Ankeny Community School District

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Ankeny, Iowa

United States
District information
GradesPre-K through 12
Established1850 (first graduating class in 1914)
SuperintendentDr. Bruce A. Kimpston[1]
AccreditationIowa Department of Education & NCA
Budget$179 million[2]
Students and staff
Students10,789 [2]
Athletic conferenceCentral Iowa Metro League
District mascotHawks and Jaguars
ColorsMaroon and Gold / Black and Silver with a Maroon Accent
Other information

The Ankeny Community School District is located in Polk County, Iowa and is 6 miles (9.7 km) from the capital city, Des Moines. The district is well known in Iowa for accomplishments in academics, athletics and activities. Ankeny Schools are accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (AdvancEd) and the Iowa Department of Education, and are part of the Central Iowa Metro League (CIML).

For more than a decade, the district has been one of the fastest growing school districts in Iowa, averaging student enrollment growth of more than 300 students per year during that time.[3] The district will serve more than 9,380 students in 2012–2013 and is the 8th largest district in the state (by total students served). By 2015-2016, the district is projected to enroll 10,446 students and by 2017–2018 the district is projected to enroll 11,282 students.[3]

Physically, the district encompasses a relatively compact 51.93 square miles (134.5 km2) and has more than 360,540 miles (580,230 km) driven by buses per year.[2]


The first school in Ankeny was a log cabin, built in 1850, twenty years before Crocker Township was organized as a civil township. Ankeny's first school was located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south of town where the east entrance of the Iowa State Experimental farm joined Highway 69. This school was later re-located on the east side of Ankeny Boulevard, just south of First Street. Records show that Mr. A. H. Feigenbaum was one of the early teachers, serving in one of the one-room schools about 1880. The early roster includes other names such as Mrs. Hattie Cornwall, a Miss Benedict, Miss Maude Kennedy, and Mrs. John Wagner as a substitute.

The district's first official "graduating class" was the five-person class of 1914. Consolidation came to Ankeny in 1919, at which time the oldest part of the Neveln building was built. Several country school houses were moved to the grounds to accommodate the increased enrollment.

There was no further new construction until 1952 when the original part of the Parkview building was constructed. In 1957, the west wing was added and in 1964 an east wing was completed. In 1964, Parkview became Ankeny High School. Later, the facility was repurposed and renamed as "Parkview Middle School."

Northwest Elementary on West 1st Street was the first building to open after the original Parkview building. It was completed in 1962. Additional buildings include (in order of opening):

  • East Elementary, built in 1963
  • Southeast Elementary, opened in 1969
  • Terrace Elementary, opened in 1972
  • Northview Middle School, originally opened as "Ankeny High School" in two phases (1973 & 1975)
  • Westwood Elementary, opened in 1989
  • Northeast Elementary, opened in 1992
  • Prairie Ridge Middle School, originally opened as "Northview Middle School" in 1995
  • Crocker Elementary, opened in 2004
  • Ashland Ridge Elementary, opened in 2008
  • Ankeny High School, opened in 2011
  • Southview Middle School, opened in 2011
  • Prairie Trail Elementary School, opened in 2012
  • Ankeny Centennial High School, opened in 2013
  • Rock Creek Elementary, opened in 2014

In 2009, construction began on the new Ankeny High School in Prairie Trail, and construction on the new Ankeny Centennial High School began with a groundbreaking ceremony on September 1, 2010. In August 2011, the new Ankeny High School opened, along with Phase I of Southview Middle School. At this time, the previous high school became a middle school for 8th and 9th grades. In 2011 the district also experienced its first division on the way to two secondary school systems, by moving to two 6th–7th grade middle schools: Prairie Ridge Middle School for the north feeder system and Parkview Middle School for the south feeder system.

In 2013–2014 the district opened Ankeny Centennial High School, marking the first time in four decades in which a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. The name, "Ankeny Centennial High School" is in honor of 100 years of graduating classes in Ankeny Community Schools. The Class of 2013 was the 100th graduating class, graduating just three months prior to the opening of the school.

At the same time, East Elementary School was expanded to accommodate three sections of students at each grade level (K-5).


Ankeny Schools has been experiencing a period of rapid enrollment growth, with 300+ new students joining the school district each year. The Ankeny School district opened its second high school in 2013-2014 and now operates two, fully functioning secondary school systems.


