West Monona Community,

It is with great pleasure that I begin another year as the Principal of West Monona Middle School. I spent the first eight years of my career as a special education teacher and coach in the Mount Ayr Community School District in Southern Iowa. The next three years I taught special education in the Higley Unified School District in Gilbert, Arizona. Then I spent two years the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Cooley Middle School in Gilbert. 

I have a firm belief that ALL children can learn. With the appropriate instruction and support, every child can and will progress. The West Monona Middle School staff will focus on creating a culture built on dignity and respect for all. Students will be greeted with smiling faces, a safe learning environment, and a challenging curriculum. The staff will provide students with engaging lessons, combining research-based instructional strategies with technology integration to meet the needs of every student.

This year we will continue to focus on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Students will be taught appropriate behaviors in numerous school settings. Staff will work to focus on positive and desired behaviors that are demonstrated by students in all settings. In addition to PBIS, we will focus on cultivating a growth mindset for our students and staff. The growth mindset is based on research by Carol Dweck, showing that intellect is not fixed. We will strive to instill a belief that all students can do whatever they set their mind to if they put in the necessary work. We will praise the learning process and teach students that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Another key component in the educational process is participation in extra-curricular activities. I have a strong belief that students are more successful and feel more connected to the school when they participate in extra-curricular activities. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of sports, band, choir, and clubs throughout the year. I suggest that students get involved in as many activities as they can.

We are looking forward to a very successful school year at West Monona Middle School. Please feel free to contact me at josh.vanderflught@westmonona.org or 712-433-9098 if you have any questions or concerns.


Josh Vanderflught

PK-8 Principal

7-12 Activities Director