Brennan, Lagomarcino Elected Board Officers

On Monday, Sept. 10, Elizabeth Brennan was elected president of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education by a unanimous vote. Mark Lagomarcino was elected vice president, also unanimously.

Brennan is a preschool teacher at Montessori Children’s House in West Des Moines. She graduated from Valley High School and St. Olaf College. She earned her elementary teaching degree, with an English as a Second Language endorsement, from the University of Iowa and her International Diploma in Early Childhood Montessori teaching from the Montessori Centre International in London. Brennan and her husband, Scott, have two children: Lexi is a junior at Valley High School and Joe a ninth grader at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.

Brennan was first elected to the board in September 2009 and her current term expires September 2013.

Lagomarcino is vice president and associate general counsel at Principal Financial Group. He is a graduate of Iowa State University and Drake Law School. Lagomarcino and his wife, Teresa, have three children: Justin is a junior at Valley High School; Jared is in ninth grade at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School; and Sarah is a seventh grader at Stilwell Junior High.

He was first elected to the board in September 2009. His current term expires September 2013.

In other action taken at the board’s organizational meeting, West Des Moines Community Schools’ CFO Paul Bobek was appointed board treasurer. Brennan was also appointed as the district’s Iowa Association of School Board’s delegate assembly representative

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Life in the WDMCS 9/10/12

Life in the WDMCS is a new weekly feature that will highlight what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

Clive Elementary

Clive Elementary hosted a potluck dinner for students and families that are a part of the English as a Second Language program. ESL teachers hosted the event which was attended by families that spoke more than eight different languages other than English. Ethnic foods complimented traditional American fare. In addition to being able to network with other families from the school, several community organizations were available to share information about some of the many resources that are available to them.

 Hillside Elementary

Hillside Elementary has had a great welcome from the staff at Lutheran Church of Hope. The staff and students are very appreciative of what the people at Hope have given them. Without their support, Hillside staff would have a difficult time making the students feel like they are in a school environment. The parents, staff and students have been very supportive of the temporary home at Hope. Hillisde thanks everyone who has made this temporary move safe and comfortable. Continue reading

Jordan Creek PE Teacher Recognized by American Heart Association

Luis Suarez pictured with a class of Jordan Creek fifth graders who helped him win the award last year.

Luis Suarez is fantastic at motivating his students in physical education class at Jordan Creek Elementary. He even has an award to prove it. Suarez received the Best Jump and Hoops in the Des Moines Metro 2011-12 award from the American Heart Association for the school’s participation in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.

Beth Peck, youth marketing director for the AHA, credits Suarez for saving 65 lives last year.

“The success of his program is a clear indication of how effective he is at reaching students,” said Peck. “4,600 people will have a heart attack or stroke today and only half of them will survive. He is truly making a difference in the fight against cardiovascular disease and in the health of students.” Continue reading

Meet Our New Administrative Staff

There are some new faces and changes in ranks in the district’s administrative team this year that we are excited to introduce to you.

Paul Bobek, the district’s new chief financial officer, has served in a school financial leadership position for the past 19 years. He served as the Executive Director of Business Affairs for the Bettendorf Community School District from 1993-2002. He spent nine years as the executive director of administrative services for the Iowa City Community School District. Bobek has been an active member of the Iowa Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) as well as served on their board of directors. Continue reading

Life in the WDMCS 9/4/12

Life in the WDMCS is a new weekly feature that will highlight what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

Crestview Elementary
Fifth grader, Jackie Martinez, made a charming diorama of a book she recently read, “Wedding Crasher” by Geronimo Stilton. Her diorama is displayed in the Crestview hallway along with wedding photos of the school staff. Nice work Jackie!

Sixteen fifth and sixth graders joined parent volunteers, Betsy LeBlonde and JoEllen Nadel, along with ELP teacher Maria Steffen for the opening night of Crestview’s new book club, Crestview Roaring Readers. The members will read and discuss a new book every two weeks. The group began meeting this summer and has grown to include more students; this year’s participants are: Faith Skinner, Isabella Nadel, Jacky Martinez, Delfina Mihura, Jodee Cooper, Barbara Nicholson, Olivia Carver, Andrea Perez, Max Stoaks, Shivani Chawla, Isabel Thomas, Gwyn Chilcoat, Barbara Nicholson, Lindsay Wirta, Ashley Tan, Grant Rieker, Kierra Luna. Continue reading

A Mom’s Reflections on the First Day of Kindergarten

I knew the day would come when I would send my daughter, who was once my little 5-pound peanut, off to kindergarten. That day has arrived.

Today, with hundreds of other parents, I dropped off my daughter, Melayna, for her first day of kindergarten in West Des Moines schools. She was all smiles with her new haircut and dress, but I could tell she was nervous because she was wide-eyed and fidgety. She posed outside the school with her best friend, Lauren, for pictures. Then we found her teacher, Ms. Hirsch, and she sat and patiently waited with her classmates until everyone had arrived and they could go to their classroom. Continue reading

Walnut Creek Campus Wows Students on First Day

ImageStaff at Walnut Creek Campus were welcomed with hellos and hugs as students walked through the doors of their new school on the first day of the 2012-13 school year. A year ago, they learned they would be moving into a newly renovated school building and today, students got to walk through the doors for the first time.

“It’s actually like a real high school here,” said senior Dareion Vanderberg, “and hopefully people look at us like a high school now.” Continue reading

VHS Booster Club Hosts Meet the Tigers Night Aug. 10

West Des Moines Community School District residents are invited to ‘Meet the Tigers’ Night starting at 5 p.m. Friday, August 10 at Valley Stadium. The event, formerly referred to as the ‘Dial Bowl’, includes intra-squad football scrimmages and introduction of all fall sports teams including boys and girls cross country, volleyball, girls swimming, boys golf and football. The evening also will include new meal items to be offered at concessions this fall, new merchandise featuring the new Valley tiger logo, and membership sign up  for the Valley Tiger Athletic Booster Club, which provides financial support to the Valley Athletic Department and other school related activities and organizations.

“Instead of collecting soap or sports beverages for entry into the event, we decided this year to give people the option to make donations to East High School,” says Mark Domek, booster club president. “In addition to taking care of the needs of our own athletes, we recognize this as an opportunity to help a neighboring community in a time of need by using a portion of the proceeds for East High School recovery efforts.” A fire at East High School last week destroyed athletic equipment, locker rooms, athletic offices and personal athletic apparel belonging to many athletes. Continue reading