Southeast Polk Community School District

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Coordinates: 41°36′N 93°26′W / 41.60°N 93.44°W / 41.60; -93.44

Southeast Polk Community School District
8379 NE University Av.
Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Type Public Secondary
Established 1962
Superintendent Dr. Dirk Halupnik
Grades K-12
Enrollment 2060 (2015-2016)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Black and Black          
Athletics conference Central Iowa Metro League
Mascot Ram

Southeast Polk Community School District, (often shortened to SEP, SE Polk)[1] is a school district located in suburban Des Moines and rural Polk County, Iowa. The high school and junior high are located in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. The district includes Runnells, Altoona, Mitchellville, parts of Pleasant Hill, Bondurant, Des Moines and surrounding rural areas. The district also stretches into small portions of Jasper and Marion Counties.

The district was formed by a consolidation of several districts (most notably Runnells, Altoona, and Mitchellville; several smaller districts also merged) in 1962. The district operates a high school, a junior high school, a sixth grade center, and eight elementary schools.

The district's current PreK-12 enrollment is 7,091 (2016[2]).

Famous alumni of Southeast Polk include former Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton and Chris Pirillo.

Board of education[edit]

The district is overseen by a seven-member Board of Education.

The current members of the board are:

  • Brett Handy (President)
  • Gary Fischer (Vice President)
  • Adam Krell
  • Ric Powell
  • Lori Slings
  • Bill Puffett
  • Tom Naeve

Current information[edit]

The superintendent of schools is Dr. Dirk Halupnik, who started in 2015, coming from the Linn Mar School District.

Southeast Polk's grade schools consist of eight elementary schools: Altoona (Steve Stotts), Centennial (Lori Waddell), Delaware (Kevin Walker), Four Mile (Randy Mohning), Mitchellville (Blake Kielman), Runnells (Michael Nicodemus), Willowbrook (Robin Norris), and Clay Elementary (Lea Morris).

Southeast Polk's secondary schools consist of Spring Creek 6th Grade Center (Scott Bauer), Southeast Polk Junior High (Mike Dailey), and Southeast Polk High School (Stephen Pettit).[3]

Southeast Polk is the 13th-largest school district in Iowa.


The school mascot is the Ram. RAMS is an acronym for Runnells, Altoona, and Mitchellville, the district modified the "s" to represent the word "schools," but the original intent was for the mascot to represent the entire area covered by the school district. The school colors are black and gold. The district prides itself on its large amount of school spirit, including both "Ram Pride" and "The Southeast Polk Way."

High school activities[edit]


Southeast Polk is a member of the Central Iowa Metro League. The league is divided into two conferences, the Metro Conference and the Central Iowa Conference (CIC), with the CIC being further subdvided into Northern, Eastern, and Western Divisions:


Southeast Polk's most successful football season was 2006, when they finished as state runners-up after a 21-6 defeat to Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Southeast Polk's most recent trips to the semifinals in the UNI-Dome were in 2006 and 2012.

Winter sports[edit]

The boys basketball team finished 2nd in the state in 2010. They also appeared in the State Tournament in 2014.

The girls basketball team was crowned state champions in 1977,[4] the school's first title, and again in 2013. The girls basketball team was also the state runner-up in 1987, 1988, and 2014.

The wrestling program won both the state dual and traditional meet titles in 2013, marking the school's first title by a boys program. In 2014, the wrestling team was announced as #10 in the nation in the pre-season rankings in WIN Magazine.[5] Southeast Polk wrestling also won the state dual meet title in 2015, and the traditional meet state title in 2015 and 2016. They followed it up by winning both the traditional and dual meet titles in 2017.

Spring/summer sports[edit]

Track, tennis, soccer, and girls' golf are spring sports, with baseball and softball occurring in the summer. The baseball team won their first state championship in 2014, and again in 2015, while the softball team finished 2nd in the state in 2014.


Advised by Matthew B. Eddy, the Southeast Polk FFA chapter participates in many agriculture and leadership activities throughout the year. They run the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair every year and care for a herd of cattle throughout the year.



Southeast Polk Senior High presents two full-length productions each year in November and March or April. A musical is performed every autumn.


Under the direction of Jacquelyn Meunier and Jayson Gerth, the Band Department at Southeast Polk consists of a Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, three Jazz Bands, a 140-piece Pep Band, and the award-winning Marching Rams. Ensembles from Southeast Polk have been honored with convention performances at state, regional, and national levels. Conducted by Jayson Gerth, Jazz I has placed in the Top 8 at the Iowa Jazz Championships for the past six years in a row, advancing as high as 3rd in 2012.


The vocal music program's advanced choir is Chamber Singers, a mixed voice choir. Entrance is only granted through audition. Chorale is the advanced, auditioned women's choir, though open without audition to any junior or senior female. Bass Clef Choir (men) and Treble Clef Choir (women) are open to all interested students.

Southeast Polk has two show choirs: RAMification and Vocal Gold. RAMification is the varsity mixed show choir and selection is done by audition. Vocal Gold is a show choir prep group open only to women by audition.

External links[edit]