Rosa (Maggy) Alvardo
I’m a mom of two loving girls Camila 11 and Angie 8. We also have American Labrador named Terry Dante Rivas. I am Salvadoran. My favorite hobbies are riding bikes, cooking and watching movies. I enjoy helping kids to learn and working with the wonderful staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.
I grew up on a farm south of Barnum, Iowa. I graduated from Buena Vista and later received my reading endorsement from Drake. After graduating I taught first grade and then went on to teach reading recovery and title for Fourteen years. I am looking forward to another outstanding year and can’t wait to help the staff and students of Pleasant Hill as much as possible. This will be my tenth year at Pleasant Hill and I absolutely love it here. The supportive families and staff make it a great place to work.
My husband, Corey, and I live in Pleasant Hill and have four children. Hallie and Hannah are 14 and will be attending South East Polk as ninth graders. Kyle is 13 and Kadie is 12 and they will be seventh graders this year.
Our summers are spent going to sporting events, spending time on the family farm, and going boating.
This is my 15th year at Pleasant Hill, and 21st year as a teacher at Des Moines Public Schools. This year I am primarily working with students with IEPs in grades 1st and 3rd.
I live on the east side of Pleasant Hill with my daughter Mackenzie and son Graydon. I have 3 kids, Madison is a freshman at Iowa, Mackenzie is a sophomore at SEP, and Graydon is in 5th grade at Four Mile elementary.
Mackenzie is active in show choir at SEP and she dances 3 nights a week. Graydon is a sports enthusiast. He loves to play soccer, basketball, baseball, and is hoping to start football soon. In our down time we like to spend time together watching movies, cooking together, and playing games indoors and outdoors.
My name is Tawnee Koch and I have been a Special Education Teacher in the Des Moines School District for 6 years. In 2009, I graduated from William Penn University with a B.A. in Elementary Education, and endorsements in Special Education and Reading. I taught at Garton Elementary for the first five years of my teaching career. I supported students within their classrooms, and I provided teachers with the support they needed to meet students’ individual needs. Before becoming a teacher at Garton, I substitute taught in a variety of school districts.
In January 2021, I transferred to Pleasant Hill Elementary where I continue to teach students who have IEPs. I am super excited to join the teaching staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary School and begin building lasting relationships with students, parents, and staff members. Teaching has always been my passion. Every day I am faced with new adventures that teach me the skills I need to grow both professionally and personally.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time and making memories with my husband, three children, and our dog Lucy.
I grew up in the small northeastern Iowa town of Maynard and attended UNI and Viterbo University.
I taught kindergarten and Reading Recovery in Waterloo before moving to the Des Moines area over 20 years ago. In Des Moines, I am the Reading Recovery Teacher Trainer for our district and for Heartland AEA and am also a part-time coach here at Pleasant Hill. The best part of my day is working with the students and staff at Pleasant Hill!
In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, raising chickens, and spending time with my husband and three sons.
Hello, I am Mr. Milligan (Or Mr. M) I am a DMPS graduate! I attended Phillips Elementary, Goodrell Middle School and East High School (GO Scarlets!!) For college I attended Upper Iowa University, Go Peacocks!! I am very excited to be here at Pleasant Hill Elementary School! I have previously worked in Des Moines Public Schools as a Volunteer, Sub and Librarian!
I live in Des Moines with my Boyfriend Dom and we have two little monsters (dogs) Bruiser and Lindy who we love! In my free time I love biking, swimming, reading, spending time with my nieces and nephews, watching new movies, taking the dogs for a walk downtown, cooking, traveling, and trying new and unique restaurants! Outside of the United States I have been to New Caledonia and the Ukraine on Missions Trips! The beach/ocean is my favorite place to travel!
I am excited to meet and get to know all of you and look forward to an amazing year at Pleasant Hill! GO PANTHERS!!!
This will be my 22nd year teaching at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. Over the years, I have taught 1st grade, 4th grade, and special education. I love teaching, being with family and friends, working in the yard, and being active in my church. My husband is a general contractor. He started his own business over 25 years ago: JRitter Contracting. Our son will be a senior in college this fall in Missouri.
My name is Carolyn Taylor and I am excited to join the Pleasant Hill community as the gifted and talented consultant this year. I have taught in the Des Moines Public School District since 2013. I have taught kindergarten, 1st, and 4th grade in the district and look forward to the opportunity to work with students k-5! I graduated from the University of Iowa with my B.A. in Elementary Education along with endorsements in reading and English/ language arts. I received my gifted and talented endorsement as part of my graduate work through Viterbo University. I will be completing my Master’s in Education through Viterbo this spring. I am originally from Muscatine, Iowa where I still have a large family I enjoy visiting. In my free time I enjoy reading and I am currently training for my first half marathon!
Hi! My name is Denise Weston. This is my 10th year of teaching English language learners (ELL).
I teach half time at Pleasant Hill and half time at Willard Elementary. I graduated with my BA in education from Upper Iowa University in 2012, and a master’s of science in education from Drake University in 2017. I am passionate about teaching and learning. I tell my ELL students that it is important to maintain their native language and customs, while learning English and learning about new customs. Speaking multiple languages will help them maintain ties to family members, as well as provide many opportunities in the workforce for them in their future. I also love teaching and learning from my students, who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
My husband and I live in Altoona. We have been blessed with four intelligent, beautiful daughters, four amazing son-in-laws, and four adorable, energetic grandchildren. I love bike riding, swimming, walking, traveling, and spending time with my family!