West Des Moines Raise the

Living
West Des Moines
january 2015
50265/50266
magazine
Raise the
curtain
VALLEY UNVEILS ITS $15 MILLION
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
SAINTS
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West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
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Brick and
mortar
ublishing companies aren’t known for having the nicest facilities.
Piles of papers, noisy equipment and ink smudges were the norm
for decades. The owners typically took more pride in their publications than any office space their companies were located in. It was
once common for residents to visit
newspaper offices to pay for subscriptions, place classified ads or purchase
back copies, and they expected to smell
newsprint, hear presses running and see
staff members scrambling to meet the
next deadline.
P
Times have changed. Today, a growing
number of people refuse to pay for subscriptions, they sell their stuff for free on
Craigslist, and they search for most all
past stories online. Very few publishers
own presses now, as it is simply more
cost effective to farm the printing out
to commercial printing operations. Few
customers physically step inside most
publishing operations today. Reporters
and advertising sales representatives go out to see people or, when
appropriate, take advantage of modern technology to communicate
more effectively.
As a result, publishing companies are a lot quieter, a lot cleaner and
a lot more organized than they used to be. In each publishing company
that I managed in the past 20 years, my co-workers and I did a lot of
cleanup work, and I convinced the owners to invest in the physical
environment. One of my bosses told me I was “wasting money on brick
and mortar,” but I saw financial improvements in each operation almost
immediately as we modernized and tidied things up. Pride became apparent, and the attitudes of employees improved on the spot.
All of this came to mind as I read this month’s cover story on Valley
High School’s new $15 million Performing Arts Center, which now
provides a “big stage” for students involved in music, theater, dance,
or other artistic endeavors. The physical environment has certainly
changed, and the quality of the performances undoubtedly will, too.
Look inside for all the details on this amazing facility and the people who
are proving that brick and mortar does make a difference.
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On the cover: Amanda Pichler. Photo by Michael Swanger.
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FEATURE
Raise the
curtain
VALLEY UNVEILS ITS $15 MILLION
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
By Michael Swanger
urrent and future Valley High School students who have dreamed
of performing music, theater, dance, or other artistic endeavors
on a big stage can experience that privilege now that Valley has
unveiled its impressive $15 million Performing Arts Center replete with
superfluity that rivals many professional theaters in Iowa.
The curtain rose on the Valley High School Performing Arts Center
on Nov. 16, 2014, at a special program and celebration in which elementary, junior high and high school students performed before a packed audience consisting of parents, district staff members and the public. The event
not only signaled the opening of the crown jewel, but the completion of a
$66 million three-phase construction project at Valley that began in 2011.
In addition to the construction of the new performance center, key
components of the project included new science labs and a FEMA-standard
storm shelter; family consumer science classrooms and a cafeteria in the
new three-story addition; and updated special education, multimedia,
C
Above: Valley High School’s $15 million Performing Arts Center is replete with superfluity
that rivals many professional theaters in Iowa.
Top: Amanda Pichler, a Valley High School graduate, manages the school’s new
Performing Arts Center. Photos by Michael Swanger.
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JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
5
FEATURE
journalism and radio classrooms.
“Valley has always focused on
excellence in the four A’s — academics, arts, activities and athletics,”
says David Maxwell, associate principal at Valley. “This new facility is a
wonderful new home for our performing arts classes and students,
which provides excellent acoustics
and is aesthetically beautiful.
“Our students now have a toptier facility in which to perform and
hone their crafts. Everyone who has
experienced the new Performing
Arts Center comments on how
much better performances sound
and patrons are able to identify
specific instruments in the midst of
a performance.”
The new center replaces the
high school’s original auditorium
that was built in the 1960s. School
officials say that it is a testament to
Valley’s decades-long excellence in
the arts.
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to our district leaders
and community for recognizing the
importance of an arts education
Backstage, the new venue boasts 74 linear feet of makeup room counter/mirror space.
Photo by Michael Swanger.
in our schools and for making the
Performing Arts Center possible,”
says Stacy Hansen, Valley drama
director. “I’m very blessed to be
in a culture and community where
the arts are truly valued. There
has always been a huge tradition of
excellence in the arts at Valley.”
The center’s performance
space boasts several levels and balconies that house 1,136 cushioned
seats: an increase of nearly 400
seats compared to the school’s
old auditorium. Other amenities
include a 42-foot by 100-foot stage
area complete with a 50-foot by
24-foot proscenium opening that
is part of the stage in front of the
curtain; a 40-foot by 12-foot motorized orchestra pit that includes a
mechanical lift system that can be
raised or lowered for additional
stage space; professional sound and
lighting systems, each with its own
operating “bird nest” in one of the
balconies; and a large acoustic shell
with eight rotating walls of wooden
panels with which its operators can
precisely control the room’s acoustics. Even the lobby, which includes
a ticket office, can be used as an
events space.
Backstage, or nearby, the center includes rehearsal and green
rooms; 74 linear feet of makeup
room counter/mirror space; climate-controlled music rooms for
instrument storage; classrooms; a
scene shop that includes a dust collecting system for wood working;
and ample wing space to allow for
scenery and other changes, not to
mention casts and crews.
