Central Campus Newsletter

May 2023

A note from the Director

We have had an incredible school year serving our students and families and the great Des Moines Community here at Central Campus. Students who have attended a Central Campus program this year earned a total of 7,245 college credits, saving families $1.3 million dollars in tuition/transferrable college credit! We will be honoring 23 seniors who are already committed to employers who will help them begin their careers. Please come and help us celebrate these seniors at our Workforce Ready Signing Day on May 11th.

Additionally we had 30 juniors and seniors participate in a Registered Apprenticeship. These students "earned and learned" with our incredible partners, through on site employment, earning high school and college credit, as well as industry recognized certifications as part of their central campus course work.

We have new earn and learn opportunities happening this summer through a Summer Youth Internship Grant. We were awarded funding to pay up to 5 students, who have taken computer science classes, to work with our own DMPS IT department for nine weeks, learning real world application of their skills as well as giving them a head start in their work experience and earning capabilities. Our Operations team will also be taking on 8 student interns, who have been in our Skilled Trades Academy. Lastly, we have established a new registered apprenticeship with John Deere Financial and will have 5 students participating.

Finally, Congratulations to the class of 2023~ we are already so proud of you! All in all, the partnerships amongst our families, business community and our teachers is yielding tremendous success in helping students make informed decisions about their future. It is an honor to do this work alongside the best community in Iowa.

In love and service

Tascha Brown

Director of Career and Technical Education and Central Campus

1800 Grand Ave

Des Moines, IA 50309



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Important Dates and Celebrations

May 1st - Ocean Week

May 4th, 7pm - Fashion Show, Auditorium (Admission: $10 Adult, $5 Students)

May 8th, 4-8pm - Art Show, 3rd Floor

May 11th, 4pm - Workforce Signing Night, Auditorium

May 15th, 6-8pm - FFA Banquet, Multipurpose Room

May 17th, 5:30-7pm - JROTC Program Celebration, Auditorium

May 29th - No School

June 2nd - Last Day of School

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Jameson Brown - Electrical Construction – Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship

Uriel Ceniceros – Plumbing & Mechanical Systems – Des Moines Public Schools

Gustason Childs – Plumbing & Mechanical Systems – City Plumbing Corp.

Hunter Davis – Electrical Construction – EP2

Darion Dixon – Electrical Construction – Tri-City Electric

Elliot Donovan – Electrical Construction - Waldinger

Alexander Fritz – Electrical Construction – Waldinger

Aminezgi Gebremedhin – Automotive Technology – Des Moines Public Schools

Zachary Glenney, Jr. – Electrical Construction – EP2

Zackary Heilman – Carpentry – Des Moines Public Schools

Colton James – Electrical Construction – Cupertino Electric Inc.

Alec Jenkins - Automotive Technology - DeYarman Ford Indianola

John Martinez, Jr. – Automotive Technology – Firestone

Blu Moo – Early Childhood Careers – Des Moines Public Schools

Isabelle Piedras – Nurse Aide – UnityPoint Health

Jonteze Powell – Electrical Construction – EP2

Aylin Rosales Paz – Early Childhood Careers – Des Moines Public Schools

Hank Schroeder – Plumbing & Mechanical Systems – Advanced Problem Solutions

Madison Tomlinson - Automotive Collision - GATR Truck Center

Flora Tumusifu – Career Opportunities in Health – UnityPoint Health

Jimena Valdez-Hidalgo – Dream to Teach – Des Moines Public Schools

Darien Villanueva - Electrical Construction - Baker Group

Tyler Wissert - Electrical Construction - Central Iowa Mechanical

Teacher Feature

Mr. Trevor Stevens - Electrical Program

Master Shifu once said, “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.” (I don’t read many books, so yes, this quote comes from Kung-Fu Panda.) This is one of my favorite quotes to share with students, but also one that I apply to my program. This year, the program continued to follow this guidance, and did more.

This year, I started using what is called the Interim Credentials for the 2nd year of the program. The coursework is designed by the electrical apprenticeship organizations. If a student successfully completes the coursework, the credential they receive provides them with the ability to enter the Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship as a 2nd year apprentice. This aligned with my goal of getting students into the electrical apprenticeship and as a bonus, they get to learn all the cool electrical content stuff.

The students also engaged with more electrical contractors than ever before. I started the WBL walks, talks, and interactions much earlier this year to ensure that the students would have an idea of what their post-graduation plan was, well before they graduated. Students did eight different job site/manufacturing site tours and went to the Des Moines Electrical Training Center this year. The job-sites allowed them to see different types of electrical construction and different phases of the construction. The training center allowed students to visit with apprentices and hear their stories; something that really connected with the students in the program and something I plan to continue to utilize in the future.

A primary preparation for employment this year was for students to engage with all the superintendents (the people making the hiring decisions) from all of the contractor partners.

These individuals spent time speaking to the students about their own journey, the company they work for, the work they do, and other career information. Additionally, they spent time speaking to the students about what they look for during interviews and what good interview practices look like. Students then planned out who they would interview with during the Central Campus interview day, which led to a tremendous success and almost every student receiving a commitment for hire, following graduation.

