Skip to content

Articles in Ames High School

Ames students surpass state peers in College Readiness Report

Ames High School students are more prepared for success in postsecondary education and training than their peers in the state and the region, according to a new state website announced by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today.

The Post Secondary Readiness Report shows that 83 percent of students who graduated from Ames High School enrolled in a postsecondary institution within one year of graduation, compared to the state average of 71.1 percent and the Heartland area schools average of 72.7 percent. Ames High School students enrolled in remedial math and English courses at a lower percentage than their state and regional peers, as well. Just 10 percent of Ames High School students enrolled in remedial courses within a year of graduating from high school compared to 16.1 percent  of Heartland area students and 23.2 percent of students statewide.

Ames High School’s results exceed the Governor’s Future Ready goal for 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce to have postsecondary education or training beyond high school by 2025.

The Postsecondary Readiness Report is a collaboration among the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Workforce Development and the Board of Regents. The report is based on data from 2011-12 through 2013-14. Although the findings show the majority of Ames High School students are college and career-ready based on state criteria when they graduate, the data are at least three years old, says Ames High School Principal Spence Evans, and they don’t reflect the school’s more recent changes in instruction and interventions.

“In recent years, Ames High School has launched new evidence-based instructional practices and improved its use of student achievement data to support students and close achievement gaps,” Evans said. “Teachers in Professional Learning Communities use their own observation and data from assessments to identify which students need intervention or enrichment. Besides providing Additional Instruction, the school has a built-in Plus period providing targeted assistance to students during the school day.”

Statewide and individual school results, as well as more information about the Postsecondary Readiness Reports website. The reports represent the first time the state has provided comprehensive information about student postsecondary enrollment and preparedness that can be connected to every public high school in Iowa. The web-based tool provides information on enrollment in colleges and universities, remedial course-taking rates in key content areas of reading and mathematics, and postsecondary retention and completion rates for students who graduated from public high schools in Iowa, statewide and by Iowa high school.

Read More

Ames High School Business Collaborative gives students soft skills employers seek

High school business studentsAs a junior in high school, Stephen McKown imagined that a boss’s expectations in the realm of employment would be similar to what his teachers at school expect.

“Your boss would be like a teacher who assigns projects that you complete and you move on to the next project. One thing after another,” he said.

As a student in the Ames High School Business Engagement Collaborative, however, McKown is working beyond the classroom to understand the skills and attributes employers need and expect.

Vicki Hales, the Ames High School business teacher who designed the program in cooperation with Alison Doyle, Marketing Director of the Iowa State University Research Park, said businesses are looking for new employees who come ready with employability skills.

“Those soft skills are hard to teach in the classroom,” she said.

The Collaborative provides high school students experience working with businesses to gain skills in entrepreneurship, communication and project management. Iowa State University Research Park provides space in its new, state of the art building, and mentorship and guidance from Doyle.

Doyle said ISURP was motivated to implement the program because its tenant companies are increasingly looking further back into a student’s educational process to begin recruiting talent. They also want students to be more prepared when they enter the workforce with soft skills.

Hales said students learn the value of showing up on time, learning how to speak in a professional manner to someone they don’t know, how to collaborate in and communicate with a group, and how to understand someone else’s perspective, for example.

“Having students learn in an authentic business setting working on projects throughout the community helps them naturally acquire and enhance those skills,” she said.

One of the benefits of the program is the opportunity it gives students to test out an array of interest areas through the various projects business partners are providing, she said.

“We’ve already had students discover they don’t have as much interest in a particular area as they thought they did, but we have also had students find talent and passion in things they never considered.”

Tatiana Tankhai, a senior who’s currently working on three projects, said she’s learned she’s talented at planning and organizing.

“Students do learn and grow from this program,” Tankhai said. “This class gives us people to guide us. We get feedback and we’re learning something new every day.”

McKown said the process is usually harder than he thought it would be.

“It’s more like climbing up a rock wall, finding one foothold after the next,” he said. “You learn to conquer something new.”

Students have help finding that foothold through guidance from Hales and Doyle.

“The students receive mentoring so they understand the business expectations and hone their work until it’s top notch,” Hales said. “By the time the businesses see a project proposal, it’s a good product and not the first draft.”

The research park provides the space and Doyle’s time at no charge to the District.

“We see this as a way to expose students to a variety of possible career paths, company brands and provide a true experiential learning experience. It’s a win win for our students and our companies.”

Hales said businesses are encouraged to give feedback and fine tune students’ projects until they meet their satisfaction.

“Their grade for the class, however is based on an assessment of their soft skills, which are the competencies required to be met for DMACC credit,” she said.  “More important than their grade, this program helps students become better employees for our local businesses, and that comes back to benefit our community.”

Students in the Business Engagement Collaborative receive both Ames High and DMACC credit upon successful completion of this course.