“This gives us the tools we need
to educate students as more and
more is expected of them,” says
Hansen. “In the drama department,
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JANUARY | 2015
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FEATURE
this opens up huge doors for our
program.”
A homecoming for its
manager
As excited as Valley’s staff, students
and administrators are about the
arrival of the new Performing Arts
Center, there is an even deeper
sense of appreciation for the venue
among alumni who remember the
days of performing at the school’s
old auditorium and sharing limited
performance and rehearsal space,
something future generations of
Valley students won’t have to worry
about.
“The best reactions are from
our alumni who were involved in
the arts,” says Hansen. “They are
happy for the students.”
Perhaps no other Valley alumni
is happier about the opening of the
Performing Arts Center than its
first manager, 24-year-old Amanda
Pichler.
“I feel like I have come full
circle,” says Pichler, who graduated
from Valley in 2008 before attaining
her bachelor’s degree in theater and
master’s degree in education from
Brenau University. “This place is
amazing.”
Pichler had just completed her
college graduate work last summer
when she started looking for her
first job and learned about the new
Performing Arts Center being built
at Valley. When she was offered the
job, she said that it felt like a homecoming to her.
“They were looking for a manager who was willing to work 24
hours, seven days a week, and I
thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity. It just felt right,” says
Pichler, who was one of Hansen’s
students in the drama department
during her days as a student at
Valley.
On any given day, Pichler can be
seen scurrying from one end of the
center to the other, juggling multiple tasks. As its manager, she not
only serves as a technical director
and has to understand how everything operates — from the rotating
sound panels, to the soundboard, to
The new Performing Arts Center also includes a 40-foot by 12-foot motorized orchestra
pit that includes a mechanical lift system that can be raised or lowered for additional
stage space. Photo by Michael Swanger.
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JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
7
FEATURE
the ticket office — but she is also
responsible for the booking, organization and promotion of events.
For now, the Performing Arts
Center is being used exclusively
by the district’s students — from
elementary to high school — who
have scheduled a multitude of performances including band concerts
and plays. It will soon open its
doors to students from other districts, too, and by the end of the
summer it will be available to outside promoters.
One of the first big events that
it will host is scheduled for Feb. 7
when students from 120 schools
will compete at the Iowa High
School Speech Association largegroup, state speech contest.
“We’re looking forward to that
and having students from big schools
and small schools come here for the
first time to see the Performing
Arts Center,” says Pichler. “It’s a
big deal because they get to see that
artists have power and that they
have a voice.”
Pichler started her job in early
September, which gave her the time
she needed to learn how the center
operates before it opened last fall.
Even though she is an experienced
performer and specializes in lighting
design, there still was quite a bit for
her to learn. To complicate matters,
as the center’s first manager she was
unable to rely on the help of a predecessor and she wasn’t able to move
into her office until November.
“Fortunately, though, when I
need advice there are people I can
ask,” she says. “Stacy Hansen and
Phil Peters have been a big help. I’ve
also reached out to other people in
Waukee and at the Civic Center.
Some days are harder than others
to figure out, but it gets figured
out.”
Pichler relies on some of the
staff at the Civic Center, for example, to set up the center’s elaborate
sound panels. It’s a process that
takes about three hours to complete.
“We simply don’t have the
manpower or the know-how yet,”
she says. “We’re fortunate that
the Civic Center and local theater
union workers step up to help us
out.”
The center’s manager plans to
lend a helping hand of her own to
Valley students, assisting them with
design sets, lighting and sound production.
“I’m looking forward to doing
that,” she says.
Pichler says that she is also
eagerly anticipating working with
outside promoters who already
have been calling her to reserve the
center for music and dance productions.
“School officials decided before
we opened that we would not consider working with outside promoters until July 1. District events come
first,” she says.
Maxwell says that he is eager
for the public to experience the
center for the first time.
“What gives me the most satisfaction is the fact this is a facility
not only for the students of Valley
High School, but for the community
of West Des Moines,” he says.
Pichler enjoys seeing and hearing the reaction of people who step
into the Performing Arts Center for
the first time.
“They usually stop for a
moment because they can’t believe
it’s at a high school,” she says.
“Then we tell them about the classrooms and backstage and rehearsal
space and they’re really impressed.
That’s what makes it a center, it’s
not just about the performance
space.”
For Pichler and the students
who have the privilege to hone
their craft at a professional venue
like the Performing Arts Center, it
is a powerful motivator to ascend
to excellence in the arts, whether
it is demonstrated by music, drama,
speech, art or dance.
“It’s been packed houses so far
and we expect that to continue,”
says Pichler. “It’s one of the many
reasons why I love my job.” Q
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West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
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OUT AND ABOUT
New Year’s
greetings
Businesses from around West Des Moines extend their best wishes for
a happy New Year in 2015.
Melissa Orf and Kevin Waldron from Midwest Heritage Bank wish everyone a happy
New Year.
Gina Kress and Misee Mitchell with the Westlakes Hy-Vee floral department wish everyone a happy New Year.
