Weson Weyrick is keeping a family tradition as he stepped into Altoona Elementary as a kindergartner yesterday. He is the 4th generation of his family to attend Altoona! 

IMG 9695This story begins in 1944-45 when Weson’s great grandpa, Don Davis, attended Altoona High School. Prior to Altoona High School, Don attended the one-room schoolhouse called Peacock, until 8th grade.

Copy of Map of Rural Schools in SEP

Southeast Polk became a district in 1961, bringing together 32 individual town and rural one-room schoolhouses. Peacock was located on the corner of 80th and 8th streets, near where we are currently building our new 6th/7th grade SEP Middle School! The rural school got its name from a family who raised peacocks nearby and was open from 1872-1951. During WWII, Don’s help was needed on his grandpa’s farm. His grandpa was Carl Eshelman and the farm was in the area near the new roundabout on 1st Ave on the north side of Altoona. 



The story continues when Kris Davis Johnson, Don’s daughter and Weson’s grandma, attended Altoona beginning in 1961. She graduated from Southeast Polk in 1974. It is during this time that Altoona High School changed to Altoona Elementary as the new Southeast Polk District was created. IMG 9454



Our current Altoona Elementary is on the same site as where the Altoona High School was located. The building, originally built in 1909, has gone through several renovations/updates since then, including a remodeling in 1927. Some of the 1927 remodel is still in use today and in fact, what current Altoona Elementary staff and students call “the old gym” is the original gym that was added in 1939 for the Altoona High School! *





The “Old Gym”

More recent remodels have happened to bring Altoona Elementary to where it is today. And many amazing teachers and students have passed through its halls. Next was Weson’s mom, Alicea Weyrick who attended Altoona starting in 1992 and graduated from SEP in 2005. Ms. Abbott was a teacher who had taught long enough at Altoona that she had both Kris and Alicea! But Alicea said that her favorite teacher was Mr. Hager, the music teacher, who sparked her love for singing. She’s been singing her whole life, competing and winning the Prairie Meadows Country Showdown in 2009 and 2011. She’s also auditioned for American Idol and The Voice!

IMG 9694

And now, in the present day, it’s Weson’s turn! Weson and his kindergartner classmates are the SEP Class of 2036! He’s excited about starting school, ready to make new friends and looking forward to recess!

But starting kindergarten isn’t the only adventure Weson has just taken on. He’s in his first year as a race car driver. He collected cans and bottles to buy his own car and races as 10w at River Bottom Raceway in Carlisle, IA. Here’s Weson in action! 


Southeast Polk is rich in traditions, building greatness for over 60 years. We love this story of tradition and thank Weson’s family for sharing it with us. Do you have a story of tradition at SEP? We’d love to hear about it! 

IMG 9716

*Historical information provided from “A History of Southeast Polk County Iowa” compiled by the Southeast Polk Historical Society, published in 1981.