Some of the recent academic accomplishments of Ankeny students include:[2]

• 92.87% graduation rate – No. 1 among the 11 largest districts in Iowa (2010–2011)
• 0.57% dropout rate – (2010–2011)
• 96.3% average daily attendance rate (2011–2012)
• 23.8 average composite score on ACT, while state average is 22.1 and national is 21.1 (2011–2012)
• 0.79 AP Index on the Belin and Blank Iowa AP Index; fifth consecutive increase (2012)
• 74 students earning AP Scholar Awards; 19 with distinction and 16 with honor (2011–2012)
• 81.5% of the graduating class intends to pursue post-secondary education (2011–2012)
• More than 11,400 DMACC credits earned by students (2011–2012)
• 89,203 DMACC credits earned by AHS students since 2000 (2010–2011)
• 3 National Merit Scholarship Finalists (2010–2011)
• 2 Presidential Scholar Candidates (2011–2012)
• 208 students took 5 or more AP/Honors classes (2011–2012); the fourth straight year of increase.
• 42 students graduated with an honors diploma (2012)


  • 2014 Iowa Breaking Barriers to Teaching and Learning Award - Northeast Elementary received this award as the best school in the state for reducing achievement gaps between key subgroups of students.[2]
  • 2013 U.S. News & World Report Silver Medal High School - Of more than 21,000 high schools analyzed nationwide, Ankeny High School was ranked the tenth best high school in the state and number 1,746 in the nation.[2]
  • 2013 Newsweek America's Best High Schools - Ranked 1147 on the list highlighting the best 2,000 public high schools in the nation.[2]
  • 2013 Sunny Award - First Iowa school district to earn a second Sunny Award from Sunshine Review, a national non-profit organization dedicated to government transparency.[2]
  • 2013 Recipient of the National Federation State Speech, Debate, and Theatre Award - Mr. Cary Shapiro was one of only 19 people to receive this national award in 2013.[2]
  • 2012 - 3rd Annual Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll - One of only 11 Iowa schools honored by the College Board with placement on the 3rd Annual AP® District Honor Roll for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement® course work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.[2]
  • 2013 Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.[2]
  • 2012 Sunny Award - First Iowa school district to earn a "Sunny Award" from Sunshine Review, a national non-profit organization dedicated to government transparency. Only 214 agencies out of 6,000 reviewed received the award in 2012.[4]
  • 2011-2012 School Administrators of Iowa Assistant Secondary Principal of the Year - Bev Kuehn.[2]
  • 2011-2012 Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year - Jodi Larson.[2]
  • 2010–2011 Bank Iowa Challenge Cup Class 4A Runner-Up – The Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup is a statewide competition designed to recognize Iowa high school students for both academic excellence and outstanding achievement during state competitions. Winning schools in each of the state's four classifications (1A, 2A, 3A and 4A) with the best combined score for academics, athletics, music, speech and debate receive a crystal award and $1,500.[2]
  • 2011–2016 Accredited by both the Iowa Department of Education and AdvancED – One of only three districts in the Des Moines metro area to receive accreditation for its schools through AdvancEd. The next accreditation visits are scheduled for 2016.[2]
  • 2009–2010 Iowa Department of Education Breaking Barriers to Learning and Teaching Award – honoring districts that make significant improvements in reducing achievement gaps among key student groups.[2]
  • 2009–2010 Bank Iowa Travelling Challenge Cup 4A Champion for academic and activities excellence[2]


The district currently has 16 school buildings, using a K-5, 6–7, 8–9, 10–12 grade level structure in two complete "feeder systems":

North Feeder System

  • Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Northview Middle School
  • Prairie Ridge Middle School
  • Ashland Ridge Elementary School
  • Northeast Elementary School
  • Northwest Elementary School
  • Westwood Elementary School
  • Rock Creek Elementary School

South Feeder System

  • Ankeny High School
  • Southview Middle School
  • Parkview Middle School
  • Crocker Elementary School
  • East Elementary School
  • Prairie Trail Elementary School
  • Southeast Elementary School
  • Terrace Elementary School


Superintendents who have served at Ankeny Schools include:

• H.H. VanBethuysen 1917–1919
• E.G. Clark 1919–1921
• E.W. Neveln 1921–1943
• Cliff Evans 1943–1947
• Ted Karges 1948–1951
• Ralph Jorgensen 1951–1958
• Melvin Anderson 1958–1960
• Keith Hopkins 1960–1986
• Dr. Ben Norman 1986–2002
• Kent Mutchler 2002–2006
• Dr. Veronica Stalker 2006–2007
• Dr. Matthew Wendt 2007–2012
• Dr. Bruce Kimpston 2012–Present


2011–2012 School Year Athletic & Activities Achievements[2]