Chef Alex Strauss at the Westlakes Hy-Vee cooks things up for a happy New Year.
David McCollum with Hy-Vee wine and spirits wishes everyone a happy New Year.
Kelly Smith, Mollie Reilly and Lindsey Mason at the Sheraton wish everyone a happy
New Year.
Tim Jensen, Matt Glenn, Britteny Kronick and Romona Mulstay with the Sheraton in Holly Crow, Stephanie Lawrence and Kim Maullen at Sahars salon and day spa wish
West Des Moines wish everyone a happy New Year.
everyone a happy New Year.
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JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
9
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West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
Q: What is DHEA?
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Moines, 225-7900.
2910 Westown Pkwy., Suite 305 Q WDM
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HEALTH
DR. STEPHEN
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NEWS BRIEFS
Hilgerson advances to U.S. Miss nationals
Paige Hilgerson, 9, of West Des Moines has been selected to represent
the title of Miss Iowa Tween and to advance to the America’s U.S. Miss
National Finals July 8-12 in Clearwater Beach,
Florida. The national winner will receive a college scholarship, crown, banner, trophy, national
photo shoot and be featured in national advertising. Families interested in receiving information
about this scholarship program can visit www.
AmericasUSMiss.com to request additional information about the program opportunities.
This scholarship program is judged on academic
achievement, volunteer service, resume, personality wear, evening gown and a personal interview. Emphasis is placed on
the importance of gaining self-confidence and learning new skills, as well
as setting and achieving personal goals. America’s U.S. Miss Scholarship
Program seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each national finalist,
while encouraging her to set goals for the future.
WWW.IOWALIVINGMAGAZINES.COM
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Senger honored as school music director
Valley Southwoods Freshman High School and Valley High School
orchestra director Michele Senger has been named one of School Band
and Orchestra Magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make
a Difference. She is the only director from Iowa to
make the list.
The 17th annual 50 Directors Who Make
a Difference highlights some of the best music
educators from across all 50 states. The honored
directors were nominated by current and former
students, colleagues and peers, parents and others.
The magazine asked the teachers three questions each, including their proudest teaching
moments, how they hope to make a difference in students’ lives and the
most important lesson they try to teach their students.
Senger says she strives to inspire her students to have a lifetime love
of music.
“I encourage them to play for enjoyment and have music in their lives
as an outlet for artistic expression,” she says.
Senger has been a member of the string teaching staff in the West
Des Moines Community Schools since 1998. In August 2014, Senger was
selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer
Scholar to attend “Mozart’s Worlds: The Marriage of Figaro and Don
Giovanni” in Vienna, Austria.
In addition to her work in the district, Senger is a member of the
Des Moines Symphony and conducts the Des Moines Symphony Youth
Philharmonic. She directed the intermediate and advanced orchestras for
the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute from 2000-09.
Prior to moving to West Des Moines, Senger taught in the
Amphitheater Public Schools in Tucson, Arizona. She was also a member
of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly with “Go
for Baroque” and the Marelle String Quartet. Senger was also instructor
of cello and bass at Pima Community College. She has spent summers
performing with the Marelle String Quartet and coaching chamber music
and teaching cello at various festivals throughout the U.S. including
the Chamber Music in the Mountains at Echo Glen in Arizona and the
National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University.
Senger has a bachelor of music degree in cello performance from the
University of Arizona and a master of music from Ohio University. Q
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West Des Moines Living
11
CALENDAR
Friday Jan. 9
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q VHS 9/JV/V Girls Basketball at
Indianola, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q 9/10/V Boys Basketball at
Indianola, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q DCHS 9/10/V Boys Basketball at
DM North, 4:45/7:45 p.m.
Q Beginnings Music-Toddlers, ages
15 months - 3 years, registration
required, 10 a.m., West Des Moines
Library.
Saturday Jan. 10
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q VHS JV Wrestling at Ankeny,
10 a.m.
Q V Wrestling at Ames, 10 a.m.
JV/V
Q Boys Swimming at Cedar Rapids
Washington, 12:30 p.m.
Q 9/JV/V Girls Basketball vs. Cedar
Rapids Xavier, 1/2:30 p.m.
Q DCHS V Wrestling at Ames,
10 a.m.
Sunday Jan. 11
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q DCHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Valley,
3:45 p.m.
Q Swimming: JV/V vs. Johnston,
5:30 p.m.
Q Wrestling: JV/V vs.Marshalltown,
SE Polk, 5:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: JV vs. Ankeny, 7 p.m.
Monday Jan. 12
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q City Council Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
City Hall.
Q Mother Goose, 9:30/10/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Nighty-Night Drop in Story Time
6:45 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs. Johnston,
4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/JV vs. DCG,
6/7 p.m.
Tuesday Jan. 13
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q Lapsit Lambs, 9:30/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Marshalltown, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Wednesday Jan. 14
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q Oliver’s Tales, 9:30 a.m./
10:30 a.m./1:30 p.m. WDM Public
Library.
Thursday Jan. 15
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q Dev. and Planning City Council
Subcommittee, 7:30 a.m.
Q Parks and Recreation Advisory
Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m. City Hall.
