Dr. David Wilkerson has been with the Waukee Community School District since 1994. That’s almost 20 years of millions of dollars of bonds, thousands of students, hundreds of teachers, nine new buildings, and one job promotion. In 1994, Dr. Wilkerson became the Associate Superintendent. He was initially attracted to the district because of “the potential opportunities that [he] thought the district could provide.” “In my first years in the district (from ‘94 through ‘96), the area and the district were just beginning to experience development and growth,” Dr. Wilkerson explains. Dr. Wilkerson then became Superintendent in 2004 and describes how growth and development within the district has evolved over the past couple years: “More recently, it’s the tremendous staff we’ve assembled and the outstanding community support we receive from the four cities we serve (Waukee, Urbandale, Clive and West Des Moines).”
With all of the recent and continuing growth in the Waukee district, it’s easy to tell that Dr. Wilkerson has had many successes; but he doesn’t take all of the credit for all of the recent achievements of the district. “We have had a num
ber of significant accomplishments, none that I would attribute just to me because they all involve a large number of people working together,” Dr. Wilkerson shares. One of the triumphs that stands out most to Dr. Wilkerson is becoming the first National Professional Learning Community (PLC) district in the state, and “that speaks volumes about the professional development and ongoing learning that takes place with our staff.”
He also mentions that in 2008, the Waukee district communities passed a $70 million bond referendum with an 89% yes vote for new school buildings – the second largest school bond issue in state history at the time – and the substantial growth he has seen in his time as superintendent. “In my 20 years here, we have gone from a district of 1,100 students to 8,200 students, and we have built 9 new school buildings and remodeled the 3 ‘older’ facilities.”
But Dr. Wilkerson clarifies that the most important accomplishment he has witnessed over the years is that the district has “increased student achievement across all levels and expanded opportunities for students.”
As for what the future holds for the Waukee district? More building, of course. Currently, there are three new buildings in the making. A new 8/9 building, Timberline School, is under construction and set to open in 2015. Also, as of right now, a bond referendum for a new elementary building near the new Hy-Vee in Waukee is set for early in February with doors expected to open in 2016. However, the project that has captured the attention of many is the new CAPS program (Center for Advanced Professional Studies), which is also set to open in 2016. The district has been busy not only on the development of the building but also on securing business partners for those courses. Dr. Wilkerson and the rest of the district employees are excited about the expanded real world learning opportunities they will provide students. In 2014 and beyond, Dr. Wilkerson hopes to “accomplish a successful roll-out of CAPS, finish implementation of the Core Curriculum, and continue to stay in front with facilities.”
Dr. Wilkerson says his job is absolutely rewarding: “Every day I get to work with some of the most amazing people, all with the same focus and mission…to serve students and provide the best educational experience possible. And I get to do so in an outstanding school district!”
Dr. David Wilkerson and his wife, Lynn, of 29 years have two sons: Derek, 26, and TJ, 23.