Thirteen students completed the application for apprenticeship and took the electrical aptitude test on site at Central Campus this year. Of those, nine interviewed for apprenticeship acceptance, at the Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship and in front of a committee of seven individuals bombarding them with questions about their life experiences. The feedback? They were prepared, and they did awesome.

At this time, 3 students have been accepted as apprentice electricians and will start following graduation. These 3 students were recognized and celebrated on stage at this year’s Build my Future event. It was an amazing celebration, and I was so excited for the three students to receive praise they deserved for all their hard work. (See attached photo)

An additional 8 students have had commitments for employment from contractors in the metro area to work as construction wireman following graduation. This brings the total students who will meet the goal of the program to eleven. (Here comes the event plug) Please, if you have the opportunity, I would love for you all to come and celebrate these students and their hard work on May 11th for our 3rd annual Workforce Readiness Celebration. The first year they had us instructors speak up on stage, but luckily for all of you, they no longer do that! Thanks for reading this, hope to see you there, and continue to be more.

Program Spotlight

Broadcasting and Film

It’s awards and festival time for the Broadcasting and Film students at Central Campus. Our students had the opportunity to submit work for judging by the Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter, which includes the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Central Campus had seven pieces nominated this year. Abrianna Hilson, NHS, was nominated for editing and short non-fiction. Logan Westin, RHS, was nominate for music video and short fiction. Luke Garcia, RHS, was nominated for short fiction. John Charlson, RHS, was nominated for Commercial. Mary Chandara, Virtual Campus, was nominated for PSA.

On March 31, the students travelled to Minneapolis for the awards ceremony with instructors Kirk Johnson and Tim Coleman to see who would win the Crystal Pillar, a student production award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It was an honor just to be nominated from the 200 plus entries this year. Our own Abrianna Hilson received the Crystal Pillar for her short non-fiction, “My PBS Mentorship.” Her film will now go on to the national competition and will be judged by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New York. The results will be released at an awards ceremony in September.

“It was a good year for student productions. It is great to see recognition for the storytelling and creativity that comes out of our classes,” said Tim Coleman, one of Broadcasting and Film Instructors at Central Campus. “We were so proud of Abrianna. Receiving this affirms all of the hard work we’ve been blessed to witness the last three years. All of our students were very deserving and we are proud of all of them! We cannot wait to see what the future holds for each of them.”

Broadcasting and Film Business Partners

WOI-Channel 5

Iowa Central Comm. College

DSM Radio Group

Lutheran Church of Hope

Upper Midwest Emmy's

Iowa Dept of Cultural Affairs

Iowa Public Television

DMACC- Ankeny


Central Campus students planted the district's first orchard in April. The Agricultural Sciences Academy has a rich history of providing hands-on learning to students, including studying and raising animals, plants, and flowers, and harvesting them for market. Now the program is adding fruit fresh from new trees thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Instructor Heidi Mandt was awarded $24,000 for the development of the orchard. Working with Iowa State University Extension, students planted 60 apple trees just south of the DMPS greenhouse. The trees will hopefully produce in the fall of 2024 and students will sell some of the fruit and donate some to local food pantries.

CC Greenhouse Sale until May 20th

April 21st through May 20th, the Central Campus Greenhouse Plant Sale will occur. Students and teachers have been working hard to share some beautiful options for you to purchase and take home.

Follow the greenhouse on Facebook or Instagram: @CentralCampusHorticulture.

Student Attendance

When your student will not be at school, please make sure to contact your child’s home school and also Central Campus. Our attendance systems do not share information between schools.

We strongly encourage students to initiate contact with their teachers when they are gone from school to ensure they are staying on top of classwork.

Career Readiness

Schedule Changes for SY 23-24

Students and parents should keep an eye on their student and parent emails from Central Campus. Staff will be working to resolve schedule conflicts and changes for next year. We may need to reach out for your input.

Course Requests for SY 23-24

The course request link for students new to a program at Central Campus is open.

  • The link can be found here for current students who attend a DMPS HS or MS.

  • Students who attend out-of-district or private schools should ask their home HS counselors for their unique link.

  • Seats will be given on a first come, first served basis.

DMACC Drop Dates

Classes that offer DMACC credits have the following drop windows:

  • No Transcript Penalty – Jan 19 – Feb 27

  • Drop with “W” (Withdrawal) – Feb 28 – Apr 17

  • Drop with “F” (Failing) – Apr 18 – June 2

Grades for these classes are recorded on both the DMPS and college transcripts.

John Hickling, School Counselor, Student Last Names A-L, John.Hickling@dmschools.org

Jennifer Scott, School Counselor, Student Last Names M-Z, Jennifer.Scott@dmschools.org

Mary Moua, Counseling Assistant, Mary.Moua@dmschools.org

Diana Lovan, Future Ready Coach, Diana.Lovan@dmschools.org


Central Campus

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