Q Family Storytime, 10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Fort
Dodge, 3:45 p.m.
Q Wrestling: 7/8 vs. DCG, East,
4:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Johnston,
7/8 p.m.
Q VHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Johnston,
3:45 p.m.
Q Swimming: JV/V vs. Ames,
5:30 p.m.
Q Wrestling: JV/V vs. ADM, Dowling,
5:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9th vs. Urbandale,
6 p.m.
Friday Jan. 16
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
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12
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
CALENDAR
Q Drop-in Family Storytime,
10:30 a.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Waukee, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q Wrestling: JV/V vs. Ankeny,
6:30/7:30 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs. SE
Polk, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Saturday Jan. 17
Q New Work and Small Works
Paula Schuette Kraemer, Scott Charles
Ross, and Debra Smith, 5-7 p.m.,
Olson-Larsen Galleries. 203 Fifth St
Q VHS Wrestling: JV/V, 9 a.m.
Monday Jan. 19
Q Public Works Council Committee
Meeting, 11:30 a.m. City Hall Training Room.
Q Mother Goose, 9:30/10/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Nighty-Night Drop in Story Time
6:45 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9th vs. Ankeny,
7/8:15 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 8/9 vs. Ankeny,
4:30/8:15 p.m.
Wednesday Jan. 21
Q Oliver’s Tales, 9:30 a.m./
10:30 a.m./1:30 p.m. WDM Public
Library.
Thursday Jan. 22
Q Family Storytime, 10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9th vs. Ankeny,
6/7:15 p.m.
Q Wrestling: JV/V vs. Urbandale,
7/7:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: JV vs. DCG, 7 p.m.
Q VHS Swimming: JV/V vs. SE Polk,
5:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Roosevelt,
7/8:15 p.m.
Friday Jan. 23
Q Drop-in Family Storytime,
10:30 a.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Urbandale, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Bsketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Johnston, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Saturday Jan. 24
Tuesday Jan. 20
Q Lapsit Lambs, 9:30/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q VHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Ankeny,
3:30 p.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Nighty-Night Drop in Story Time
6:45 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/JV vs.
Urbandale, 7/8 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/JV vs. Johnston,
7 p.m.
Q DCHS Wrestling: JV/V, 9 a.m.
Monday Jan. 26
Tuesday Jan. 27
Q Lapsit Lambs, 9:30/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs
Ankeny Centennial, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Ames, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Wednesday Jan. 28
Q Oliver’s Tales, 9:30 a.m./10:30
a.m./1:30 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Bowling: JV Tournament,
1 p.m.
Q VHS Bowling: JV/V, 1 p.m.
Thursday Jan. 29
Q Dev. and Planning City Council
Subcommittee, 7:30 a.m.
Q Family Storytime, 10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Civil Service Commission Meeting
8:30 a.m.
Q DCHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Johnston,
3:45 p.m.
Q City Council Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
City Hall.
Q Mother Goose, 9:30/10/10:30 a.m.
Have an EVENT
coming up?
Submit your calendar items online at
www.iowalivingmagazines.com
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
13
ant your photos!
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e
W
Iowa
Living
magazines
Celebrating a big birthday,
anniversary or other
milestone? Send us your
milestone announcements
with a picture and we’ll
publish them for FREE!
CALENDAR
Friday Jan. 30
Q Drop-in Family Storytime,
10:30 a.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
WDM Valley, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Dowling, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Saturday Jan. 31
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
East, 11:30/1/2:30 p.m.
Q VHS Wrestling: JV Invitational,
9 a.m.
Q Basketball: JV vs. Waukee, 10 a.m.
Monday Feb. 2
Q Public Works Council Committee
Meeting, 11:30 a.m. City Hall Training Room.
Q Mother Goose, 9:30/10/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Nighty-Night Drop in Story Time
6:45 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q Plan and Zoning Commission,
7 p.m. City Hall.
Q DCHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Waukee,
3:45 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Valley, 7/8 p.m.
Q VHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Lincoln,
3:45 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Dowling,
7/8 p.m.
Tuesday Feb. 3
Q Lapsit Lambs, 9:30/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs. SE
Polk, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 8th vs. Indian
Hills, 4 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/10JV/V vs. Ankeny,
4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Wednesday Feb. 4
Send your announcements to
[email protected]
14
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
Q Oliver’s Tales, 9:30 a.m./
10:30 a.m./1:30 p.m. WDM Public
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
Library.
Thursday Feb. 5
Q Family Storytime, 10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Tales with Tails, 4-6 p.m. WDM
Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9th vs. DCG,
6 p.m.
Q Wrestling: JV/V vs. Johnston,
6:30/7:30 p.m.
Q VHS Wrestling: JV/V vs.
Urbandale, 6:30/7:30 p.m.
Friday Feb. 6
Q Drop-in Family Storytime,
10:30 a.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Johnston, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Urbandale, 4:45/6:15/7:45 p.m.
Saturday Feb. 7
Q DCHS Basketball: 9/10/JV/V vs.
Lincoln, 10/11:30/12/1:30/3/4:30 p.m.
