2020 Hall of Honor Recipients
The Valley High School Hall of Honor was established to recognize outstanding alumni, educators, and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership, and character, are positive role models for the student body of the West Des Moines Community Schools. These individuals have specifically dedicated their time and made significant contributions to the Valley High School community.
Hall of Honor inductees are carefully selected by a committee of Valley High School and West Des Moines Community Schools staff and community members. Learn more about the selection process.
Cindy Axne, ’83, is a businesswoman and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Iowa’s third congressional district since 2019. She is the principal of Axne Consulting Group where she focuses on strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, leadership development and coaching. She is also co-owner of Creation Agents where she manages operations and strategy for the digital design company. Axne and her husband have two sons, and she is an avid outdoors person and animal lover.
Samuel Gabriel, ‘02, is the co-founder and executive director of Genesis Youth Foundation. The foundation empowers underserved youth and young adults through sports and the arts while engaging them in educational opportunities to become effective leaders and productive citizens. Gabriel has a degree in Healthcare Administration. He is actively involved with Kyles A.M.E. Zion Church. Gabriel and his wife have two children.
Roger Warren Sandler
Major General Roger W. Sandler, ‘52, entered active duty in 1991 after being selected as the Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command. This was his second period of extended active duty, having served initially from 1956-1958. Sandler retired from the Army in 1994 and assumed duties as the National Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States. He was also the National President of the Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association in 1984-1985. Prior to entering active duty, Sandler owned Sandler Properties, a real estate investment company in Mound, Minnesota. He has four grown children.
Melinda Dunnwald is a WDMCS parent who has been volunteering in the district since 2011. Dunnwald co-founded and co-facilitated Jordan Creek Elementary School’s Kids Care Club. This student led-group also created the “profriend” movement to positively impact the conversation about bullying and promote kindness and friendship in action.
Dunnwald served on the WDMCS Board of Education from 2015-19 and was both president and vice president. She earned four Better Boardsmanship Awards for her ongoing commitment to ongoing service, learning and advocacy. Dunnwald is also an active supporter of the WDMCS Student Scholarship Fund, Booster Pak Program, Staff Recognition Committee, Valley Booster Club and Athletic Department and Student Council events. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children.
Former Staff Inductee
Chuck Clark began his WDMCS career in 1972 at Valley High School in the music department. Throughout his 17 years at Valley, his commitment to excellence was demonstrated in his dedication to his students, desiring they would not only be fine singers but people of great character. Many extra hours were spent at school preparing students for All-State, rehearsing for musicals, giving voice lessons or sharing life lessons at the piano bench. He and his wife, Jean, had two children. Valley students and staff mourned his death in 1989.