The Faces of Community Education – Part 1

Staff at WDMCS Community Education operate programs and services provided to the community. Over the next few blog posts we are going to introduce ourselves to learn little more about us and what role we have in the Community Education office.

Shahna Janssen, Director, 6 years

Shahna Janssen, DirectorI have the privilege of working with our citizen-based advisory council as well as providing support for each of the programs and services offered through Community Education. I really enjoy the people I get to work and collaborate with and I believe that our efforts make a meaningful difference in our community.  I love the process of helping ideas that matter, become realities that serve the needs of others. I think all of the CE values are very important. If I have to pick just one, I’d say People Focus because at the end of the day, the programs and services that we offer through Community Education need to have a positive impact on the people we serve. When I am not working I enjoy going out for Mexican dinners with my family, relaxing at home, shopping, and an occasional pedicure.

Julie Lundy, Administrative Assistant, 10 months

Judy Lundy, Administrative AssistantI am many times the first person you will talk to or see when contacting Community Education. I work mainly with Learnwest, the preschool programs, and the facilities department. The thing I enjoy most about my job the variety of things I am involved in. People Focus to me is the most important our values. I love the idea that we are working towards the good of the community and offering enrichment for their lives. When I am not at the office I love to watch my girls participate in their activities and I enjoy running.

Jamie Evans, Communications Specialist, 5 years

Jamie Evans, Communications SpecialistI think I am the luckiest person Community Education department! I have the exciting role working with all the great people, programs, and services that make up WDMCS Community Education. I prepare the communications, design the brochures, update the website, and post to social media. I honestly see the importance in all of our values, but if I had to pick one I would say Enriching. I love that we work towards expanding the life experiences of the community members. We are always looking to identify and provide opportunities which may not routinely be available without our programs, services, and spaces. When I am not at my computer I like to spend time with my family, read, scrapbook and go to movies.

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What is Community Education?

As the Community Education department for the West Des Moines Community School’s we are asked often, “What is Community Education?” Community Education can mean many different things to different people, but for us the following is what we define ourself as, value, and believe.

WDMCS Community Education is the outreach department of the West Des Moines Community School District. We provide opportunities for learning, service, and fun to people of all ages.

When you think about WDMCS Community Education think ‘opportunities’.

Our Mission

To serve the needs of our community by connecting people, ideas, and resources.

Our Model

  • The Community Education Advisory Council (CEAC) is a volunteer group of citizens who identify community needs and find ways to meet those needs.
  • The WDMCS Community Education staff operate programs and provide services to meet identified needs in our community.
  • Partnerships with other organizations maximize the use of limited resources and serve our community effectively.

Our Beliefs

  • Citizens are in the best position to identify and address community needs.
  • Learning is a lifelong process and people of all ages need opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Schools belong to the community and should be available to people of all ages.
  • Collaboration and partnerships with other organizations are essential to meeting the needs of our community effectively and efficiently.

Our Vision

  • To offer opportunities to experience life fully through learning, service, personal growth, social development, and spaces to gather.
  • We create a sense of community by involving citizens in the process to identify existing and emerging community needs and then working together to address those needs.
  • We are a key resource for community members of all ages and backgrounds, serving as a central hub to help people connect to programs, services and facilities they need and want.
  •  We see our community full of members interested in expanding their world and we focus on instilling a love of learning and service to others for generations to come.

Our Values

We are driven by our people focus and respect for all. We strive to provide relevant and enriching opportunities, while having fun and fostering a spirit of team unity.