Q VHS Basketball: JV/V vs. Lewis
Central, 2/5 p.m.
Monday Feb. 9
Q City Council Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
City Hall.
Q Mother Goose, 9:30/10/10:30 a.m.
WDM Public Library.
Q Nighty-Night Drop in Story Time
6:45 p.m. WDM Public Library.
Q DCHS Bowling: JV/V vs. Ankeny,
3:45 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Johnston,
7/8 p.m.
Q VHS Bowling: JV/V vs. SE Polk,
3:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: 8th vs. Waukee,
Stilwell, 4:30 p.m.
Q Basketball: 9/JV vs. Urbandale,
DCG, 6/7/8 p.m.
BANKING
from our family to yours
Putting a good
strategy together
Make plans for a long-term vision
By Brian Chittenden
anuary is one of the most
financially difficult times for
many customers that we work
with. Trying to end the calendar
and fiscal year often requires a
lot of planning and preparation.
Needless to say, I spend a great
deal of time discussing quite a few
details that often need to coincide
with these dates. Unfortunately,
people will spend so much time
worrying about paying taxes, they
often end up tripping themselves
in the process.
Over the years I have seen
purchases on equipment, vehicles, ground and all sorts of
company distributions as a way
to try and lower the effective
tax rate for the calendar year.
When done as part of an effective
growth and business strategy, this
can be beneficial. The frustrating
thing is that most of the time it is
a short-term unplanned decision
in an effort for quick relief from
looming tax consequences. From
a lending perspective, you may
need to document your ability
to generate income to pay longterm obligations or have ability for future growth. The good
news is that putting a good strategy together is not difficult, but it
does take some planning.
Every good strategic plan for
a business starts out with the
goals of the company, how it
plans to meet those goals and a
budget of the resources in order
to achieve objectives for the next
year. Your plan should begin by
enlisting the help of a qualified
CPA with references in these
areas, your lending partner and
J
your internal leaders. Choosing
not to use these resources puts
companies at a disadvantage. In
this world an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
With good work up front you
will be prepared for paying taxes
(remember, it could be worse)
and making decisions based on
your needs for year two, three
and so on.
The intention for our customers is to have plans for a longterm vision that is not based on
single financial events. We hope
to help provide resources for
individuals who are able to make
decisions based on the overall
health of their financial condition.
Sometimes this means working
out problems, and sometimes
this means planning for success.
Both require good judgment,
patience and having resources to
help provide options to handle
any situation you may encounter.
With the right plan you can rest
easy and enjoy the holiday season. Q
Information provided by Brian Chittenden, executive vice president, Legacy Bank, 515-276-7010.
Happy
New Year
Locally owned since 1904
BUILDING LEGACIES ONE CUSTOMER AT A TIME
www.banklegacy.com
ALTOONA
502 - 8th Street SW t 967-9981
BONDURANT
1201 Grant Street S t 967-4949
CLIVE
12901 University Avenue t 226-3302
MITCHELLVILLE
215 Center Avenue S t 967-5141
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
15
RECIPE
A healthy recipe for the new year
Parmesan chicken bake
Add variety to menu regulars
By Jan Allen
appy New Year everyone! The hope and promise of a new
year is here, along with a desire for most of us to adopt a
healthier lifestyle. I am no different, and I’m always on the
lookout for new and different ways to cook some of our staple
foods.
H
Chicken is one of those foods... we eat it several times a week,
but tend to get in a rut with the way to prepare it. I came across
this recipe and it sounded perfect. I buy lots of Greek yogurt every
week. I use it in some of the baking that I do, but most often use it
as a “go to” snack as it has lots of protein but not many carbs.
This recipe combines the yogurt with Parmesan cheese and a
couple of other ingredients. It’s not weighted down with high fat
sour cream (although I think Greek yogurt tastes much like sour
cream) and the Parmesan cheese gives it a yummy, distinctive flavor.
You do have the option to use light mayonnaise if you prefer. Serve
this with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, green beans or a nice
green salad. I hope you like this recipe as much as we do, and best
wishes for a healthy, happy new year. Q
16
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
Ingredients
4 - 6 chicken breasts
1 cup Greek yogurt or light mayo
(or combination of each)
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
(plus more for the top)
1-1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
(NOT regular table salt....a mixture of seasonings)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place chicken breasts in a baking
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
dish. Combine the Greek yogurt,
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and
seasonings in a bowl. Slather the
chicken with the mixture. (I also
put mine on the bottoms of the
breasts).
3. Sprinkle the tops of the coated
chicken with a generous amount of
Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for a little
over an hour, or until the chicken
breasts are nicely browned and
chicken is done on the inside.
Enjoy!
INSURANCE
Updating your
insurance
It’s important to have adequate coverage
You’re always
growing
Get the peace of mind you deserve
when you prepare for the unexpected
and plan for the future. Whatever it is,
we can help. Let’s get together soon
for an Insurance and Financial Review.
By Don Alexander
isaster can strike at any
time. Without warning you could lose your
home, your possessions and even
your life in a fire, tornado or
other disaster. It’s important to
protect yourself and your family by having adequate insurance
coverage.
