Belly Scratching to Letter Signing: Big Day at East

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
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Student government president Brandy Cam and community school coordinator Jill Padgett pose with one of the Animal Rescue League’s Therapets. Student government members raised funds for ARL by selling t-shirts with the school’s motto.

For the past several years, schools in Des Moines have dismissed 90 minutes early every Wednesday to give educators additional time for professional development and planning.

But when the bell rang at 12:30 today at East High School, the best part of the school day for many Scarlets was yet to come.

In the school’s Community Center gym, some four-legged members of the Animal Rescue League’s Therapets Team were awaiting their pets, hugs and belly scratches.

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Sixteen East Scarlets ready to sign their college letters of intent.

East’s student government organized the end-of-the-school-year opportunity for a little fun and relaxation with the four visiting dogs. President Brandy Cam, who will be heading off to the University of Iowa in a few months, explained that the ARL has been a fundraising project for the student government. They sold t-shirts with the schools motto – “For the Service of Humanity” – raising more than $700 for ARL. Jill Padgett, the community school coordinator at East, noted that the t-shirts were DMPS-produced, being designed and printed at Central Campus.

In appreciation of East’s generosity, ARL paid a visit with four members of the Therapets Team, dogs who were ready to show their appreciation with a little play time for the students.

Meanwhile, down the hall and around a corner in the school’s main gym, 16 soon-to-be-former Scarlets were signing their letters of intent to participate in college sports

A crowd of proud parents, siblings and teachers gathered as the students were lined up behind a long table across the basketball court. When activities director Lyle Fedders – who himself seemed as proud as any parent in the room – gave the word, each student picked up a pen and signed their commitment:

  • Anna Armstong – Marshalltown Community College – Softball
  • Anthony Arroyo – Grand View University – Football
  • Austin Baldwin – Grand View University – Baseball
  • Parker Bartz – Vasser College – Swimming
  • Chloe Copley – Grand View University – Volleyball
  • Cameron Cramer – Southwestern Community College – Basketball
  • Laurie Custard – Iowa Lakes Community College – Softball
  • Caleb Dicks – Indian Hills Community College – Baseball
  • Nate Groom – Iowa Central Community College – Football
  • Anna Liu – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay – Swimming
  • DJ Schmidt – Marshalltown Community College – Softball
  • Michael Scott – Grand View University – Football
  • Deangelo Thompson – Iowa Central Community College – Football
  • Case Tillotson – Iowa Central Community College – Football
  • Rory Walling – Iowa State University – Football
  • Meredith Wignall – Grand View University – Cheer

Before the ink was dry it was time for handshakes and hugs and photo ops and a piece from of a cake that read “Congratulations East Seniors.”

From belly scratching to letter signing, it was a great day to stay after school at East High School.

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