  • 30 AHS students signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiate sports, or as preferred walk-ons
  • Two 2011-2012 Team State Championships (Baseball and Softball)
  • Two Individual State Champions – (Ross Larson - Wrestling; Alex Flatness - 100 Freestyle)
  • 10 Central Iowa Metro League (CIML) Central Conference Championships – football, boys' golf, volleyball, girls' basketball, boys' basketball, girls' bowling, girls' soccer, girls' 200 medly relay, softball
  • 14 State Tournament Appearances – baseball, softball, boys' cross country, girls' cross country, football, volleyball, girls' basketball, boys' basketball, boys' golf, girls' swimming, boys' swimming, wrestling, boys' soccer, girls' soccer
  • 12 State Top Ten Finishes: baseball (champions), softball (champions), football (semi-finals); volleyball (semi-finals); girls' basketball (2nd); boys' basketball (3rd); softball (TBD); wrestling (5th); boys' swimming (6th); boys' soccer (5th); girls' soccer (2nd)
  • National rankings including: girls' soccer (8th); boys' basketball (38th)
  • 97 All-Conference Athletes
  • 55 First-Team or Conference Champions
  • 137 All-Academic Team Athletes
  • 34 First-Team All-State Athletes
  • Individual honors including: Jerry Pezzetti, Iowa Sports Awards Coach of the Year; Maddie Manning, Gatorade Iowa Girls' Basketball Player of the Year; Mark Hey, CIML Conference Baseball Coach of the Year; Amy Farmer, State 5A Softball Coach of the Year.

Historical Information:

Girls' Athletics

Ankeny girls' athletics rose to prominence in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Coach Dick Rasmussen, who coached the girls' basketball and softball teams. Under head coach Scott De Jong, the girls' basketball team holds the record for the most consecutive state titles. They won the state championship in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005; in 2005 they rose as high as No. 2 in USA Today's Super 25 national rankings.[5] The Hawkettes hold the record for the most state titles by a school in Iowa history, having won six championships under Coach De Jong in the five-girl era and another three under the old six-girl rules.[6]

State Championships

The Ankeny girls' track and field team won the state outdoor championship in 1981 under coach Roy Crabtree and has, under head coach Dennis Adamson, won the state indoor championship in 1996 and was runner-up outdoor state champions in 1996 and 1997. The girls' track and field team under coach Adamson has also been in the top ten state finishers seven times most recently finishing seventh in the 2010 season.

Under Coach Dave Whims, the Ankeny High School volleyball team has had several state tournament appearances and have won the state championship in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. In 2003, 2004 and 2010 the team was the state 4A runner up. Overall since 1996, the volleyball team has made 10 state tournament appearances and won 9 conference championships.[7]

The Ankeny girls' golf team, coached by Toni Dickey, has appeared in the state tournament from 2001 to 2005, 2007 to 2009, and 2011. The team has four championships, 1986, 2003, 2004, and 2008. The 2009 team placed 3rd at the state tournament, and 5th in 2011. The girls have been crowned conference champions in each year from 2001 to 2009, and again in 2011.[8]

The Ankeny girls' soccer team, under the direction of Coach Chris Allen, captured their first state championship in 2011. They also won their second title in 2013, with an undefeated nationally ranked team. In 2015, Ankeny High won their third girls' soccer state championship, this time over Pleasant Valley.

Boys' Athletics

Ankeny also has a very successful football team. Coach Jerry Pezzetti has accumulated over 370 wins in his 50+ year career at Ankeny including two state championships in 1997 and 2012.[9] Since 1998, and with the help of special teams coach Peter Rameh, four Hawk kickers have played college football for teams in the Division I Bowl Sub-division, including former University of Miami All-American Todd Sievers

The Ankeny boys' soccer team is coached by Rick Isaacson, with the assistance of Peter Rameh. The team made its first ever state tournament appearance in 2006, losing in the first round to top seeded Bettendorf. They made the state tournament again in 2007, where they won the state title with a 1–0 victory over Valley High School after a last-minute goal by Jacob Misel.

The baseball team has 10 state tournament appearances, including four state runners-up and two state championships in 1992 and 2012.

Alumni Athletic Participation at Higher Levels

Ankeny High School alumni have participated in numerous NCAA Division I sports, including football,[10] men's[11] and women's[12][13] basketball, baseball,[14] women's golf,[15] equestrian,[16] men's[17] and women's[18] track and field, men's[19] and women's[20] swimming, softball,[21] volleyball,[22] men's[23] and women's[24] soccer, men's[25] and women's[26] cross country, and wrestling.[27]

Several former Ankeny athletes have achieved high levels of performance at the professional level:

  • Pat Dunsmore played just one year of high school football, but played well enough to earn a scholarship to Drake and went on to become an All-American receiver. He played three seasons in the NFL as a tight end. He was a member of the Chicago Bears' team that won the Super Bowl in 1985.
  • Dennis Gibson was a standout linebacker at Ankeny and was a three-year starter at Iowa State. He was an 8th round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 1987. He helped the Lions to the NFC Championship Game in 1991 and went on to make nearly 500 tackles during his seven seasons in Detroit. He later joined the San Diego Charges in 1994 and played in the Super Bowl that same year.
  • Benj Sampson pitched the Ankeny baseball team to the Class 4-A state championship in 1992. He elected to turn pro after being selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 6th round of the 1993 amateur draft. Sampson made his major-league debut with the Twins in September 1998. He compiled a 1.56 ERA in five appearances, and earned a spot on Minnesota's opening-day roster in 1999.


2011–2012 School Year Activities Achievements[2]

Instrumental Music

  • Three students selected for All-State Band
  • Four students selected for the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band
  • Division I rating at the Iowa High School Music Association's State Marching Band Contest
  • First Place 4A Band, Best Winds, Best Percussion & Best Drum Majors at the 5 Seasons Marching Invitational
  • Outstanding soloist at the Charles City Jazz Festival
  • 24 students placed in the top five on their instrument at the Perry Band Olympics; three in first place


  • Two individual State Champions
  • Third-place State Debate Tournament team
  • Three students qualifying for Nationals
  • Two students qualifying for the National Tournament of Champions


  • Five Division I ratings in state group speech
  • Two All-State speech groups
  • 58 Division I ratings in district individual speech
  • 40 Division I ratings in state individual speech
  • Eight All-State individual speech selections
  • Third consecutive team championship at the Walnut Hills Speech Classic
  • Invited to perform at the Scotland Fringe Festival and the American HS Theatre Festival for the fourth time since 2005

Vocal Music

  • 17 All-State Choir selections, plus two alternates
  • Show Choir ranked 14th nationally
  • Show Choir - Two Grand Championships, Three Class 4A Championships
  • Show Choir - Four best choreography caption awards
  • Show Choir - Two best vocals awards
  • Show Choir - Katelyn McDevitt best soloist award
  • Dance Team
  • State 4A Championship in Lyrical
  • 14th-place at Nationals in Lyrical

The Ankeny Bands have two jazz bands, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab, and one marching band, the Marching Hawks.

There are three show choirs at Ankeny High School; Visual Adrenaline (VA), Perpetual Motion (PM) and Intensity, VA and PM being coed, while Intensity being an all-girls choir, respectively. VA continues to gain First Place in competitions, and is 11th in the nation. Jim Cacciatore leads Perpetual Motion, while Lester Miller directs Visual Adrenaline.

The Drama department does three plays a year: a fall play, a children's play (which is led by the students) and a spring musical.

Notable alumni[edit]

Chris Fehn and Jim Root, members of Slipknot
Dennis Albaugh, Owner of Albaugh Chemical, No. 468 on the 2009 The World's Billionaires list published by Forbes
Dennis Gibson, linebacker for the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers football teams
Pat Dunsmore, Tight end for the Chicago Bears football team
Paul Rhoads, former head coach of the Iowa State University football team
• Benj Sampson, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins baseball team
Connie Yori, head basketball coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers women's basketball team and recipient of the 2010 Naismith College Coach of the Year award
• Andrew Brodell, former wide receiver for the University of Iowa (2004–2008) and second team All-Big Ten Selection.

     Amy Beverly, former 1st Baseman for Missouri Western University (2002-2006) Inducted to Missouri Western University's  
     Hall of Fame in 2015


  1. ^ Ankeny Community School District Superitendent's Profile; ACSD Web Site: Archived January 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Ankeny Community Schools District Quick Facts; ACSD Web Site: Archived January 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Ankeny Community Schools Current and Projected Enrollment; ACSD Web Site: Archived August 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Sunshine Review". Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Usatoday.Com". USA Today. May 20, 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Ankeny Athletic Booster Club Volleyball Records; ACSD Booster Club Web Site Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Ankeny Athletic Booster Club Girls Golf Records; ACSD Booster Club Web Site Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Iowa All-Time Football Coaching Leaders; Iowa High School Athletic Association, additional text.
  10. ^ "Player Bio: Andy Brodell – Iowa Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Kristina Voss Biography". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  13. ^ "Nicky Wieben". Iowa State Cyclone Sports University Athletics. October 12, 1986. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ "John Brockardt bio – Duke University Blue Devils | Official Athletics Site". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  18. ^ "Mackenzie Madison". Iowa State Cyclone Sports University Athletics. August 10, 1986. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  19. ^ "Player Bio: Danny Harty – MISSOURI OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  20. ^ "Swimming & Diving – Roster". Iowa State Cyclone Sports University Athletics. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  21. ^ "Kelsey Nurnberg – Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletic Site". August 8, 1986. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "Jill Hoeck". June 29, 1986. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 18, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ [4][dead link]
  25. ^ Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Dawn Caffrey". Iowa State Cyclone Sports University Athletics. November 28, 1984. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  27. ^ Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]