It’s best to review your insurance policies with an insurance
representative every year or two
to make sure you have adequate
coverage for your home, auto or
life.
To help review property,
periodically inventory your personal property so the insurance
amounts are adequate. Being
underinsured may result in a
claim payment less than the loss
sustained.
Documentation is of the
utmost importance, so it’s essential to have a complete inventory of valuable items you own.
This will help you in filing a
claim. Inventories and the resulting insurance amount should be
reviewed, especially whenever
significant changes are made.
If you suffer a major loss,
such as a dwelling fire, an insurance company is going to ask you
for a complete list of your lost
personal property. It’s better to
be prepared by completing a list
now, rather than having to construct a list after the loss.
The most preferable way to
inventory your personal property
is by completing a written inventory. Photographs and videotapes
of each room in your home may
also help to establish an inventory.
High value items such as
D
antiques, jewelry, furs and collectibles should be appraised. Then
discuss with your financial representative the merits of specifically insuring those items in your
policy.
It makes sense to review your
insurance to see if you have adequate coverage. It also doesn’t
hurt to look at ways to make
your premium dollars work more
efficiently. You can save money by
increasing your deductibles and
assuming more of the initial part
of the loss.
You should also review your
life, health and disability income
insurance policies to ensure that
the futures of you, your spouse
and your family are protected in
case of an emergency.
Read your policies carefully. If
you don’t understand something,
talk with an insurance representative and have the representative
reevaluate your coverage.
By investing a little time and
effort, you can save yourself time,
money and a lot of headaches. Q
Information provided by Don Alexander, Country Financial, 650
S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-223-7182.
Don Alexander
Pablo Castillo
Nick Harklau
Chris Morrill
Christopher Mizell
Agency Manager
650 South Prairie View Drive,
Ste 200, West Des Moines, IA
515-223-7182
1214-569HO
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
17
EDUCATION
Meet Debra Augspurger
Teacher instills love of music in her students
By Michael Swanger
t’s one thing to teach young
students the rudiments of music.
It’s another to make them feel
it, so even if they don’t grow
up to become musicians, they can
appreciate it and understand how it
enhances their life.
Debra Augspurger does that...
and more.
For 28 years, including 17 at
Fairmeadows Elementary School
in West Des Moines where she
serves as the school’s vocal music
teacher, Augspurger has shared her
knowledge and infectious joy of
music with thousands of students.
“My goal is not only to provide
the tools for students to learn
about music, but rather to awaken
their souls to the intense joy that is
music,” she says.
That kind of joy was on display
to the public last month when
Fairmeadows’ 23rd Street Singers
— a large choir of fifth and sixth
graders — performed at a local
grocery store and downtown Des
Moines at the Kaleidoscope Hub.
It was also evident at an all-school
assembly and evening concert for
parents.
“You can practice in the classroom and that can be rewarding,
but there is no comparison to
performing in front of a crowd as
they give that energy back,” says
Augspurger. “And at the same time,
the students learn about teamwork
and gain self-confidence.”
Studies have proven that a
music education improves a child’s
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Debra Augspurger is the vocal music
instructor at Fairmeadows Elementary.
Photos by Michael Swanger.
ability to learn other subjects. In
some instances, music is truly the
saving grace for a child in school.
“Not every class touches the
depth of the soul like music can.
I love it when you can take a
child who struggles in their regular
classes but here they have a place
to shine,” says Augspurger.
The veteran music teacher says
she appreciates how Fairmeadows
affords its students that kind of
learning environment.
“It’s a family at Fairmeadows,”
she says. “Everybody is working for
the good of the whole student. It’s
a great atmosphere and I get to be
a part of it. I love my job.” Q
What do you like about Mrs. Augspurger?
LIVE IOWA. WORK IOWA. BANK IOWA.
Altoona 515.967.7283 / Johnston 515.727.4484
West Des Moines 515.225.0710 / bankiowabanks.com
Culley Wright:
“She’s fun, she’s
caring, and she’s
funny. She’s a good
singer and a good
teacher.”
Member FDIC
18
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
Caleb Moore:
“She’s one of the
best music teachers. I like learning
all the new songs
she teaches us.”
Mia Wells:
“She’s funny and
kooky in her own
way and she’s given
me the confidence
to perform.”
LIBRARY NEWS
EVERYONE DESERVES A
Read to your health
@ the library
FRESH START!
RESIDENTIAL &
COMMERCIAL
CLEANING
Books available on cooking, dieting and more
By Darryl Eschete, library director
t’s a long-running joke among
librarians that the two biggest sections in any library’s collection are
the cookbooks and the diet books.
It’s not uncommon to see a patron
checking out an armload of each.
January of each year is when a real
uptick in circulation of these sorts
of books is seen as people make
their resolutions to lose weight,
prepare more healthful foods and
get in shape in the new year.
Experts say that one of the
reasons that New Year’s resolutions
are so rarely kept is because people
set themselves up to fail with unrealistic and dramatic expectations.
(“I’m going to lose 40 pounds by
Easter!”) One way to combat the
“doomed goal” effect that torpedoes so many resolutions is to commit to a more general or measured
approach that can be attacked from
many angles.
