East High School (Des Moines, Iowa)

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East High School
815 E 13th Street

United States
Coordinates41°35′49″N 93°36′00″W / 41.596943°N 93.599879°W / 41.596943; -93.599879Coordinates: 41°35′49″N 93°36′00″W / 41.596943°N 93.599879°W / 41.596943; -93.599879
TypePublic Secondary
MottoFor the Service of Humanity
School districtDes Moines Public Schools
SuperintendentThomas Ahart
PrincipalLeslie Morris
Enrollment2,329 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)Red and black          
Athletics conferenceCentral Iowa Metro League
MascotEast Scarlets
RivalsLincoln Rail Splitters
North Polar Bears
Southeast Polk Rams

East High School, usually referred to simply as East, is a secondary school located in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. East is the largest high school in the state in population with over 2,400 students.[2] East is the oldest high school in the Des Moines metro and is part of the Des Moines Public Schools district.


East was established in 1861,[3] but the current school building was not built until 1911. A new student center was added in 1955, with a new gymnasium, band and tech rooms, and a new cafeteria (which has since been replaced). The South Wing, which houses the school's library, was built in 1968, and the North Wing addition followed in 1973. A renovation of this building was completed on January 4, 2006.


East High is located on East 14th Street (also known as US Highway 69) in Des Moines, close to Interstate 235. There is ample grass-covered recreation space, as well as parking, to the west and north of the main building. There is an annex a block away from the main campus.

While the East High building is one large building, it is divided into six areas:

  • Main Building (1912, renovated 2005). Four stories high, the first floor houses Special Education, Speech, Foreign Language, and Home Economics classes. The second floor is home to the auditorium, counselours offices, and History and Drama classes. The third floor houses general English and Math classes. The fourth floor holds the art rooms and Special Education classes. Before a 2005 renovation, these floors were known as the basement, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors.
  • East Wing (1955). Home to the main gymasium, the weight room, and Technology Education classes.
  • North Wing (1968). The second floor holds Mathematics classrooms and counseling offices, and the third floor is Economics and Computer Sciences. No first floor.
  • South Wing (1973, renovated 2003). The first two floors are occupied by the East High Library, while English classrooms take up the whole of the third floor.
  • Connector Building (2005). The first floor, also known as the student center, houses offices and the cafeteria. The second floor is home to more History classes, while all the schools' Science classes are on the third floor.
  • Performing Arts Wing (2006). The newest building, home to Band and Orchestra rooms and an auxiliary gymnasium that also serves as a community center as well.
  • Walker Building Annex. Beginning in the 2008-2009 school year, all freshmen classes were moved to the Walker Annex, located one block away from the main campus. Freshmen attend physical education, chorus, band, and orchestra classes on the main campus, but attend their basic science, math, English, and history courses in the Walker building. However beginning in 2012, freshman classes were switched back in the main building. The Walker Annex is now used for students with academic and attendance problems.


As of the 2005-2006 school year, there are 2,115 students[4] enrolled at East, which makes the school one of the largest in Iowa (Lincoln High ranks above East with 2,126 students). 65.8% of the student body is White (European-American) descent[5] (down from 66.7% in the 2004-2005 school year[6]). The leading ethnic group by enrollment is that of African-American (Black) descent, and they are followed by Latino, Asian, and Indian (Native American or Alaskan Native).[5]


Year Total Seniors (12th grade) Juniors (11th grade) Sophomores (10th grade) Freshmen (9th grade)
2005-2006[4] 2,115 357 419 559 780
2004-2005[7] 2,125 384 384 592 765
2003-2004[7] 1,970 302 438 496 734
2002-2003[7] 1,841 319 359 497 666


The school day is split into four periods of course instruction on an alternating A day/B day schedule. There are four lunches, over the period of two and one half hours. Students can earn an extra half of an hour of lunch for demonstrating proficiency on the Iowa Assessments. The school district requires that students take a number of core academic courses, if they wish to graduate and receive a diploma. This includes Social Studies, English, Mathematics, Science, Art, and Physical Education. The amount of academic credit needed to satisfy graduation requirements is determined by the school district.

All students are required by the district to enroll in four subject courses and a Physical Education course. However, the school compels Freshman and Sophomore students to schedule a full day of classes, to ensure satisfaction with district graduation requirements. Seniors have the option of having an "open period" during the first or last period of the school day. However, Juniors require parental permission to have an open period.

