Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

081_Weeks and Wilson Junior High Schools


081_Weeks and Wilson Junior High Schools


This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.

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The formal dedication of the $1,053,787.43 building was held during a regular P.T.A. meeting February 23, 1954, at 7:30 p.m. The speakers were Superintendent N. D. McCombs; President of the Board of Education, Mrs. James Shannahan; and Mrs. A. C. Hutchens, a friend of the Weeks family. Principal Edward G. Bigot, presided. The large school contract awarded for Weeks junior high in March, 1955 was for ten classrooms and a library. The amount awarded in the contracts was for $335,000. In the mid-1970s more room was needed at Weeks junior high for a shop so plans are being made for an industrial arts shop addition to be built. The programs at Weeks junior high school in the mid-1970s include the Title III Career Interest Student Survey as well as the Title III Rent-a-Kid project. They also have a learning disabilities teacher. They participate in the Police-School Liaison project with McCombs as a team. Three rooms of the new addition were opened in February 1966 to begin a Title I Federal Program to improve the teaching of reading and mathematics. With the opening of the entire new addition, eleven classrooms and a library, in the fall of 1966, Weeks entered a program of modular scheduling. Weeks still uses a combination of modular scheduling with block-time programs. A fire in the office started by an electrical short in a ceiling caused about $2,000 damage in August of 1969. After that all ceiling light fixtures were lowered from the ceiling. School enrollment reached a high of 960 students in 1969. Three mobile units helped house the students. Some of the overcrowded conditions have been eliminated by decreased enrollment. New industrial arts facilities are being planned. The educational program at Weeks has included individualized programs in mathematics and emphasis on "studying yourself' in relation to the world in social science. A real improvement has been made over the past few years in the quality of the music programs, the number of students participating, and the size of the audiences at the programs. Administrators of Weeks Junior High include: 1953 - 1961 Edward G. Bigot 1962 - 1965 Erwin A. Hafeustein 1961 - 1962 Warren W. Nixon 1965 - Carl Millsap Wilson Jr. High (Photograph) WILSON JR. HIGH SCHOOL E. 24th and University Grades 7, 8, 9 HISTORY OF WOODROW WILSON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL Woodrow Wilson Junior High School was opened in 1925. There were 28 teachers and 925 pupils. This enrollment steadily increased until in 1954 it was above 1200. The enrollment was 1067 in 1974. A slight decline in enrollment, to approximately 980, is indicated for the 1975-1976 school year. The staff in 1975 is 44 classroom teachers, a principal, vice principal, assistant principal, a full-time nurse, two full-time counselors, and a full-time librarian. Before opening the first year, a student council was organized. Each contributing grade school sent several of its outstanding pupils to confer with the principal and advisers. A constitution was drawn up and under this constitution Wilson has enjoyed a strong and meaningful student council until this date. The school's colors have alwasy been black and gold; and the school's symbol is the Chanticleer. The school motto is "Our Spirit Never Defeated." The campus is appointed by unusual trees and flowers planted by Wilson's first principal, Everett Davis. The tennis courts were built with funds made available by paper drives and the W.P.A. labor force. One of these courts was hard-surfaced by the city recreation department in 1964. The track, which is considered one of the best junior high tracks in the city, was built by Woodrow Wilson students under the direction of the physical education teachers. The overall athletic record of Woodrow Wilson Junior High is outstanding. Through the years, Woodrow Wilson has sponsored many fine operettas and other musical entertainments. At the present, the annual Christmas program, Father-Son Night, the Mother-Daughter Tea, and the Spring Festival of the Arts are looked forward to by the community.