School History

Ankeny Community School District is located in Polk County, Iowa and is 6 miles (9.7 km) from the capital city, Des Moines. The district is well known in Iowa for accomplishments in academics, athletics and activities. Ankeny Schools are accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (AdvancEd) and the Iowa Department of Education, and are part of the Central Iowa Metro League (CIML).

For more than a decade, the district has been one of the fastest growing school districts in Iowa, averaging student enrollment growth of more than 300 students per year during that time.[3] The district will serve more than 8,960 students in 2011–2012 and is the 10th largest district in the state (by student enrollment). By 2014–2015, the district is projected to enroll 10,149 students and by 2017–2018 the district is projected to enroll 11,277 students.[3]

The first school in Ankeny was a log cabin, built in 1850, twenty years before Crocker Township was organized as a civil township. Ankeny's first school was located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south of town where the east entrance of the Iowa State Experimental farm joined Highway 69. This school was later re-located on the east side of Ankeny Boulevard, just south of First Street. Records show that Mr. A. H. Feigenbaum was one of the early teachers, serving in one of the one-room schools about 1880. The early roster includes other names such as Mrs. Hattie Cornwall, a Miss Benedict, Miss Maude Kennedy, and Mrs. John Wagner as a substitute.

The district's first official "graduating class" was the five-person class of 1914. Consolidation came to Ankeny in 1919, at which time the oldest part of the Neveln building was built. Several country school houses were moved to the grounds to accommodate the increased enrollment.

There was no further new construction until 1952 when the original part of the Parkview building was constructed. In 1957, the west wing was added and in 1964 an east wing was completed. In 1964, Parkview became Ankeny High School. Later, the facility was repurposed and renamed as "Parkview Middle School."

Northwest Elementary on West 1st Street was the first building to open after the original Parkview building. It was completed in 1962. Additional buildings include (in order of opening):

  1. East Elementary, built in 1963

  2. Southeast Elementary, opened in 1969

  3. Terrace Elementary on School Street opened in 1972

  4. Northview Middle School, originally opened as "Ankeny High School" in two phases (1973 & 1975)

  5. Westwood Elementary, opened in 1989

  6. Northeast Elementary, opened in 1992

  7. Prairie Ridge Middle School, originally opened as "Northview Middle School" in 1995

  8. Crocker Elementary, opened in 2004

  9. Ashland Ridge Elementary, opened in 2008

  10. Ankeny High School, opened in 2011

  11. Southview Middle School, opened in 2011

Sports and Activities

Girls' Athletics

Ankeny girls' athletics rose to prominence in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Coach Dick Rasmussen, who coached the girls' basketball and softball teams. Under head coach Scott De Jong, the girls basketball team holds the record for the most consecutive state titles. They won the state championship in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005; in 2005 they rose as high as No. 2 in USA Today's Super 25 national rankings.[5] The Hawkettes hold the record for the most state titles by a school in Iowa history, having won six championships under Coach De Jong in the five-girl era and another three under the old six-girl rules.[6]

The Ankeny girls track and field team won the state outdoor championship in 1981 under coach Roy Crabtree and has, under head coach Dennis Adamson, won the state indoor championship in 1996 and was runner-up outdoor state champions in 1996 and 1997. The girls track and field team under coach Adamson has also been in the top ten state finishers seven times most recently finishing seventh in the 2010 season.

Under Coach Dave Whims, the Ankeny High School volleyball team has had several state tournament appearances and have won the state championship in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. In 2003, 2004 and 2010 the team was the state 4A runner up. Overall since 1996, the volleyball team has made 10 state tournament appearances and won 9 conference championships.[7]

The Ankeny girls' golf team, coached by Toni Dickey, has appeared in the state tournament from 2001 to 2005, 2007 to 2009, and 2011. The team has four championships, 1986, 2003, 2004, and 2008. The 2009 team placed 3rd at the state tournament, and 5th in 2011. The girls have been crowned conference champions in each year from 2001 to 2009, and again in 2011.[8]

The Ankeny girls' soccer team, under the direction of Coach Chris Allen, captured their first state championship in 2011.

Boys' Athletics

Ankeny also has a very successful football team. Coach Jerry Pezzetti has accumulated over 300 wins in his 40+ year career at Ankeny including a state championship in 1997.[9] Since 1998, and with the help of special teams coach Peter Rameh, four Hawk kickers have played college football for teams in the Division I Bowl Sub-division, including former University of Miami All-American Todd Sievers

The Ankeny boys' soccer team is coached by Rick Isaacson, with the assistance of Peter Rameh. The team made its first ever state tournament appearance in 2006, losing in the first round to top seeded Bettendorf. They made the state tournament again in 2007, where they won the state title with a 1–0 victory over Valley High School after a last-minute goal by Jacob Misel.

The baseball team has nine state tournament appearances, including four state runner-ups and one state championship in 1992.

The Ankeny Bands have two jazz bands, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab, and one marching band, the Marching Hawks.

There are three show choirs at Ankeny High School; Visual Adrenaline (VA), Perpetual Motion (PM) and Intensity, VA and PM being coed, while Intensity being an all-girls choir, respectfully. VA continues to gain First Place in competitions, and is 11th in the nation. Jim Cacciatore leads Perpetual Motion, while Lester Miller directs Visual Adrenaline.

The Drama department does three plays a year: a fall play, a children's play (which is led by the students) and a spring musical.

All information was taken from Wikipedia

Ankeny High School, and the Hawk mascot and logo

The Ankeny High School school song (circa. 1996-97)

Century of Ankeny High School Grads

Ankeny High School will be celebrating a century of graduates in 2013. To help with that celebration the Ankeny Alumni Association and the Ankeny Area Historical Society will be planning events for the school year of 2012 –2013. If you are an Ankeny graduate and would like to be part of the planning of the events please join us on Wednesday, January 25 in the basement of the historical society’s house at 301 SW Third St. at 7:00 p.m.

If you would like to be a part of the committee and can not attend the meeting please contact either Rosemary Hutton Taylor (’72) at 984-6653, e-mail: or Kerry Walters-Ashby (’86) at 289- 0544, e-mail:

Paul Rhoads, former Ankeny graduate and current head football coach of the Iowa State Cyclones, discussing Ankeny football and long time Head Coach Jerry Pezzetti.