Exciting School Start

Written by Shahna Janssen, Director of Community Education

back_to_schoolI have run into many WDMCS families this summer and when I’ve asked how their summer is going, I’ve always heard the same answer, “Fast!”  And  I couldn’t agree more!  Then, when I asked my kids if they were ready for school to start again, I got an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  I really wasn’t expecting that, but it was very good to hear. It reminded me of how fortunate we are to be part of the West Des Moines Community School District.  We have great schools, outstanding teachers, and strong and capable leaders.  All of that has translated into a wonderful school experience for my two kids and thousands of others students. I’m excited by the learning and growth I’ve seen in them each year, and apparently they are too.  I hope that your school year gets off to a fantastic start!

Sue Roberts the 2012-3 Susan Asklof Enthusiasm Awardee


Sue Roberts at the WDMCS Welcom Back accepting the Susan Asklof Enthusiasm Award.

The 2012-13 Susan Asklof Enthusiasm Award was presented to Sue Roberts at the West Des Moines Community School District’s welcome back celebration on Monday, August 19. Sue an associate at Western Hills Elementary School.

WDMCS Community Education began giving this award in memory of Susan Asklof, the district’s wellness supervisor from 1986-1991. Susan helped many students and staff understand the importance and reward of a healthy lifestyle. The recipient of this award is an employee who exemplifies her amazing qualities: Lives Life Fully, Loves Unconditionally, Learns with Joy, Laughs Heartily, and Leaves a Legacy.

Here is excerpt from Susan’s nomination form written by one of her peers.

“It is said that laughter is the best medicine. It is this medicine that Sue brings with her to work each day.  Sue uses her time with the students to share a smile and laugh. She sends a message that ‘we can do this together.  Sue’s positive attitude is evident in her smiles along the way as she shares with her students the joy in their successes and laugh together as they learn something new each day.”

Gabe Carlson, WDMCS Wellness Director spoke about Susan and the amazing life she lived.

Iowa Senior Olympics

The 27th Iowa Senior Olympic games gathered athletes from Iowa and out of state to compete in several different sports.  The games officially started on May 31 through June 16, with 590 athletes participating.  A variety of games were offered for all athletes to compete in including softball, tennis, golf, shuffleboard, pickleball, horseshoes, football throws, table tennis, basketball, badminton, track and field events, and bowling.  The event was made possible this year due to the support of sponsors and the 125 volunteers.

Interactive Computer Camp

The Youth Tech Inc. program took Valley Southwoods by storm in both June and July. The program is an interactive computer camp that focuses on providing enrichment opportunities to students in the world of computers. The program provided four classes for students ages 10-17. Animation Studio was an interactive class combining 2D and 3D animation allowing for the students to create both beginner and advanced animation concepts. The Video Game Design class taught students the basics of video game design and the students created several different interactive video games. The Robotics class offered a hands-on opportunity to build and program robots. The students worked in small teams to design a robotics system. The Game Design Apps was new to the Youth Tech Inc. program and offered an interactive look at the world of mobile video game design and development. The students learned how to publish games to their favorite Apple® or Android ® devices.

Be the Boss

Students entering fifth and sixth grade got the chance to be the boss and learn about different aspects of business in the WDMCS Community Education – Summer of Learning program Be the Boss.  The students experience hands-on entrepreneurship through a variety of highly interactive classroom activities, guest speakers, and a tour of a local business. The students were able to go through the process of planning and implementing a business idea, met and learned from successful entrepreneurs, designed business cards and flyers, and even invented a new ice cream flavor.

The camp concluded with a business fair showcasing the students’ hard work and creative minds with their own business creations.