JHS Weekly Newsletter March 25-29

JHS Weekly Newsletter  March 25-29


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 

After Spring Break, it’s a sprint to the finish! 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! 

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 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.

Attention Seniors
April 18th – 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Auditorium – Senior Class Meeting  All seniors will meet to learn who the senior speakers and junior attendants are, and receive updated valuable information about senior events for the remainder of the year.

Friday, May 24th  – 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Rehearsal for Graduation – Attendance is required!  All seniors are to be in the large gym at 8:30 AM. Caps and gowns will be handed out during rehearsal.  All fines must be paid before you receive your cap and gown.


Tuesday, May 28th  – 6:15 p.m. – Graduation Line up  – All graduates are to meet at the Bell Center Staging area at the north side of the Drake Knapp Center and be in their chair NO LATER THAN 6:15 PM.   Commencement is a formal celebration of our graduates’ accomplishments.  We ask all graduates to please dress appropriately for the occasion. No parents or visitors will be allowed into the Bell Center area before or after the ceremony.  All seniors will go back to the Bell Center immediately following the Commencement ceremony to pick up their signed diploma.  Parents will need to take photos of their senior in their cap and gown before arriving at the Knapp Center and are not allowed in the Bell Center.


Tuesday, May 28th  – 7:00 p.m. – Graduation Commencement  – The Drake Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave, Des Moines, is an air-conditioned facility.   There are 975 parking spaces within a block from the facility. Handicap parking is available on the east side of the Knapp Center in Lots 2 & 3.  Handicap seating is available on the west end on the top level or on the lower level behind the band.  No tickets are needed and there is not a limit to the number of family/friends that can attend.  This event will be Live Streamed at https://team1sports.com/johnston/


The director of facilities for the Knapp Center at Drake University would like you to know the following rules for their Campus: The Knapp Center does not allow helium filled balloons, beach balls, water balloons, spray cans of silly string, air horns, cow bells, or confetti.  All adults, visitors, and guests of the senior class must wait in the Knapp Center.  


Good Luck to JHS Dance Team Competing in Orlando this past week!!

On February 29, 2024,  four JHS students attended the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge at John Deere Financial.  Students heard from professionals in the finance and investing industries, and then got to take part in a fast-paced stock market challenge, where they competed against 43 other teams of four students from around the metro area, to turn $500,000 into the most money by investing in fake stocks.  Each minute of the simulation was a day in the stock market. They had to watch the “news” and make quick decisions as a team.  Our team was not the winner, but had a great time and learned a lot about diversification and investing in general.   Students names L to R:  Alen Sehic, senior; Adonawit Meshesha, junior; Jasmine Newman, junior; Melvin Akakpo, junior.

Congratulations to JHS senior Alex for being awarded the JUMP Scholarship by the

at the One Big Table fundraiser! The Partnership provides a $2,500 scholarship each year to a senior JUMP student. Alex and his mentor Tom have been matched in the JUMP program for six years. The JUMP Scholarship honors founder Barb Allen. #MentorMonday Photo Credit: Andrew San Photography

Some of the team got to spend the afternoon at Summit Middle School celebrating “Summit Madness” with the 6th and 7th grades, fun way to celebrate spring break!

Congratulations to Aili Tanke on earning Iowa player of the year

Congrats to Amani, Jenica, and Aili for being named 1st Team All State by the IGCA and to Aaliyah for earning 2nd team!!
Taking a victory lap! The school board tonight recognized the

team for winning the 2024 Class 5A State Championship! Head Coach Chad Jilek was also recognized for being named the

Class 5A West Coach of the Year. The team then gave Superintendent Dr. Nikki Roorda a gift — an autographed basketball and a copy of the winning state championship bracket. Congratulations! ⛹‍♀️


It’s been an exciting week of Mock Trial.  Johnston High School was represented  by eight teams this year.  Six played on Tuesday here in Des Moines. Two additional teams played Thursday in Marshalltown, due to schedule conflicts with the Tuesday regional.   All the  teams learned a lot, worked hard, and had  success in their endeavors.  While not every team is advancing to State, all students performed well and hopefully had fun in the process.


 Of our teams that played in Des Moines,  four advanced to semi-finals  on Wednesday. It was unfortunate that our two freshmen teams had to  face each other in the semi-finals, so there were only three teams that could advance from that round. The  semi-final rounds were hard-fought and challenging, but we were rewarded with the best outcome possible.  Three teams advanced to State.  The Marshalltown Regional was also a challenging experience, with one team advancing to State from that location.  

Johnston will be represented by four teams at the State Tournament in Des Moines March 28-30.  

All teams are listed below, in order of  grade level.  Those teams that qualified for semi-finals are in italics, and those qualifying for State are in bold type.

