Our History

East High School, founded in 1861 and located in Des Moines, Iowa, is one of the largest high schools in the state with over 2,230 enrolled students. East High has a long, proud tradition of emphasizing its motto “For The Service of Humanity.” Numerous East High graduates have attained considerable success and recognition with careers in business, education, law, medicine, engineering and community service. Many others have pursued additional vocational training and have had long careers in the service and trade industries.

Because of East High’s geographic location on the east side of Des Moines, students come from a wide diversity of backgrounds, leading to multiple challenges from outside the school that impact East High. These challenges include language barriers, poverty, food insecurity and lack of parental support for educational goals.

Despite these challenges, dedicated school leadership and staff continually work to create a family environment, striving for continual improvement by focusing on three core values: Engage, Excel and Empower. This program, with staff commitment to student success, has led to a remarkable increase in graduation rates.

Our Vision

The Vision “Supporting our Youth” reflects the need for broad support of our youth to encourage them to become exemplary, productive citizens. The Vision continues with the endeavor to “Educate all students at all grade levels by creating an opportunity for further education if they do the following requisite activities”:

• Stay in school
• Participate in community service or volunteer work
• Participate in extracurricular school activities
• Pursue leadership roles
• Engage in employment