JHS Weekly Newsletter April 2-5



Art Show!
The JHS Art Department is asking for student art submissions for our Annual BURBS Art Show on Thursday, April 25th. This is a yearly juried art show and field trip with 8 other area schools, hosted by Urbandale this year. Student submissions should be turned into any art teacher (Ms. Lindsey, Mr. Kirkholm, or Ms. Black) by Monday, April 15th at 3:00pm. 20 pieces will be selected for the final juried show at Merle Hay Mall. See any art teacher with questions!

Fire J is back where it belongs and our permanent wind system is fully installed after a little teamwork. Thank you AD Heather Semelmacher and JCSD for your support in making this dream a reality.

13 Johnston Middle School and High School students competed in Pella, Iowa today as part of the National History Day in Iowa district contest. Students from all around Central Iowa presented projects based in the theme of Turning Points in History. Many Johnston competitors qualified to participate at State Competition on April 29th at the Iowa Event Center. Competing students are listed below. Those qualifying for state competition are marked with an asterisk.
Junior Individual Exhibit
Aditi Pandey – honorable mention.Senior Individual Exhibit
*Abbie Tu

Senior Individual Website
*Niko Meshesha

Senior Individual Documentary
*Ahana Devadas

Senior Paper
*Hannah He

Senior Group Documentary
*Lauren Weber, *Adonawit  Meshesha

Senior Group Websites
*Shreyas Shresta, *Andrew Bogue, *Aydean Bejtovic, *Kathir Kalyanaraman

*Raya Cruse, *Taylor Brown

 Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Seal of Biliteracy! 

Four teams represented Johnston at the State Mock Trial tournament in Des Moines March 27-29, and performed extremely well.  Within a 24 hour time period,  teams played three intense trials, each lasting between two and three hours.  Team Mocked In finished an impressive 9th within a field of 32. In addition,  Akshara Eswar and Faith Kreps earned Outstanding Attorney Individual awards.  An Outstanding designation occurs when both judges in a single trial identify the student as the best attorney within the eight performing in that session.  There were only 17 students identified with this award, from a field of almost 300 students playing attorney roles.  An equally valuable reward is the growth in skill and character that Mock Trial develops.  Congratulations to all competitors for a wonderful Mock Trial season.
Mocked In team picture, and with their 9th place trophy
Wheeler of Fortune team picture, and captain Akshara Eswar with  Outstanding Attorney medal
Mockingjays team picture.
(Faith Kreps Outstanding Attorney award not pictured.
Mo’Rial team picture
Final picture is all players present at the Awards ceremony.
Team Mocked In:Back row:  Owen Ferguson, Henry Zou, Amogh Jithendra, Harrison Burkhardt, Jackson Zimmerman, Maraya WiltfangFront row: Zak Haring, David Zhang, Courtney Sweet, Quinnlyn Schulte, Lucy Kiekhaefer. Below Faith Kreps

Team Wheeler of Fortune
Back: Lucy Minger, Paige Lehman, Henry Baker, Ella Prince, Sophie Amspaugh, Caitlyn Robertson
Front: Akshara Eswar, David Shi, Abe Prince, Lauren Wessling
Wheeler of Fortune.jpeg

Team Mockingjays
Back:Katie Carr, Mirabel Pinkerton, Emma Iwamoto, Lexi Peterson, Grace Kreps, Maia Tecklenberg
Front: Sarah Wetterberg, Willie Zhao, Faith Kreps, Audrey Allen

Team Mo’Rial
Back: Evitt Fitzgerald, Natalie MIller, Syon Aggarwal  Mya Campbell, Harjot Cheema, Abbie Tu

Front:  Paige Neighbors, Marisel Clifton, Aeva Phipps, Ethan MacFarland

JHS ProStart students this week got to learn and create culinary dishes with Chef Anthony Nace, the Executive Chef at Hilton Downtown Des Moines and winner of the 2023 Iowa Restaurant Association Culinary Competition. Chef Anthony took the time to remake his winning dish with the ProStart Students! Students got to make and eat Seared Beef Strip Loin with Roasted Golden Beets, Purple Street Potatoes, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Agave Pumpkin Butter, Aged Cheddar Cheese, and Micro Cilantro. Students enjoyed cooking and plating their own food while being mentored by a professional, well renowned chef!s

The spring athletic season is underway and we’ve already seen some success, such as members of our girls track team setting some new records at indoor meets before spring break. Keep it going, Dragons! 

Johnston iJAG’s Business Plan placed second at the State CDC Competition today!  These 4 came up with a solution to a global problem and created a pitch to give to a panel of judges. From left to right:  Kiko Heidbreder (jr.) Kaden Koss (sr.) Jett Jacobson (sr.) and Bryce Blanchard (jr.)

Fourteen Johnston iJAG students attended and 11 competed in the State Career Development Competition today that consisted of Prepared Speaking, Employability Skills, Financial Literacy, Career Preparation, The L.O.V.E. Project, and Business Plan. Three of our students were also selected to represent Johnston iJAG as student ambassadors and helped run competitions throughout the day. The students took part in a career fair and several workshops to help them network and learn more about all of the different career paths available to them.  

REMINDER: You MUST serve all of your detentions if you want to attend Prom.
Detention Time:     Monday-Thursday 3:00-4:00 PM in Room 13
Saturday 8AM-11AM Meet at Door #1

Winter cheer banquet to celebrate an amazing season in which both our wrestling ‍♀️ and basketball  teams made it to state! We also won a state championship in both! Sophomore cheerleaders received their varsity letter tonight, and many won academic achievement awards. Go Dragons! 

Keep up the Good Work Kathir!!

Graduation is right around the corner and our elementary schools are planning for the much-loved tradition of paying tribute to their former students! “Seniors Come Home” will be held at all five elementary schools at 3:15 p.m. Friday, May 17 this year. JHS seniors, mark your calendars and plan to “come home” to your elementary school to receive a standing ovation (and some warm hugs) that day!!

The defending class 4A Champs Johnston Dragons top Dallas Center 4-1 this Monday Evening. Kyron Pope gets two goals and an assist, Amir Kotoric and Cael Leach also get goals tonight

The end of an incredible season for JHS show choirs Innovation, Synergy and Bella Voce 

Shoutout to our Johnston wrestlers for their stellar performance at the 2024 State Wrestling Championships!  Jacob Helgeson: Two-time state champ! Caden Leonard & Kolby Gibbons: Podium finishers! Their dedication and positive attitude on and off the mat inspire us all.

Dragon Scholarship Fund is partnering with Naomi’s Kitchen for a fundraiser
See flyer below for more information :)


The Dungeons and Dragons club has recently been restarted, and we need people.
If you are wanting to join, the club meets at the library from 2:50 till 4:00.
No experience is needed to play. You will want to either download the D&D Beyond app or bring paper character sheets.

Senior Ava Thornton  received the Iowa Academic Decathlon Board of Directors scholarship, awarded at the State competition March 2.  This $500 prize is payable to any Iowa college or university, and is awarded  through a selective essay process.   Ava has played Ac Dec for all three years of high school and definitely deserved the award!

                                    CONGRATULATIONS AVA!! 

JHS special education students are working hard to learn skills about living, learning and working after high school! Here are pics from a recent visit to

to learn about careers behind the camera, and visits to

and Canoyer Garden Center. Students include Justin Radcliff, Brendan Radcliff, Jadyn Bowser, Payton Harris, Mark Wagner, James Dyett, Jaymee Gonzalez, Ava Kimpson, Katie Gray, Nancy Lampman and Gretchen Overton, along with former student Susie Hanigan.

Opera Iowa will have a three day residency in Johnston Schools, funded by the Vocal Parents Association. The greater Johnston community is invited to a performance of Gretry’s Beauty and the Beast at Wallace Elementary at 6:30 PM, April 11. See the attached PDF for all the details!! We are super excited for this opportunity for our students and community!

Tickets can be reserved online here  and free will donations will be accepted that evening.

Support Spanish teacher, Mrs. Gray, through her cancer journey by purchasing a bracelet for $1. Bracelets can be found in Mrs. Palmers room or any Spanish room!” 


Attention all 10th and 11th graders.  Do you want to attend the Iowa Youth Institute sponsored by Iowa State University and World Food Prize Foundation.    Students who are interested in attending will research a global challenge related to food security and write a simple research paper.  All students that submit a paper will get to attend the Iowa Youth Institute and will be in the running for scholarships, qualifying for the Global Youth Institute and be eligible for international internships.

More information about the opportunity can be found in this Global Challenge informational document .  We will work with any interested students to complete the research and submit the paper. Email Ms. Howe sara.howe@johnston.k12.ia.us or Ms. Nsereko noreen.nsereko@johnston.k12.ia.us if you are interested in participating.





6500 Northwest 100th Street, Johnston, IA 50131



JCSD is an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer.