Our Amazing Students, Staff, and Programming
Every day the students, staff and programs of the Davenport Community Schools have an impact in the community and garner national recognition for excellence and innovation in education. The district has received national accolades for its staff, including an Iowa Teacher of the Year, Iowa Principal of the Year, Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year, Iowa Administrator of the Year and two national Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winners. The district’s programming is also groundbreaking, with fifteen schools and programs having received Iowa’s First in the Nation in Education (FINE) Award and one of the elementary schools recognized as a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
We’re extremely proud of our students. The good work they do is a testament to our robust curriculum, technological capabilities, and inspirational environment, but the innate character strengths we see within each student is what is truly remarkable. Across our district, student groups have taken their own initiative to help out community members in need of assistance. There are an abundant number of award-winners within our ranks; our students routinely earn accolades related to sports, the arts, core academics, and extracurricular activities.
The hard work that is being done on our data teams is paying dividends. Everyone — from our most recent graduates to our distinguished alumni — is taking what they have learned from Davenport Community Schools and putting it to work in a world they are helping to shape for the better.
We are Davenport Community Schools… A District of Distinction.
Recent Awards and Accolades
The following awards and achievements by students and teachers are only a small sampling of the last year in Davenport Community Schools. To view a comprehensive list of accolades and awards, click here.
1. North High’s Matthew Luebbe was selected as a finalist for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship. As one of 15,000 student nationwide chosen for this honor (less than 1% of US high school graduating seniors), Matthew is being considered for one of 2,500 single-payment $2,500 National Merit Scholarships and many other awards.
2. Central High’s Pablo Haake has been selected as a Bezos Scholar. Pablo will meet with 11 of the nation’s other top public high school juniors during a week of exploration, dialogue and debate, while working with leaders and innovators from around the world. Pablo was also one of two students in Iowa selected to receive the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship. He and 101 other students participated in the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week, where Pablo met President Obama and visited Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Supreme Court.
3. The Sudlow Intermediate Destination Imagination Team represented the state of Iowa at the Global Finals, where they competed against teams from more than 40 states and 12 countries.
4. West High’s Emma Demarr received the prestigious Brand Boeshaar Scholarship through the Figge Art Museum. This award goes to Iowa/Illinois area students who wish to earn a degree in Fine Art, Graphic Design, or Art Education at a college or university. Emma was accepted into several distinguished art schools, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Pratt Institute’s School of Art & Design in New York.
5. Adams Elementary School students won the Davenport Public Library 2013 Summer Reading Club Award. All schools, public and private, are invited to participate and this is Adams’ 21st award.
6. Kimberly Center student Payton Engels was one of only four students in Iowa who advanced to the IJAG National student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. During the conference, Payton visited the Capitol Building and met with Iowa congressmen and senators.
7. The Central High Scholastic Bowl team took First Place in the state of Iowa in the Spring Questions Unlimited 3-2-1 Contest.
8. Northside Establishment, North High’s varsity show choir, won Grand Champion for the seventh consecutive year at Fort Madison High School’s “Stars in the Spotlight” Invitational. The group competed against 17 other show choirs from Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, and was also awarded Best Band, Best Choreography and Best Vocals.
9. West High’s “Falcon Fever” engineering team was crowned the 2014 State of Iowa Champions in the Real World Design Challenge. This is West High’s third state RWDC title, and the team will now represent Iowa at Nationals in Washington D.C.
10. Our Marines Corps JROTC won 1st place in Armed Duet at the University of Nebraska Drill Meet, and 1st place in Unarmed Exhibition at a Chicago drill competition.
11. Central High’s James Moraetes was selected for the National High School Honor Choir in New York City. Students from all over the United States were selected for this choir that performed at the world-famous Carnegie Hall.
12. North High’s bowling team won the Iowa State Class 2A bowling championship for the third time in four years. Bret Keimig, Blake Freeman, Mitchell Kelley, and Zach Williams were named to the Quad City Times All-Metro bowling team.
13. Bruce Potts, principal at Sudlow Intermediate, was named 2013-2014 Outstanding Administrator by the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
14. West High’s student newspaper “The Beak ‘n’ Eye” received the George H. Gallup Award, the highest honor given by the Quill and Scroll Honor Society for high school journalists. Only 26 school newspapers from 12 states received the prestigious award this year, and the Beak ‘n’ Eye has won this top honor every year since 1973.
15. Central High’s “Central Singers Incorporated” show choir took 8th place at the FAME Show Choir National Finals in Chicago.
16. Stepping Stones, the district’s afterschool collaboration with the City of Davenport and Iowa State Extension, was recognized with the Midwest region “Innovator of the Year” award through the National and Iowa Afterschool Alliance.
17. North High senior Kenny Thach won the inaugural Michael Pietz Leadership Award at the Iowa State Thespian Festival. This award was created by the Iowa Thespian Student Board to recognize one student for dedication to her/his theater program and work behind the scenes.
18. Greg Smith, a Project Lead the Way Instructor at West High School, was chosen as the 2014 STEM Teacher of the Year by the Quad City Engineering & Science Council.
19. Davenport Community Schools was one of six districts in the state of Iowa to receive a Best Community for Music Education Award from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation this year.
20. Central High’s Graham Atkinson competed in the National History Bee Competition in Washington D.C., placing as the top Iowa finisher over the two other Iowa competitors.
21. North High’s Tylor Moss won Best of Show at the Festival of Trees High School Art Show, earning him a solo exhibition in the front window of the Quad City Arts Gallery in Rock Island
22. Our schools held a combined total of 19 mobile blood drives this year, for a total of 1,236 donations. In addition, there are 26 Gallon Grads—senior students who have hit the 1-gallon mark as a blood donor—at our high schools this year.
23. The West High Coed Cheerleading Team capped off an amazing season by being crowned 2013 Large Co-ed State Champions and 2013 Large Co-ed Regional Champions. Leading up to those honors, the team won the top award at “The Grand Finale” at Pleasant Valley High School and was crowned Grand Champion for the second year in a row at the Spartan Challenge competition in Dubuque.
24. In 2014, the Davenport Schools Foundation awarded $64,000 in scholarships to 36 graduating seniors from Central, North, West and Kimberly Center high schools.
25. ProStart students Anthony Calabrese, Gianni Nunn, and Allison Walters earned first place at the Family, Community, Career Leaders of America Culinary Star Event competition in Des Moines, earning them the right to represent the state of Iowa at the National Competition in San Antonio, Texas.
Some of our Outstanding Alumni
Jim Skinner, class of 1962, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s Corporation
Roger Craig, class of 1979, 3-time Super Bowl champion
Dana Davis, class of 1997, television actress
Jim Leach, class of 1960, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Susan Glaspell, class of 1894, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actress, director, novelist, biographer and poet
Julian Vandervelde, class of 2006, professional football player
Jim Zabel, class of 1939, radio and television broadcaster; announcer for Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball games
Tom Hudson, class of 1990, co-host of PBS national broadcast “Nightly Business Review”
Elmer Layden, class of 1921, football player and NFL commissioner