2018 in News
January 4, 2019
The year 2018 has been quite memorable for the students of Pleasant Valley. From beginning to the end, this year was full of many different adventures. With new developments and changes throughout the district, every year is a new experience for PV students. With the year coming to a close, it is time to recap Pleasant Valley’s most memorable triumphs and transformations of 2018.
The year started strong academically, especially for four seniors in the class of 2018. Students Subrat Acharya, Jack Lynn, Sophia Xio and Abby Davison were all exclusively chosen to receive Presidential Scholarships for the University of Iowa. This scholarship provided each student with up to $20,000 and is renewable each year until the student graduates with their bachelors degree. This scholarship was not easy to obtain, it requires a GPA of at least 3.8 and an ACT score of 33, so these four students had to fight with thousands of applicants for one of the 43 spots.
The class of 2019 also represented Pleasant Valley academics well at the 2018 IHSPA conference in Iowa City. At the conference, students were given the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker Brian Ross and take workshops throughout the day. One of the workshop options was to enter a writing competition. This writing competition was the IHSPA On-The-Spot News Writing Contest, where each contestant was given 40 minutes to write a news article about the Keynote speaker. Senior Lily Williams ended up being this years winner.
Not only was PV recognized for its academic success, but for students taking a stand for what they believe in. On April 20, over 250 PV students participated in a school walkout to take a stand against gun violence, school shootings and to show support for the #NEVERAGAINQC movement. For a full hour and a half, students had moments of silence and speeches by many different students over many different topics.
Pleasant Valley’s Sparkles also met a milestone this past October. Created by Sarah Cronk in 2008, the Sparkles is an inclusive cheer team that has now been successfully changing lives for 10 years. The program has had years of success in spreading their message and the Sparkles have become a sign of hope for all.
Big changes regarding school administration were also announced in 2018. After 15 years of being Pleasant Valley’s Superintendent, Dr. Jim Spelhaug announced his retirement following the end of this school year. Succeeding Spelhaug will be the current assistant superintendent, Brian Strusz. With the new change, students, staff and parents are eager to see what will come in the future. After 22 years of previous work experience at Pleasant Valley, Strusz is ready to further his career as the district’s new superintendent.
Not only is the administration changing, but the building has seen many changes in 2018, too. It has been a long time coming but the new additions are finally finished. Beginning with the new commons that were completed back in 2017, the construction was finally completed with the new tower and gym this year. The new tower is three levels tall and stocked with new lockers, classrooms and tons of natural light. Along with the tower there was a new gym with an elevated track, a new cardio room and a new addition to the lifting room.
After all of the new developments and memories made in the year 2018, there are big hopes for the years to come.