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.
Hello, my name is Amanda Barlow. I grew up on a family farm outside of Carroll and moved to Des Moines in 2015 after graduating from Iowa State University. I started my career as a Family Preservation worker in Des Moines and have worked in various human services positions since. Prior to coming to the Des Moines School District, I worked as a Behavioral Health Social Worker at Broadlawns Medical Center. Advocating for mental health, providing resources for families, and developing positive relationships are a few of my passions. I am currently a student at The University of Iowa studying to earn my Mater of Social Work degree. In my “free time” I enjoy spending time with my husband, baby, family, and friends and I also enjoy the occasional Netflix binge!
As a Community Schools Coordinator, I work as the bridge between our school and the community in which I serve with the goal of improving outcomes for student success. I do this by building relationships with community partners and coordinating how we can work together to meet the needs of our students and families. Community Schools Coordinators work as equity strategists within the district focused on the known fact that students can only do their best in school if they have the necessary support for meeting their basic needs. I serve as a mentor for student success by focusing attention on student engagement both in and out of school, providing resources for students and families, and breaking down barriers to food and housing insecurities. I want to advocate for and encourage students and parents to have a voice in making school decisions and feel welcomed, engaged, and safe at Pleasant Hill Elementary!
My name is Maddie Bianchi! I grew up on the East side of Des Moines where I went to a private school until 5th grade. Then switched to the Saydel Community School District. I recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in December of 2021. I did my student teaching in a 4th grade classroom in Cedar Rapids and a 2nd grade classroom in North Liberty.
I have a big, loud Italian family. I have three sisters who I am very close with. I also have two nephews and one niece on the way! I love to spend my weekends with my family and best friends. You can also find me at the dog park playing fetch with my puppy (she’s 4 but still a puppy at heart).
I am so excited for this upcoming school year and cannot wait to build the best 4th grade community!
I grew up on the East side of Des Moines. I attended Wallace Elementary, Hiatt Middle School, and North High School. I earned my teaching degree at Grand View College. I have been at Pleasant Hill for the last 22 years. I have taught Kindergarten for 19 years and Preschool for 3 years.
My husband, Travis, and I will celebrate our 24th anniversary this summer. We have 2 children. Zackery will be 21 this summer and hopefully attending Iowa State in the Spring. Kristin is 17 and will attend DMACC this Fall. We also have a golden retriever named Roscoe and a naughty cat named Ernie.
I am an avid reader and spend a lot of my free time reading. A few years ago I started running and have completed many 5K’s, 10K’s and 7 half marathons with my awesome running partner, Mrs. Horstman.
Geshya Camacho Cabezudo
Hi, My name is Geshya Camacho, I am from Puerto Rico and I am bilingual. This is my 14th year at DMPS. I first started as a Native Language Tutor, then a Bilingual Community Outreach Worker and then a Bilingual Family Liasion with the district. This will be my 4th year as a Special Education Associate. I worked 3 years at Willard Elementary as an Associate, and this will be my 1st year as an Associate here at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I graduated on 2003 with a BA in Social Work at the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao.
I live in Des Moines with my 3 kids ages 11, 9 and 6. My son Adriel will start middle school this year and my daughters Yahelis and Kamila will happily be here at Pleasant Hill Elementary grades 5th and 1st.
During my free time I enjoy decorating, bowling, shopping, movies, eating out and some outdoor activities. I love spending time with my kids and friends. I LOVE working with kids and families.
I am beyond excited to start my 1st year at Pleasant Hill and I know it will be an amazing year!! Looking forward to meeting you all and working with you.
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.
I grew up in Des Moines Iowa where I attended McKee Elementary School and Hoyt Middle School. I graduated from East High School.
I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. I was a member of the UNI Swimming Team, and was a co-captain my senior year. “GO PANTHERS”!
My husband Troy also graduated from UNI. We have three children that all graduated from East High School. As a family we enjoy going on vacations. Disneyworld is one of our favorite vacation destinations. We also enjoy hanging out at the swimming pool, going to amusement parks, playing games, watching movies and of course reading books.
We also enjoy watching sporting events as a family. Our favorite teams are the Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, and the UNI Panthers
I started my teaching career at Smouse Opportunity School in Des Moines. For seven years, I taught 2nd and 3rd grade students with Behavior Disorders. While at Smouse I took graduate classes at Drake University. I really enjoyed my time at Smouse and didn’t think that I would ever leave. Then, in 2007 a first-grade teaching position opened at Pleasant Hill and I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to teach at such a great school. The challenges at Pleasant Hill are different than the ones I faced at Smouse, but just as equally rewarding.
