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 fifteen 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 eleventh 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 15 and will be attending South East Polk as 10th graders. Kyle is 14 and Kadie is 13 and they will be eighth 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 7 years. 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. In January 2021, I transferred to Pleasant Hill Elementary where I continue to teach students who have IEPs. In 2009, I graduated from William Penn University with a B.A. in Elementary Education, and endorsements in Special Education and Reading. Before becoming a teacher at Garton, I substitute taught in a variety of school districts.
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 Natalie Madsen (formally Miss Young). I am originally from Mount Prospect, Illinois (a northwest suburb of Chicago). I first came to Des Moines when I attended college at Drake University! Go Bulldogs! I have my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Reading. I also completed my Master’s degree in 2013 which focused on Curriculum and Instruction. I student taught at Pleasant Hill in spring of 2009 with Nancy Jennings in 3rd grade. I loved it so much, I had to come back and teach here!
I have been at Pleasant Hill since 2010. My first year I was an interventionist and the following year I taught Kindergarten. The last ten years, I have been teaching second grade. This will be my first year as an instructional coach and Title teacher. I am looking forward to a new challenge and working alongside the amazing teachers we have here! I live in Bondurant with my husband Brian and our son Wyatt. We also have two dogs that we adopted from AHeinz 57, Julius and Kip! When I’m not teaching, you can probably find me playing with Wyatt, running and working out, walking Julius and Kip or reading books! I am looking forward to an awesome school year!
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 23rd 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 name is Ashley Schott and I am excited to join the team at Pleasant Hill this year!
This year I will be starting my 18th year of teaching for Des Moines Public Schools. I have spent 15 years teaching at Capitol View Elementary and 2 years at Lovejoy Elementary. I have taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and was an academic interventionist for 5 years.
My husband and I live in Urbandale with our 5 children. Cole and Ella are twins that will be starting 9th grade this year at Urbandale High School and Madelyn will be in 7th grade at Urbandale Middle School. Our youngest two will be at Webster Elementary School, Ava in 3rd grade and Maddox in 2nd grade. We keep busy with softball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, track, cross country and enjoy being outside together.
I was a graduate of Johnston High School in 2000 and the University of Iowa in 2005. I have always lived in Des Moines area. Looking forward to a new year and new adventure!!
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!