Read More

Girls swim and dive team state champions again

The Little Cyclones’ girls swim and dive team’s sixth state swimming championship in seven years came together Nov. 4 and 5 when the team won four events and broke state records at the YMCA in Marshalltown.

Ames was favored to win its second title in a row and sixth since 2010, despite being forced to train in an alternate facility for a period of time when its pool was out of commission requiring repairs.

Coach Dan Flannery told the Ames Tribune the team could have lost its edge, but is too solid as a unit to make excuses.

“We just took advantage of our opportunities and scored more points than anybody else,” he said.

The team became just the seventh team ever to score more than 350 points in a state meet, shattering an old record in the medley relay and  setting another record in the 400 freestyle relay.  

Read the full story in the Ames Tribune.

Swimteam

Photo credit Ames Tribune

Read More

Ames High School Girls swim team garners national award

The The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) has named the Ames High School Girls Swim team No. 1 in the nation in its class for its All America Award. NISCA is a professional organization that supports High School coaches of all aquatic sports and is dedicated to coaches’ education and athlete recognition through its All America programs.

For team member Grace Snyder, the award was an unexpected bonus following a perfect regular season and a fifth state title in six years.

“We weren’t expecting this award, so we were shocked and excited,” said Snyder, who’s starting her senior year. “There’s a big range of schools in our class. We were especially proud of our academic showing.”

Coach Dan Flannery said he was more proud of his state championship team’s collective GPA than its meet record.

“The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) gave us a “Gold” standard for our collective GPA of 3.89,” he said.

Snyder credits the Ames Community School District for helping students at every level with “the skills and character they need to study, do their classwork, prepare for college and life.” She says the District builds students’ intrinsic motivation and all the teachers and coaches are supportive.

Flannery said he recognizes the girls; unselfish attitudes and work ethic that add up to success.

“The first thought that comes to mind is that all of our girls are willing to sacrifice for the good of the group rather than the individual,” he said.  “Everyone works so hard and has individual goals, but our Ames kids are unselfish when it comes to making the team better. Many sacrifices have been made over the years and sometimes it’s the little things that make the greater difference.”

Watch this site for the published rankings, which will be posted soon.

Read More

Ames High School Girls swim team garners national award

The The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) has named the Ames High School Girls Swim team No. 1 in the nation in its class for its All America Award. NISCA is a professional organization that supports High School coaches of all aquatic sports and is dedicated to coaches’ education and athlete recognition through its All America programs.

For team member Grace Snyder, the award was an unexpected bonus following a perfect regular season and a fifth state title in six years.

“We weren’t expecting this award, so we were shocked and excited,” said Snyder, who’s starting her senior year. “There’s a big range of schools in our class. We were especially proud of our academic showing.”

Coach Dan Flannery said he was more proud of his state championship team’s collective GPA than its meet record.

“The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) gave us a “Gold” standard for our collective GPA of 3.89,” he said.

Snyder credits the Ames Community School District for helping students at every level with “the skills and character they need to study, do their classwork, prepare for college and life.” She says the District builds students’ intrinsic motivation and all the teachers and coaches are supportive.

Flannery said he recognizes the girls; unselfish attitudes and work ethic that add up to success.

“The first thought that comes to mind is that all of our girls are willing to sacrifice for the good of the group rather than the individual,” he said.  “Everyone works so hard and has individual goals, but our Ames kids are unselfish when it comes to making the team better. Many sacrifices have been made over the years and sometimes it’s the little things that make the greater difference.”

Watch this site for the published rankings, which will be posted soon.

image1

 

Read More

Ames students showcase ITech skills at state competition

Ames High School Industrial Technology students garnered top awards at the Southeast Polk Expo state industrial technology competition held May 13. ITech teacher Craig Boylan said the students did an amazing job and deserve recognition.

“They earned 18 blue ribbons and three gold medals,” Boylan said. “Students also earned one red ribbon and three silver medals and two bronze medals.”

Sixteen students represented Ames High School at the competition.

Students and their awards:

  • Michael Ylonen, blue ribbons for butternut box and scroll saw wild turkey
  • Austin Clayberg, blue ribbon for scroll saw deer silhouette
  • Brandon Cable, blue ribbon for scroll saw cherry
  • Ryan Cole, blue ribbon and gold medal for cribbage board
  • Garrett Cooper, blue ribbon and gold medal for walnut goblet
  • Rylee Gibbs,  blue ribbon and bronze medal for cutting board
  • Alex Gindt, blue ribbon and silver medal for walnut table
  • Brian Glenn, blue ribbon for walnut bowl-blue ribbon
  • Yushi Hattori, blue ribbon and gold medal for  wooden pendulum clock
  • Cole Haverkamp, blue ribbon and bronze medal for chess set, blue ribbons for ribbon box, four-fold picture frame
  • Matt Holtzbauer, blue ribbon for walnut gun rack
  • Kaden Peterson, blue ribbon and silver medal for candy dispenser
  • Colby Shane, blue ribbon and silver medal for  multi-wood bowl
  • Gauge Sletten, red ribbon skateboard
  • Max White, blue ribbon for walnut bowl
  • Zach Vince, blue ribbon for carved skull
Read More

Ames High School hosts Iowa Supreme Court

Ames High School will host the Iowa Supreme Court, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 2. The Court will present oral arguments on a criminal case in a session open to the public that will take place in the Ames High School Auditorium, 1921 Ames High Dr.