The library can help you find the
information you need to make the
“live a healthier lifestyle” resolution
an intelligent reality.
The West Des Moines Public
Library alone has close to 400 books
just on dieting, 250 DVDs featuring
exercise and workouts, close to 150
books on so-called light cooking,
close to a dozen books on giving up
tobacco and 25 books, DVDs and
CDs on dealing with stress (some
with groovy hypnosis tracks).
I’ve focused on health matters,
but whatever your resolution, the
library probably has information
that will empower you to do a better job of keeping it.
I
January events
Be sure to check the program calendar on our website (wdmlibrary.
org) for more information, but here
are some events and programs
going on in January, some of which
require registration and some of
which do not:
Adults
Writer’s Club (Second and
fourth Saturdays of the month).
Did you resolve to finally write
that novel you know you have
inside you? Share your work, offer
constructive criticism, take part in
writing exercises and meet other
writers with dreams like yours. Call
Shirley Houghtaling at 515-222-3413
for more information. No registration required.
Maggie Spellman, Owner
515.525.8991
West Des Moines Public
Library
4000 Mills Civic Parkway
515-222-3400
Hours: Sunday: 2-5 p.m.
Mon. - Thur.: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 pm
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Teens
Teen Craft: Magazine Chairs
(Thursday, Jan. 15, 6-8 p.m.).
Learn how to make a chair of old
magazines and duct tape. It can
also be used as a footstool or
table, too. Registration is required.
Program is for teens age 11 and
up. Register at http://tinyurl.com/
magchair
Driver’s
License
Information
Program:
(Thursday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m.) Join
us for a presentation on what teens
and parents need to know about
getting an Iowa driver’s permit and
license. This free program will be
presented by Drive Tek, the Iowa
Department of Transportation,
Street Survival and the West Des
Moines Police Department.
Program is for both teens and
parents of soon-to-be drivers.
Registration is required. Seating is
limited so please register all family
members attending the program.
Call the reference desk, (515) 2223403, with any questions. Register
at: http://tinyurl.com/wdmdriver. Q
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
19
DINING
Saints’ namesake pizza was crowned with sausage, bacon, beef and pepperoni. Photo by Elaine Lenze.
Warm retreat in cold weather
Saints Pub offers pizza, sandwiches and more
By Elaine Lenze
undays are made for rest…
and no cooking. Therefore,
this past Sunday my husband
and I packed up and went for
lunch at the new Saints location
by Jordan Creek Mall. Cold and
a little windy outside, we were
hoping for a warm restaurant and
some great comfort food.
After making the drive and
parking near the entrance, I was
surprised to see people milling
around outside the door. Nervous
that there would be a long wait
time, we headed inside. A few
steps inside we realized that there
were still a few tables left and
headed to a booth on the side.
Under a few large televisions, we
S
20
West Des Moines Living
were happily surrounded by all of
our favorite games.
Saints Pub
165 S. Jordan Creek Parkway,
Suite 120
226-8407
Hours:
Mon.-Fri.: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Sat.-Sun.: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Within a few moments, a
smiley server buzzed over and
took our drink order. We quickly ordered sodas and took a look
at the large menu. Settling in, we
pored over the many sandwiches, salads and appetizer options.
JANUARY | 2015
Drawn to the pizza portion, we
decided on a special one: the
Saint pizza. Topped with sausage,
bacon, beef and pepperoni, it
sounded like comfort food at its
best.
We put in our order and
waited for our food while we
talked and watched games. Busy
chatter filled the restaurant and
all of the tables now seemed
filled with hungry diners. The
long bar on the other side of the
restaurant was filled with people
eating and drinking.
After a short wait, our pizza
was served atop a platter and
we each took a large slice. With
thick, focaccia-like crust and lots
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
of gooey, warm cheese it looked
delicious. It was chock full of
meat in large and small pieces
that covered every inch of the
pizza. My first bite was exactly
what I was hoping — warm,
hearty and full of deep, wintery
flavors. I slowly enjoyed every
bit and my husband and I both
decided it was great food for a
lazy, cold Sunday.
After savoring a few more
pieces, we asked for a box to
take the rest home. We asked
for our bill and after paying and
saying goodbye, we were on our
way. Saints is a great addition to
the area and will surely entice
many visitors. Q
HOME PLANS
Pineville
raftsman-style windows and a trio of gables
give the compact Pineville an inviting front
facade. Its covered porch makes an ideal
location for an old-fashioned porch swing.
Inside and out, the entire right side of the cottage
is devoted to the enjoyment of food-related activities, guaranteed to be popular in any family.
Its large sunny nook is up front, just to the right
of the entry. Light washes in through windows on
two sides. A pocket door opens into the step-saving
kitchen, where appliances, cabinets and counters
wrap around four sides.
This room, in turn, is open to the dining area at
the rear, across a long peninsular counter rimmed by
a raised eating bar. Plenty of natural light brightens
the dining area as well. It has a wide side window plus
sliding glass doors at the back that lead out onto yet
another possible eating venue. The partially covered
patio could be outfitted for warm-weather dining.
Private spaces fill out the left side of the home.
These include three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and
a utility room that links with the two-car garage. A
storage closet and a coat closet line the hallway into
this area. If the front bedroom/study is used as a
home office, the addition of an exterior door could
allow direct access from the porch.
Visit AssociatedDesigns.com for more information or to search our home plans. A review
plan of the Pineville 30-937, including floor plans,
elevations, section, and artist’s conception, can be
purchased for $25. Q
C
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
21
who says
print is dead?
Don’t believe everything you hear. Our company
continues to grow with 24 lifestyle magazines
and more to come. In seven years, our
readership has grown from zero to more than
320,000 monthly readers. Advertising with
us will help your business grow, too.
— Shane Goodman, publisher
Living
Iowa
magazines
515.953.4822 www.iowalivingmagazines.com
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$MFBS-BLFt#PPOFt8JOUFSTFUt(SFFOF$PVOUZt"NFTt#POEVSBOUyBOEHSPXJOH
22
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
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FAITH
Members of the Ashworth Road Baptist Church helped provide meals on Thanksgiving Day to those in need. Photo courtesy of Ashworth Road Baptist Church
On a mission
Ashworth Road Baptist Church reaches out to meet a variety of needs
By Michael Swanger
ission work is where the
rubber meets the road,
so to speak, for churches.
It’s where they practice what they
preach.
Each church’s commitment
to missions, however, is not the
same. Some focus exclusively on
local outreach, while others prefer
to partner with worldwide organizations to provide assistance
abroad. Most churches in West
Des Moines, however, offer a
blend of help to those they feel are
in need of it, including Ashworth
Road Baptist Church.
The church’s mission statement highlights its passion for
missions ministry, noting that,
“Our desire to be the presence of
Christ in central Iowa and around
the world motivates and encour-
M
ages us to do more than speak
about mission or even just give
money to missions. We know to
be the presence of Christ means
action by being involved in missions wherever we see need.”
Last year, Ashworth Road
Baptist Church saw there was
quite a need. Its list of mission
ministries locally included For
Kids’ Sake, Clothing Closet for
Foster Families, Korean Baptist
Church, InterVarsity Christian
Fellowship at Drake University,
Oakridge Neighborhood in Des
Moines, West Des Moines Human
Services, Church Opportunity
Group, Des Moines Area Religious
Council and Serve Des Moines.
Nationally, the church participated in Diamond Willow
Ministries and the Crow Creek
Ashworth Road Baptist
Church
5300 Ashworth Road
515-223-0914
www.ashworthroad.com
Sunday worship: 9:15 a.m.
(contemporary)
10:45 a.m. (classic)
Wednesday services: 6:30 p.m.
(Studio Kids, youth, adult)
Reservation. Internationally, it
assisted Manos Hermanos/Hands
in Service Ministry in Zacatecas,
Mexico; Zanfan Lakay Boys Home/
Grangou Ministry in Port Au
Prince, Haiti; Beza Threads; and
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Last November, about 50
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
members of the church pitched
in to help provide meals on
Thanksgiving Day. They helped
gather turkey for the hungry and
folded scarves for Beza Threads to
support the mission work of freeing young people in Ethiopia from
a life of slavery. They even supported the start of a local ministry,
Dorothy’s House, that creates a
safe haven for young women in
Des Moines who are victims of sex
trafficking.
Members of the congregation
also contributed to the Grangou
Ministry in Haiti, an ongoing effort
for the last four years. The program has grown from delivering
food to children on the streets, to
housing and caring for 76 at-risk
children and reaching out to many
more. Q
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
23
OUT AND ABOUT
Ribbon cutting
ceremony
The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting
ceremony for Berkshire Hawthaway on Dec. 11.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for Berkshire Hawthaway
Carin Birt and Ryan Murphy
Todd Kolbe and Julie Roethler
Annie Hampton and Grace Kelley
Martha Lebron Dykeman and Pat Lee
Steve Booth and Lowell Bauer
Connie Blodgett and Trish Flaherty
24
West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
OUT AND ABOUT
David Peers, Tresa Boal and Dave Schwartz at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Berkshire
Hawthaway on Dec. 11.
Expires 02/28/15
Happy holidays from the West Des Moines New View/Leadership Academy.
Suggest
a
teacher
for a West Des Moines
Living education column!
Dean Whitaker and Dave Schwartz at the New View holiday party at Glen Oaks.
The West Des Moines Leadership Academy celebrated the holidays at Glen Oaks.
Call Darren Tromblay at 953-4822, ext 304
or email [email protected]
www.iowalivingmagazines.com/west-des-moines
JANUARY | 2015
West Des Moines Living
25
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West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
LEGAL
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE suffered a stroke, heart attack or died
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One of the best ways you can take care of your family is by taking care of yourself.
Schedule your traditional or 3D mammogram today to help protect your family’s tomorrows.
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West Des Moines Living
JANUARY | 2015
Winter is here
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Monday
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West-Des
Moines8-6
Living
Saturday 8-2
JANUARY | 2015
www.adelwintersettv.com
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Monday-Friday 9-5
Saturday 9-2