In addition to team awards, many of our players won Outstanding Witness and/or Outstanding Attorney honors.  Outstanding Attorneys are marked with *, and Outstanding Witnesses are marked with ^.  We had multiple players honored with both Outstanding Attorney AND Outstanding Witness awards.  

These results from Regional play showcase the strength of  the Johnston Mock Trial program.  We will continue our quest for the State Championship at the end of March.  

The Mockingjays, coached by Justin Allen

*^Audrey Allen, Captain

Maia Tecklenberg

Faith Kreps

*Grace Kreps

Lexi Peterson

Katie Carr

^Emma Iwamoto

Willie Zhao

Sarah Wetterberg

Mirabel Pinkerton

Mocked In, coached by Holly Bousselot.
*Courtney Sweet, co-captain*Jackson Zimmerman, co-captain

*Maraya Wiltfang

David Zhang

Zak Haring

^Lucy Kiekhaefer

*^Harrison Burkhardt

^Amogh Jithendra

Henry Zou

Quinnlyn Schulte

Team Supporter:  Owen Ferguson

Marbury’s Mockers, coached by Jim Johnson  

*Caroline Throener ,co-captain

*Abby Harris, co-captain  

Amelia Holter

Milo Sanderson

Cecelia Freeman

Kristin Rutz

Luke Fongkhamdeng

Ena Basic

^^Margi Skinner

Jacob Grauerholz

Wheeler of Fortune, coached by Brad PriceAkshara Eswar, captain

*Lauren Wessling

Sophie Amspaugh

Paige Lehman

Ella Prince

Lucy Minger

Caitlyn Robertson

Henry Baker

Abe Prince

David Shi

Buick Skylarks

Kaylee Jones, co-captain

Sydney Maule, co-captain

Amanda Esche

Marissa Randall

Rey Dobson

Aravind Balaji

Zoe Mednick

Tessa Barker

Amazing! Watch Johnston’s Innovation show choir and Janni family as they were featured on 

 this morning. Kudos to everyone involved in this special performance and season. And thanks to 

 for featuring us! https://who13.com/on-air/seen-on-tv/scholastic-spotlight/scholastic-spotlight-johnston-hands-in-harmony/… 

Congress Qualification results
In the House:
Shreyas Shrestha and Alan Qi broke to the final chamber.
Alan Qi is the first alternate in Congress 
Shreyas Shrestha was one of the 4 individuals in the house to qualify for nationals. 
In the Senate:
Aravind Balaji was one of the 2 individuals in the Senate who qualified for nationals. 
Both Aravind and Shreyas are 2x national qualifiers in Congress!

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!” 

Potential Johnston Dance Team Member,

Tryout packet and registration for the 2024-2025 Johnston Dance Team is officially open!!

The Johnston Dance Team is recognized as an elite team statewide, regionally, and nationally. We have earned this through dedication, discipline, and hard work. Being a part of the team would mean you could perform at exciting events, make new friends, show your dance talent, and most importantly have fun!

Tryouts are open to current 7th-11th graders enrolled in the Johnston Community School District. Teams will be divided into Varsity and Junior Varsity. Eligibility for these teams are as follows.

  • Varsity – current 8th – 11th graders
  • Junior Varsity – current 7th – 9th graders


Please see the information below regarding the 2024-2025 Johnston JV & Varsity Dance Team Program upcoming tryout. This is open to current 7th -11th grade students.

Step 1: Click the link to start the application process for dance team tryouts:  Link:

Step 2: Review the Johnston Dance Team Tryout Packet and the 2024-2025 Bylaws and Agreement Form, this is the first item in the google form above.

Step 3: Attend the informational meeting for parents and dancer on Tuesday, March 19th, at 6pm in the Johnston High School Cafeteria, enter door 2.

Step 3: Attend the clinic on Tuesday, March 26th, from 5-8pm at Johnston High School in the gym, enter door 2.

Step 4: Attend the tryout/audition on Thursday, March 28, at 4:30pm at Johnson High School in the gym, enter door 2.

The tryouts are in March 2024, to be on the team for the following year, Fall & Winter 2024.2025. A scoring rubric will be used, and students that have a qualifying score will be notified on the night of Thursday, March 28, if they have made the team. JV & Varsity Dance members have summer camp and practices. JV & Varsity Dance is open to both boys and girls.

If you have any questions, please contact the Head Varsity Coach – Paige Meredith at

Paige Meredith – Varsity Coach – paige.meredith@johnston.k12.ia.us

Taylor Schrader – Assistant Varsity Coach

Haley Austin – Junior Varsity Coach

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.





Johnston High School

6500 Northwest 100th Street, Johnston, IA 50131
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