The district requires 2 semesters of Physical Education. Freshmen and Sophomores usually take their P.E. courses at the school. Juniors and Seniors have the option of taking alternative P.E. programs.


Athletic Championships and Runners-Up[edit]

  • 2011 Iowa Girl's High School Athletic Union 4A State Softball Champions
  • 2011 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union 4A State Basketball Champions
  • 2010 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union 4A State Softball Runners-up
  • 2010 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union 4A State Basketball Runners-Up
  • 2006 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union 4A State Softball Champions
  • 1994 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union 4A State Softball Runners-Up
  • 1991 Iowa High School Athletic Association 4A State Baseball Runners-Up
  • 1990 Iowa High School Athletic Association 4A State Boys' Cross Country Runners-Up
  • 1982 Iowa High School Athletic Association 4A State Baseball Runners-Up
  • 1982 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union State Basketball Runners-Up
  • 1981 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union State Softball Champions
  • 1980 Iowa High School Athletic Association 2A State Baseball Champions
  • 1979 Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union State Basketball Champions
  • Wrestling Individual State Champions: Max Burke (1939), Dick Wade (1951), Ted Tuinstra (1962).[8]
  • Boys' Cross Country Team State Championships: 1937 1A, 1941 1A, 1942 1A, 1943 1A, 1949 2A.
  • Boys' Cross Country Individual State Champions: 1935 and 1936 Vernon "Mike" Davis, 1937 1A Carl Gustafson, 1A 1942 Martin Grandquist, 1943 1A Vance Walters, 1944 and 1945 1A Paul Sloan, 1949 and 1950 2A Don Murray, 1959 3A Clark Betts, 1988 4A Kurt Lightner.
  • Boys' Golf State Champions 1928. Runners-up in 1929 and 1931.
  • Boys' Tennis Doubles State Runners-up: 1930, 1931, 1938, 1940.
  • Boys' Individual Track and Field State Champions Dick Eisenlauer 100 yd Dash 1971 220 yard 1971 (Drake Relays 100 yd dash Champion 1971)
  • Boys' Track and Field Team State Champions: 1909, 1915, 1917, 1926, 1928, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1950 1A, 1951 1A
  • Boys' Track and Field Team State Runner-up: 1913, 1922, 1937, 1942, 1947, 1948 1A, 1949 1A, 1953 2A, 1954 2A, 1981 2A, 1982 4A

Athletic state qualifiers[edit]

  • Football: 1989, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
  • Boys' Basketball: 1950, 1951, 1980, 1986, 2005
  • Girls' Basketball: 1979, 1980, 1982, 1990, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
  • Baseball: 1980, 1982, 1991, 1998, 2013, 2015
  • Softball: 1974, 1981, 1989, 1994, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Boys' Cross Country: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998
  • Boys' Swimming: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Girls' Swimming: 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017


  • 1998 Tenth Place Iowa Jazz Championships
  • 2001 Fourth Place Iowa Jazz Championships
  • 2002 Fifth Place Iowa Jazz Championships
  • 2003 Ninth Place Iowa Jazz Championships

Notable teams and coaches[edit]

  • 1979 Girls Basketball Team (30-0) was honored in 2005 as one of the greatest girls' basketball teams in Iowa's history in the last state tournament to be held at Veterans Memorial Tournament.
  • Mike Augustine, Iowa Association of Track Coaches Hall of Fame inductee.
  • Dick Eisenlauer, Iowa Association of Track Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee.


  • 2002 Destination Imagination Global Championship
  • 1998 Iowa Teacher of the Year, Ruth Ann Gaines[9]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "East High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  2. ^ School Digger: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/IA/schoolrank.aspx?level=3
  3. ^ "History of East High School". Archived from the original on October 15, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2006.
  4. ^ a b Des Moines Public Schools (2013). "Enrollment Report for 2013-2014".
  5. ^ a b Des Moines Public Schools (2005). "Minority Enrollment Report as of September 16, 2005" (PDF).
  6. ^ Des Moines Public Schools (2004). "Minority Enrollment Report as of September 17, 2004" (PDF).
  7. ^ a b c Des Moines Public Schools (2004). "Enrollment Report as of September 17, 2004" (PDF).
  8. ^ All Boy's information taken from the Iowa High School Athletic Association Website: http://www.iahsaa.org/.
  9. ^ Iowa Department of Education Website: http://www.iowa.gov/educate/content/view/686/664/.

External links[edit]