 1976 and 1988. Additionally, Valley won co-ed crowns in 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1989.
On top of his duties as a physical education teacher at Valley, Coldiron served as the school’s activities director since 1970. He retired from WDMCS at the end of the 1994-95 school year, but still coached boys’ and girls’ golf until retiring from his head coaching post in 1998.
Coldiron was named National Golf Coach of the Year in 1994 by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. He was also elected to the organization’s hall of fame in 2004.
In 1995, Valley’s fieldhouse was renamed the Bill J. Coldiron Fieldhouse.
A private graveside service will be held at Resthaven Cemetery, and the family will honor his life with an open-house visitation to be held at a later date. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.
As part of his Collaborative Field Experience with the Valley High School athletics and activities department, senior Jake Remsburg opens up and talks about the rich sports legacy at Valley High School and the impact he hopes to leave at West Des Moines Community Schools.
The Iowa Association of School Boards has designated May as School Board Recognition Month, this year recognizing these “Superheroes for Public Education.”
As citizen leaders, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education faces complex and demanding challenges. Yet few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. All Iowa citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and focus attention on the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children.
School Board members come from all walks of life. Serving on the district’s board are:
Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D. (president)
Liz Cox (vice president)
Elizabeth Brennan (Board member)
David Brown (Board member)
Melinda Dunnwald (Board member)
Vicky Poole, Ed.D. (Board member)
Jennifer Ulie-Wells (Board member)
The 2018-19 WDMCS Board of Education.
Although they wear many hats in the workday world, Board members put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve. Though they may disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal.
The seven members of the Board of Education at WDMCS establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. To accomplish these goals, board members contribute thousands of hours each year leading their districts. Whether it be crafting policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns, or advocating with legislators, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement.
The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading in their districts. They work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership; are deeply involved in community and school activities; and they create, read and study countless reports, agendas, proposals and other information to guide difficult decisions. Their love for learning and their commitment to the students, staff, and community served by the district drives board members’ desire to help students achieve their potential.
Join your community in saying “thank you” to these superheroes for public education and recognizing their efforts throughout the year.
At the April training, the YES! students shared their work and progress with staff, leading several exercises and discussions. Students later presented their work to their peers and the community, sharing their “In My One Beat” poems, art they’d created, and music from their YES! training.
Moving forward, students and staff are eager to continue training and share their learning with the community and other students, even students in elementary and middle school.
Students and staff will continue their equity training during the 2019-20 school year, with the next sessions scheduled for Sept. 24 and 25.