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 thirteen 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 eighth 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. We love the Pleasant Hill community so much that we open enrolled our children here. Hallie and Hannah are 12 and will be attending South East Polk as seventh graders. Kyle is 11 and Kadie is 10 and they will be fifth graders this year.
Our summers are spent going to sporting events, spending time on the family farm, and going boating.
This is my thirteenth year at Pleasant Hill, and 19th year as a teacher at Des Moines Public Schools. I teach Special Education in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and behavior all grades.
I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where I graduated from Alburnett Community Schools. I attended Simpson College and graduated with a degree Elementary Education and Liberal Arts. I also received endorsements in Reading and Early Childhood. I got my Masters of Education from Iowa State University.
I live on the east side of Pleasant Hill with my husband Joe and our 6 wonderful children, Madison 11th grade, Payten 9th grade, Mackenzie 8th grade, Korben 7th grade, Brodie 4th grade, and Graydon 3rd grade.
We spend a lot of time together as a family doing fun things like playing games indoors and outdoors. We love swimming and going for bike rides or walks.
Most of us enjoy cheering for our favorite team the Iowa Hawkeye’s. While a couple of our family members feel that Iowa State is the better team. Our children are involved in many activities, soccer, football, dance, swim team, and cross country. We are huge Chicago Cubs fans, and love to sing Go Cubs Go! I am looking forward to another great year at Pleasant Hill!
Hi, my name is Trana Hanna. I am a Filipina, but lived in Thailand for 17 years. I am a Special Ed Associate at Pleasant Hill Elementary.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing but decided to be with our youngest daughter who was starting 1st Grade when we moved to the US in 2005.
I started as the Noon hour Associate/Volunteer in her classroom, then as a Library Associate for the next ten years.
I enjoy gardening, spending time with Family, soccer and playing with my Aussie.
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.
I am the instructional coach at Pleasant Hill, as well as teaching Reading Recovery. I live near Pleasant Hill and have 4 children: Megan, Alex, Monique, and Jordynn. I enjoy reading, playing the flute, being physically active, playing games, and hanging out with my friends and family.
This will be my 20th 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 sophomore 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 8th 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, three amazing son-in-laws, and four adorable, energetic grandchildren. I love bike riding, swimming, walking, traveling, and spending time with my family!
I’m a mom of 3 boys Jagger 6, Dominick 16, and Grant 15. My husband Mickey and I also have a Boston terrier named Daisy. I enjoy getting to help children learn everyday and working with the wonderful staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary!