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'23 Highlights & '24 Outlook: A Message From Steve Schappaugh

Dear Rider Families,


Now that a new year has begun, I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on where we've been in 2023 and where we're going in 2024. There's so much to be proud of, and our incredible community of students, staff, guardians, alumni, and other stakeholders are the ones who've made it possible. In short, our celebrations of the past and optimism for the future are possible because of you.

2023 Highlights

Our successes have been many - far too many to list here. Below is a small sample of the amazing things that occurred in and out of the classroom this year. As you can see, a multitude of academic, artistic, and athletic accomplishments have ignited our pride.


  • Ruby Herrera was Rotary Educator of the Year.

  • A record-breaking R Party supported our feeder schools, the arts, athletics, and more.

  • We partnered with Urban Dreams to have community advocates as part of our event operations team at sporting events.

  • We had state qualifiers in multiple sports, as well as all-state honors in orchestra, band, choir, and thespians.

  • Adrienne Buettner-Cable represented Roosevelt in the Elite Mile race at Drake University.

  • The dance team won state for the second consecutive year and was a national finalist!

  • Arianna Jackson began her collegiate basketball career for the Iowa State Cyclones, a Power Five, Division I school.

  • We hosted our inaugural Student Leadership Retreat over the summer.

  • Roosevelt staff visited every incoming 9 th grader's home this summer to welcome them to our school and answer questions about the transition.

  • Hayley McGrew placed 7 th at the first ever IGHSAU state wrestling meet.

  • We met each of the district's levers focused on equitable outcomes for schools.

  • We were recognized by the state for our growth on the state's school performance profile.


2024 Outlook

We must never rest on the laurels of our past accomplishments. Those accolades inspire us to dream and rise to meet our next potential, and it's an exciting time to be at Roosevelt because we're raising the floor of that potential. Here are some of the reasons I'm hopeful about 2024:


  • The 1.1-million-dollar renovation to our library to create an Innovation and Learning Center will be completed. This new facility will establish another space that rivals our suburban peers' and creates new possibilities for enriching collaboration.

  • Intensive work around improving our instructional practices with support from UnboundEd to increase access to grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful classrooms will carry on and reach new heights.

  • We will remain committed to refining systems of support for students to improve student outcomes.

  • We will continue to upgrade our athletic facilities, enhancing the softball field and dugouts, making significant improvements to our wrestling room, and so much more.

  • We'll implement additional safety improvements to our facility.

  • We will explore partnership opportunities with the Waveland Park Neighborhood Association to think of new and creative ways to cooperate with one another and support our joint interests.

  • We'll co-host the nation's largest academic competition this June when the National Speech & Debate Championships come to Des Moines (and I'm confident we'll be competing as well!).

  • Our counseling and admin teams will be expanding our traditional FAFSA night to be more inclusive of post-secondary plans beyond colleges and universities.

The work of public education is harder today than it's ever been, but we're making gains and seeing improvements regularly because of our collective commitment to pursuing Excellence through Unity, Equity, and Integrity. We've only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible, and there's so much more to do. I'm confident that together we will meet and exceed our expectations in 2024.


Your children are your greatest treasure, and I am ever grateful for the faith you place in our Roosevelt family to provide them with the best education possible.


Warm wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,

Steven Schappaugh (he/him/his)

Principal, Theodore Roosevelt High School



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