High School Arts
Arts, both performing and visual, reflect the soul of Valley’s strong tradition of success. The study of Art History, Art Criticism, Art Production, and Aesthetics guides the curriculum in the Visual Arts Department. Many student artists receive both recognition and scholarships when they submit portfolios to colleges and art schools across the nation. The Valley Music Department was honored with the first GRAMMY® Signature School award in 1999. The 240 member Valley Marchmasters were selected to perform in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Valley Orchestra has completed concert tours in Austria and Italy. Our vocal groups and jazz ensembles have performed in several national and international festivals from Carnegie Hall to Disney World. Drama participants have been selected as Iowa High School Speech Association All-State performers and have received the All-State Sweepstakes Trophy, as well as the Critic’s Choice Award.
Staplin Performing Arts Center
Home is where the art is! The Staplin Performing Arts Center (PAC) celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 16, 2014, and its dedication on Nov. 12, 2015, It is quickly becoming a centerpiece of the WDMCS community. Conceived as a home for arts in the community, the facility was designed and built with audiences in mind, using state-of-the art equipment and acoustics to keep audiences comfortable and draw them into performances.
The Staplin Center’s impressive offerings include:
- 1,136 fixed audience seats
- 42-foot by 100-foot stage area
- 50-foot by 24-foot proscenium opening
- Motorized orchestra pit lift
- 74 linear feet of makeup room counter/mirror space
The Staplin Performing Arts Center was dedicated to Dr. Phyllis Staplin on Nov. 12, 2015. She served as an educator in the West Des Moines Community Schools for 33 years, and she continues to be a driving force for the arts and education. She retired as a Director of Curriculum in 2012. Staplin died in 2018 after a courage battle against cancer.
Performing Arts Center Manager