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Explore your career path


While you give back to your community through project work and collaboration with local business, you’ll gain valuable real-world experiences and professional skills. With every business partner you work with, you’re adding value back into their business.


APEX Provides a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs to flourish. You’ll have the resources and network necessary to develop an idea into a product. The APEX experience is valuable for someone with entrepreneurial aspirations.


Building a professional network creates a strong platform for your career. APEX provides an early opportunity to grow your connections with business leaders and creates a support network for future growth and idea cultivation.


Technical skills are a core asset of the APEX program. Your networking and passion should also be met with an equal amount of technical skills. APEX provides access to industry-leading equipment and our instructors are eager to share their expertise with you.


APEX is designed around one core idea: growth. This is the most important part of the experience. By the end of your APEX semester, our goal is for you to have grown both professionally and technically. Through relationships with businesses, coworkers and clients, you will have plenty of opportunities to grow.

Economic Sectors

Industries that are kickstarting our lifelong passion
Zach Wonderlich Posing

What Class is Like

Don't expect to find textbooks, chalkboards or boring lectures in an APEX classroom. APEX draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real-world experience to high schoolers. Whether you are “sure” of your career or not, APEX is an experience that allows students to explore their passions.

Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now

APEX Spotlight


Mr. Goerend

Business, Technology & Communication Instructor

I believe in putting my students in situations that require them to step up and trusting them to do it. The APEX program prepares students for the world they live in now and the one they will shape as they leave high school.

Tyler Wright headshot

Mr. Wright

Engineering Instructor

Outside of teaching, I have worked in two different engineering design departments- at Viking Pump as a drafter and at John Deere as a design engineering assistant. In my first year of APEX, I look forward to gaining more insight into the industries of energy, automation, robotics, and manufacturing.

Andy briggs headshot

Mr. Briggs

Human Services Instructor

My interest and master thesis focused on exercise enjoyment as it relates to continued exercise participation. I spent 10 years as an 8th and 9th grade physical education teacher at Prairieview School in Waukee. I am thrilled to collaborate with APEX students and to help them realize their passion for careers in this field.


Jesse Hunt

Financial & Insurance Instructor

My goal is to inspire teams of aspiring professionals to explore careers in finance, banking, insurance, and investments. The opportunities are exploding in these industries, especially in the Des Moines area! The need for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking is also vital to growth in these sectors. I believe APEX should be part of each student's education because it addresses so many of the gaps between traditional education and the business world.


Cindy Snell

BioScience & Added Value Agriculture Instructor

My focus is giving students opportunities to grow by authentic hands on projects and connecting with professionals in the field. Recognition & awards include: World Food Prize Meritorious Service Award; Toyota International Teacher Award; Fulbright Teacher Award (traveled to Japan); and DMPS-Kofu Teacher Exchange Teacher.

A day in the life...

Queenie Wong

Economic Sector: Engineering
Partner Business: Engineering

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Reagan Hall

Economic Sector: Human Services
Partner Business: Human Services

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Noam Hazan

Economic Sector: Financial & Insurance
Partner Business: Finance, Banking, and Investments

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Take a look at
an APEX semester

APEX classes are anything but ordinary. Students gain valuable real-world experiences while giving back to their community through project work and collaboration with local businesses.

Join us in a walkthrough of a typical semester Apex Semester
Waukee High School offers two programs focused on providing students with real world experiences: Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) and School-to-Work.

Waukee APEX+

Waukee APEX provides juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore professions of interest through a problem-based, inquiry learning method. Local and global business partners participate with highly skilled instructors to provide authentic exposure and skill development in 21st-century professions.

Waukee School-to-Work+

School-to-Work allows seniors to explore potential careers within a specific area inside and outside the Waukee APEX economic sectors through internships.

Is School-to-Work Right for Me?

Both Programs

Both programs offered at Waukee High School provide experiences in authentic work settings and allow students to earn college credit and/or certifications while earning high school credit.

I'm ready to participate in Waukee APEX

Enrolling in APEX is easy! There is no application or acceptance process for the program. Juniors and seniors all you have to do is add an APEX course to your registration form during SPA conferences. If you have more questions, contact us and we will assist you.

In the meantime, Check out our FAQ