68 Students Selected for Opus Honor Choir Festival
This fall, sixty-eight Ankeny Community School District students, grades sixth through ninth, were selected for the 36th Annual Opus Honor Choir Festival hosted by the Iowa Choral Directors Association, more than any other school district in the state. Nearly three thousand students were nominated by their directors for one hundred-eighty positions in each of the four OPUS Honor Choirs. Judges made their selections by scoring a recorded audition from each nominated student. The 2022 Opus Honor Choirs performed on Thursday, November 17th, in CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames.
Congratulations to the hundreds of Ankeny students who submitted recordings, especially to our outstanding selected musicians (below) and their directors: Emma Feldhans and David Sponder, Parkview; Emily Battani and Lisa Rehms, Prairie Ridge; Riley Anderson and Caroline Edgeton, Northview; and Jill Bjorklund and Nick Oswald, Southview. Additionally, Nick Oswald had the distinguished honor of serving as the guest director for the 7th/8th Bass Clef Choir this year. JJ Menke, Logan Peterson, Jackson Robie, Brannen Shanahan, and Landry Wagner performed as featured soloists or small group members at the concert as well! Congrats to all!
Chatham Beck (PR)
Roman Bockes (PV)
Natalie Hall (PR)
Nora Huebsch (PR)
Sebastian Rivera-Alvarez (PR)
Zoe Saunders (PV)
Elisabeth Skog (PR)
Katharine Yoder (PV)
7th/8th Treble Clef Choir
Elin Alber (PV)
Calista Beck (NV)
Krista Bogers (PR)
Gwenyth Carl (PV)
Emily Doubleday (SV)
Natalie Ford (SV)
Carla Foster (NV)
Maylin Gustafson (SV)
Savannah Hulse (SV)
Delphine Johnson (SV)
Whitney Lee (NV)
Jaleigh Moen (SV)
Sara Phillips (SV)
Rhonda Rullestad (SV)
#Landry Wagner (SV)
7th/8th Bass Clef Choir
Austin Albaugh (SV)
Cael Austin (SV)
Lincoln Blessing (SV)
Seth Buxton (SV)
*Caleb Crouse (SV)
Keegan Elliott (NV)
Jack Kent (SV)
Andrew Langholz (NV)
Lennox McCracken (SV)
#JJ Menke (SV)
Adrian Morales (PV)
#Logan Peterson (SV)
Derek Pross (PV)
Gus Ringholz (NV)
#Jack Robie (SV)
Blake Sauer (SV)
Ezekiel Scroggs (NV)
Berritt Sipes (SV)
Jaxon Speer (SV)
*Zane Wickencamp (SV)
9th Mixed Choir
Jonas Adams (SV)
Mya Backstrom (SV)
Connor Behrens (SV)
Ella Breuer (SV)
Sareena Casady (SV)
Caitlyn Chance (SV)
^Ben Colby (SV)
Nathan Gerth (SV)
Abe Groen (NV)
Jayden Huegel (SV)
*Harrison Jansen (NV)
Jasira Jones (SV)
Kaii Jones (NV)
Oliver Klein (SV)
Erik Kleve (SV)
Zach Kragel (SV)
Addy Lehman (SV)
~Lilian Monthei (SV)
Allison Muehr (SV)
Brendan Perry (SV)
Ethan Quinn (NV)
Anders Repp (SV)
Ella Schulz (SV)
#Brannen Shanahan (SV)
Kyra Swenson (SV)
Abby Willardson (NV)
#Selected Solo/Small Ensemble
~Selected for All-State Choir
Skilled Trades Camp – a big success!
This summer, Ankeny students got a hands-on look at different jobs within the trades industry. The skilled trades camp, put on by the Des Moines Home Builders Association, allowed these future graduates the chance to learn about additional options to a viable career outside of the school setting. Students traveled to different unions and were able to interact with specific responsibilities of plumbers and steamfitters, electricians, carpenters, as well as non union job sites. This opportunity provided clarity which pathway to take which could help them plan their next few years of high school and beyond. This camp gave our students confidence in making decisions about their pathway after high school. Check out the video!
Dustin Roland Named Head Varsity Girls Wrestling Coach For Ankeny High Schools
ANKENY, Iowa (June 24, 2022) – Dustin Roland has been named as the head girls wrestling coach for the new girls wrestling program at Ankeny High School and Centennial High School. Dustin previously served as the head wrestling coach at Lincoln High School in the Des Moines Community School District.
Coach Roland has a rich background in wrestling and coaching. In addition to wrestling, he has served as an assistant coach for many sports in the Des Moines, Southeast Polk, and Bondurant-Farrar school districts. Additionally, Dustin is the 16U USA-Iowa Wrestling Division Director and has experience working within several levels of the USA-Iowa Wrestling Program.
Selection committee members were able to ask questions and give feedback on finalists. Committee members noted that Coach Roland’s wealth of background knowledge in how to lead a program makes him an excellent fit for starting a new program. They also indicated that he showed commitment to building a state-contending team and to increasing the interest in girls wrestling in Ankeny and across the state of Iowa.
Southview Middle School activities director Mike Bakker and Northview Middle School activities director Holly Anderson collaborated to lead the interview and selection process since both high schools are transitioning to new activities directors that will start on July 1.
“Dustin Roland was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates to lead the process of starting the Ankeny Girls Wrestling program,” said Mike Bakker, Activities Director at Southview Middle School. “His experience as a head wrestling coach at DM Lincoln, his role with the USA Iowa Wrestling program, and his background in coaching multiple girls’ sports in his coaching career make him a natural fit. Dustin is highly respected in the wrestling community by his peers and will work closely with the boys’ programs and coaches at Centennial & Ankeny High Schools.”
The Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union sanctioned girls’ wrestling for the 2022-23 school year, and there is much excitement surrounding the program. Ankeny High School and Centennial High School are partnering together through a co-op agreement to pioneer the Ankeny girls wrestling program. More information about the program will be available soon.
Law Day Celebration
The annual Law Day celebration was held on Monday, May 2 and was presented by the Polk County Bar Association. Law Day has been celebrated on or around May 1 since 1958 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed the proclamation declaring it a day to celebrate and strengthen the American heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the law. The Polk County Bar Association partners with ARAG each year to give Polk County area students a chance to get creative with the law as part of our annual Law Day celebration. Students in grades K through 12 are invited to compete in the visual arts, music, essay and poetry categories.
This year’s theme was “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” Numerous Ankeny students from across the district won awards and are mentioned below.
High School Poetry Competition
Emma Smith, Centennial High School
High School Essay Competition
Elizabeth Deng, Centennial High School
Finn Stukerjurgen, Southview Middle School
High School Visual Arts Competition
Josie Bishop, Northview Middle School
High School Technology Competition
Noah Yeager, Ankeny High School
Middle School Technology Competition
Aakansha Ganesh, Prairie Ridge Middle School
Middle School Performing Arts Competition
Lauren Boka, Katelyn Henzi, Camryn Johnson, Abigail Willardson, Cathy Owusu-Awkye, Josefina Willkom, Maia Bredice, Kaley Swanson and Sydney Heithoff, Northview Middle School
Middle School Poetry Competition
Rosie Howieson, Northview Middle School
Middle School Essay Competition
Kalyani Bhat, Northview Middle School
Harrison Jansen, Northview Middle School
Martha Willard, Prairie Ridge Middle School
Middle School Visual Arts Competition
Hollin Hansen, Southview Middle School
Eve Russell, Prairie Ridge Middle School
Jamie Miara, Lauren Harmon, Ava Barten, Marleigh Munger and Mabelle Way, Northview Middle School
3rd place (tie)
Elementary School Poster Competition
Ainsley Schnurr, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Jillian Tournier, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Thomas Dunne, Northeast Elementary
Elementary School Visual Arts Competition
Brinley Feuerbach, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Jillian Moses and Siena Peddicord, Northeast Elementary
Stella Heither and Lia Meyer, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Elementary School Coloring Competition
Camryn Taxted, Prairie Trail Elementary
Elle Evans, Prairie Trail Elementary
Kyla Leach, Prairie Trail Elementary
Elementary School Essay Competition
Brynlee Moeller, Southeast Elementary
Elementary School Poetry Competition
Clayton Gardner, Prairie Trail Elementary
Elementary School Technology Competition
Chatham Beck, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Madeline Lynch, Northeast Elementary
Kaitlyn French, Ashland Ridge Elementary
Celebrating our Assistant/Associate Principals!
The Ankeny Community School District would like to recognize all that assistant and associate principals that have persevered amid the pandemic and considered what their ever-expanding and evolving role might look like moving forward. Through it all, our AP’s have demonstrated unwavering leadership—becoming a source of strength and inspiration for us all. If ever there was a time to express how much your AP means to you and your school community, this is it. Visit our Thank You page, add your message, and hit submit to deliver to their inbox—it’s that easy!
Ankeny Centennial High School – Adam Busch, JD Hunter
Ankeny High School – Kelsie Goodman, Wade Grinhaug
Northview Middle School (8-9) – Caleb Hales, Cameron Wendt
Southview Middle School (8-9) – Nicole Kuhns, Chris Novak
Prairie Ridge Middle School (6-7) – Andrea Bruns, Kathleen Steffen
Parkview Middle School (6-7) – Ben Huebsch, Emily Rash
Abdelkader Education Project – Essay Contest Winners
The Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) is pleased to announce the results from our annual Abdelkader Student Prize competition. This competition is presented by AEP in partnership with Iowa National History Day and is open to middle and high school students across the U.S.
Students were asked to do one of the following:
- Write an essay discussing how Emir Abd el-Kader’s life and values influenced his actions and how those values apply to modern day challenges.
- Create a graphic story (comic) based on one vignette from the Abdelkader Stage Project (middle school or high school).
Middle School Winner
Northview Middle School, Ankeny, IA (Grade 8)
“From the start of Emir Abdelkader’s life, he was preparing how to be a great leader and how to overcome challenges. Learning about Abdelkader can show you how to meet your own challenges as well.”
HS Honorable Mentions
Northview Middle School, Ankeny, IA (Grade 9)
The 2022-2023 competition will open this fall. Entry guidelines are subject to change. Please check back in the fall for updated requirements and prompts.
We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our contest and helped make it a success! Special thanks to the following teachers: Kathy Cooper, Steph Schares, Maria LoBianco, and Alexa Long.
Profile of a Graduate
We are excited to launch the process of re-imagining our graduate profile! This document will work together with our strategic plan and equity framework to help chart a path for the district’s future. Please view this short survey to provide feedback on our graduate profile.
Scholastic Art and Writing Winners
Several students from the Ankeny Community School District were recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing contest during the month of January. Their work was blindly adjudicated by a panel of creative professionals and recognized as the most outstanding work submitted among their peers.
Scholastic Art and Writing is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7-12. Our students will be honored at an online celebration in March sponsored by Belin-Blank at the University of Iowa.
Our two students with Gold Key honors are automatically considered for national awards.
Zoe Hutchinson, Southview Grade 8
Drawing and Illustration, The Purple Lotus Prophecy (Honorable Mention)
Elliot Sutton, Southview Grade 9
Short Story, Selcouth (Honorable Mention)
Ella DeHaan, AHS Grade 12
Personal Essay & Memoir, Coming to Terms (Silver Key)