DMPS Names East High School Principal: Steve Johns

Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of a veteran high school principal, Steve Johns, as the new principal of East High School. Johns is currently vice principal and activities director at North High School in Des Moines.

“With more than two decades of experience as a high school principal, Steve will be a great team leader to carry on the legacy of East High,” said Dr. Nancy Sebring, Superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “Many great things have happened at North while Steve has been there, from increases in student achievement to a major building renovation to being on the verge of becoming the largest one-to-one computer laptop school in the state. I’m confident in Steve’s ability to be a transformational leader and work with a great staff at East as they continue to move forward.”

East High School was founded in 1861 and has been at its present location since 1912. It is the largest high school in Iowa with 2,270 students.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with a terrific group of students, teachers, and staff, as well as a community that cares deeply about the school,” added Johns. “The history of and pride in East High School is well known not only throughout the city but across the state, and I am excited to be a part of such a storied school at a time when so much good work is taking place to help our kids succeed.”

Johns joined the staff at North High School as vice principal and activities director in 2010, and has also served as the building operations administrator as the school has been undergoing a complete renovation.

Prior to that, he spent three years with Heartland AEA as a District Partnership Director, working with multiple school districts on programs including special education and professional development. From 1989 to 2007, Johns was the 7-12 principal for Williamsburg Community Schools. He was also the high school principal at the Colo-Nesco School District and the 7-12 principal/athletic director at the Colo School District. He was also a teacher and coach in the Jefferson School District.

Johns is a member of the School Administrators of Iowa and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and has served on evaluation teams for the North Central Association.

Johns holds BS in industrial education, a Master’s in educational administration, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies, all from Iowa State University. He is also a ten-time qualifier for the Boston Marathon as well as a licensed pilot.

Johns’ wife, Rene, was a special education teacher for over fifteen years before succumbing to ALS. She passed away five years ago. His son, Brian, is currently a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa. His daughter, Stacia, was a swimmer for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, including two years as team captain, and is beginning her second year at the University of Iowa College of Law.