Award Year: 2017

Stilwell Junior High School

1601 Vine Street
West Des Moines, IA, 50265-4322

(515) 633-6000

Mr. Eric Boyle, Principal at time of Nomination

West Des Moines Comm School District

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The WDMCS will be a caring community of learners that knows and lifts every child. We will inspire joy in learning. Our schools will excel at preparing each student for his or her life journey.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 5%
  • White: 74%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • Asian: 6%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 4%
  • ELL: 5%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 27%
Stilwell Student Council President sharing the 3 Cornerstones at the First Day Of School Assembly.

Stilwell Student Council President sharing the 3 Cornerstones at the First Day Of School Assembly.

Stilwell Junior High School houses over 700 students but feels like a small-town, neighborhood school. Teachers and staff work together to know each student as an individual and guide them in achieving their goals. It is a commonly-held belief that students "won't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Stilwell demonstrates this belief by developing relationships with students and families, creating an environment where it is encouraged to take risks and learn from mistakes, and providing learning opportunities that meet the needs of all learners. All staff believe in developing the whole child, which is why many former students fondly look back on their days at Stilwell as a time of both academic and social-emotional growth.

Stilwell bases their culture on four pillars: developing positive relationships and learning environment, collaborating with others, establishing a growth mindset, and having high expectations for all. These pillars are modeled by staff and embraced by students, families, and the community. Stilwell communicates this culture by accepting, respecting, and caring for all members of the community; creating an environment that involves all stakeholders to achieve goals; seeking support from others; allowing time to reflect and revise; and conveying the expectation of high-level achievement and success. Stilwell staff believe if they can teach and model the pillars with hard work, all students will become problem solvers who will persevere and be resilient as they pursue their goals and aspirations.