The evening session is part of an outreach effort to give the “public a first-hand look into how the legal system works at the state level,” Iowa Supreme Court Communications Director Steve Davis told The Ames Tribune.

“Right now, the Supreme Court traditionally hears oral arguments during the day at 9 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon, which is really not that convenient for people that might be curious, but are working or have other responsibilities,” Davis said in an article published by The Ames Tribune.

The oral arguments pertain to case no. 14-1112,  State of Iowa v. Kenneth Osborne Ary, from Polk County District Court. The State seeks further review after the court of appeals reversed and remanded appellant’s drug-delivery convictions based on alleged error in the jury selection process. The State contends that existing case law that Iowa should follow does not allow a presumption that an entire jury panel has become biased based on the comments of one prospective juror—in this case a pastor who explained his experience with drug dealers and criminal defendants.

A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments in the Ames High School media center. The reception is sponsored by the Story County Bar Association.

Justice Ed Mansfield will return to Ames High School to present to combined Ames High School Government classes in the Auditorium, Thursday, March 3, during second and third periods.

Attorneys’ briefs for the cases and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website.

 

Read More

Ames High School Symphonic Band  hosts Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra for joint concert

AMES– The Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra will join Ames High School’s Symphonic Band for a free concert, 7 p.m., Friday February 26.

Band director Chris Ewan said the joint concert is a “great opportunity for our students to see what is possible after their high school music career.”

The Symphonic Band will play first,  performing “Dusk” by Steven Bryant, under the direction of Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra Conductor James Patrick Miller.

Ewan said there are approximately 70 students in the Symphonic Band, selected for their skill, based on auditions each fall.

The Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra joins a list of other college bands Ames High School has hosted in the past that includes Concordia College, Drake University, Western Illinois, and Northwestern College (Orange City). The Wind Orchestra, in Ames to perform at the College Band Directors National Association Conference at Iowa State University, will also present a short version of its concert for the Ames High School music department and other interested students and staff, during the Plus Period,  1-1:40 p.m.,  Friday, Feb. 26.
Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra tour schedule. 

 

Read More

Student says move to Ames High School changed his life

Ames High School senior Jacob Hess says he went to a pretty good high school in Minnesota before he moved to Ames in 2013 as a sophomore.

“My school had a good variety of AP classes and a chance to take some classes at the community college,” he said.

So the prospect of packing up and moving to central Iowa did not appeal to him, he said.

“I wasn’t thrilled about moving to Ames, but academically it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Hess said.

By the time Hess graduates from Ames High School in the spring, he will have earned more than 18 college credits and completed more than a year of internships, he said.

“It all started when I talked to Dr. (Mike) Avise,” Hess said.

When Hess was placed in a freshman study hall upon arrival at Ames High School because the sophomore study halls were full, he looked for ways to avoid becoming even further disgruntled.

Avise recommended that Hess look into the school’s Extended Learning Program.

With the help of the ELP staff, support from Industrial Technology teacher Kent Jahn and the encouragement of some upperclassmen, Hess learned he could enroll in classes at Iowa State University to pursue his interest in computer programming while gaining college credits.

“I’ve been interested in computer programming since seventh grade,” he said, recalling the time he was home from school sick for several days and became so bored he started looking at “how-to” YouTube videos about Python, a widely used general-purpose programming language.

“I guess I was Inspired by my dad, who always tells me to put time to a good use, and my uncle, who’s a professional computer programmer who uses Python from time to time,” he said.

While taking Computer Science 227 at ISU, Hess applied for and was chosen for an internship with ISU’s Institute for Transportation, or InTrans. His work focused on writing a computer program to visualize traffic data.

“With a hobby-level background in coding and what I learned in  Comps Sci 227, I wrote a program to convert thousands of lines of data into 3D graphics,” he said.

The program got noticed not just by leaders at InTrans, but also by a lead software engineer at the Iowa Department of Transportation, Hess said.

Hess, who has decided to pursue a mechanical engineering major at ISU, says Ames HIgh School does a good job preparing students for higher education.

“Open campus and free periods, and taking classes at a major university has really helped me in managing time and being responsible and self-motivated,” he said. “If you want to push yourself academically, there are countless numbers of opportunities.”

Read about Jacob Hess in The Ames Tribune

Read More
Juicebox Interactive