Hello! My name is Megan Eischeid and I’m very excited to be joining the Pleasant Hill Team this school year. This will be my first year at DMPS and my first year as a School Counselor!
My educational path started in Grimes, where I grew up. I graduated from Dallas Center Grimes High School and went on to college from there. I graduated from lowa State with my BS in Psychology and followed that degree with my Masters in Professional School Counseling from Loras College.
I currently live in Grimes with my family and golden retriever, Wally! I enjoy reading, traveling, hiking, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family.
I am so excited to be joining Pleasant Hill Elementary and am eager to support all of our Pleasant Hill students as they grow this year.
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.
Hello Pleasant Hill Families!
May I start by saying I have the most AMAZING job in the world!! I get to do two of my most favorite things all day: create works of art and help students learn and grow artistically!
I graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Curriculum & Instruction (K-6) and an endorsement in Art Education (K-8). I have enjoyed being a teacher in the Des Moines district for many years. I taught first grade for 7 years and Kindergarten for 4 years before deciding that I needed to grow my other passion, visual art, as well. Lucky for me, there was an opening at the best elementary school in Des Moines!
When I am not teaching, I am enjoying life at home and in the community. I have a wonderful son who is a former student here at Pleasant Hill. We like to hang out and play at home, go to farmer’s markets, ride our bikes, go to the zoo, and go to Adventureland, particularly Adventure Bay!
I am so excited to see everyone again this fall and meet the new families that will join our fantastic family! I can’t wait to see what all of our talented young artists have in store for us this year!
Hello Pleasant Hill students and families. My name is Spenser Ford! This will be my 1st year teaching at Des Moines Public Schools, and I’m excited to join the educational community here at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.
I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in both anthropology and linguistics with an emphasis on teaching ESL. Following college, I moved to South Korea, planning to teach English for a year. I quickly learned that teaching was my passion and continued my teaching career by remaining in Korea for the ensuing twelve years as a language instructor. During my last year there, I pursued further education through the University of West Florida to become a certified teacher.
My fiancée and I recently moved back to the United States to become teachers in our home country. We love spending time outdoors, doing activities like long-distance running, cycling, camping and fishing. I grew up in Iowa, and she is from upstate New York. We are ecstatic about moving to Iowa and beginning our new adventure together, here in the Midwest!
Hello! My name is Stephanie Harden. I grew up on the East side of Des Moines where I attended Adams Elementary School, Goodrell Middle School, and graduated from East High School.
I have been with the school district for six years. I started as a Library Associate at Edmunds Elementary. This is my fifth year at Pleasant Hill Elementary. My first year I was a Special Education Associate. This will be my forth year as the Office Manager. I feel very blessed to be part of the Pleasant Hill Elementary family.
I live in Pleasant Hill with my husband Jeff, his son Levi 22, my daughter Jordan 24 and my son Robbie 21. I love to read, watch movies and walking our two dogs Griffin and Biscuit.
My name is Amanda Horstman. I grew up in Colorado and moved to Iowa right after I graduated high school. I have always loved Iowa so here I am! My family and I live in Pleasant Hill and love it here! My husband Fred and I have been married 19 years. We have four sons and a grandson (Yes my house is crazy!) The youngest one, Hudson, is 12 and attends Southeast Polk Junior High. My 15-year-old, Harlan, is a sophomore at SEP high school this year. My son Haden graduated in the spring and is attending Grinnell College. The oldest Horstman, Jake, is 26. Jake, my daughter in law Meghan, and my grandson Frankie, live about a mile from me and are at our house often!
I have been teaching kindergarten for 16 years and still love every minute. I love seeing the growth the students make throughout the year and the light in their eyes when they learn something new. Being a teacher is the most rewarding job a person could have. Kindergarten changes kids in ways most could never imagine. They absorb everything and are always looking forward to new learning both socially and academically.
In my “free” time I love to be outside, go running, going to Hawkeye sporting events, and spend time with my family. My biggest hobby is definitely running. I have run 8 half marathons and countless 5K and 10K races as well. My favorite teaching partner, running partner, and friend just happens to be Mrs. Bowman, the other kindergarten teacher. I am always looking for a challenge for myself, my family, and my students!
I grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and attended St. Cloud State University where I played tennis. After graduating from college, I moved to Illinois to embark on a 12 year teaching career at a high school, intermediate school and ultimately an elementary school. I enjoyed teaching Physical Education before deciding to teach tennis full-time. After teaching tennis for 9 years, I am eager to get back to teaching physical education.
I have a wife who is also a teacher, a 14 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. Both of my children are active in tennis, hockey and baseball/softball.
I look forward to being able to teach students to be physically active and be the best they can be. I am excited to work with the students, families and staff at Pleasant Hill.
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.
Hello families of Pleasant Hill. I’m so excited to join this amazing school! I’ve been working as a Registered Nurse for Ankeny schools and I’m so thankful for this opportunity to take over the School Nurse role here at Pleasant Hill Elementary!
I grew up in Des Moines and now my family and I are loving country living outskirts of Altoona. My husband and I have two daughters and two dogs. My oldest daughter is 20 and she’s attending DMACC. She hopes to become a Registered Nurse working in Pediatric Oncology. My youngest is 17 and is in her Senior year of Grandview Christian High School. She hopes to become an art teacher. Our dogs names are Sadie (Cocker Spaniel) and Molly (Border Collie) and they are both so sweet.
I absolutely love school nursing! I also enjoy camping, art, yoga, attending church, animals, family game nights, gardening and anything that involves nature.
I’m excited to meet you all and honored to be your School Nurse! I have no doubt that this is going to be a great school year.
Greetings, Pleasant Hill families!
My name is Patricia Leong and this will be my first year teaching at Pleasant Hill.
I grew up in the Finger Lakes area of western New York. I spent most of my youth attending outdoor summer camps and I eventually became a camp counselor. This is how I first realized my passion for working with children, providing them with the support they need, and creating safe spaces to learn and grow.
I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a concentration in French language and culture in 2007. During my time as an undergraduate I studied abroad in London. England for a semester and then in Nice, France. These experiences inspired me to see even more of the world after college, so I decided to take a job teaching English in Seoul, South Korea in 2009.
Teaching in Korea reminded me of how much I enjoyed working with children in New York. I was eager to learn more about childhood development, student engagement, literacy development, creative instructional strategies, and curriculum design. Therefore, I decided to pursue a serious career in teaching.
In 2017, I received a master’s degree from Framingham State University in Massachusetts for international education. I also gained experience working at two private elementary schools in Seoul where I was able to complete my student teaching for a license in K-6 education from the University of West Florida.
After thirteen years of living and working in Seoul, South Korea, it was time to move back to the United States with my fiancé, Spenser Ford, who will be teaching 4th grade at Pleasant Hill. He grew up in the Des Moines area and it was his love for this city that drew us back. I am very excited to learn more about the Des Moines area.
We love to spend our time together camping, hiking, long-distance running, cycling and traveling. I also enjoy most studio arts, cooking, card games and yoga. I look forward to meeting many of you and to be part of this community!
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.
Hi! I’m excited to be teaching 2nd grade at Pleasant Hill! I have lived in Des Moines all my life-attended Moore, Meredith, and graduated from Hoover. I attended Iowa State University and Viterbo.
This will be my 32nd year teaching-I have been with Des Moines Public schools all 32 years. I love working with 2nd graders-I have been teaching 2nd for many years.
I live in Des Moines-just me, my dog, Lily, and 2 cats-Minnie and Pommie (I’m an animal lover). I enjoy gardening-love the summer months- reading and cooking in my free time.
Hello, I am Mr. M (Mr. Milligan) 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 and think I have the best job in the school! I have previously worked in Des Moines Public Schools as a Volunteer, Sub and Librarian!
I live in Des Moines with my Fiancé Dom and we have one little monster (dog) Lindy Lou who we love! In my free time I love biking, swimming, reading, spending time with my family, watching new movies, taking the dog 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 for another amazing year at Pleasant Hill! GO PANTHERS!!!
I was born and raised in Des Moines. I attended Watrous Elementary (which is now Morris Elementary), McCombs Middle School and Lincoln High School. I absolutely loved school and want to instill that love and respect I have for education into my students.
I decided to become a teacher after working with special needs students as a teacher associate at Smouse Opportunity School. I went to college as a non-traditional student and graduated in 2004 from Simpson College in Indianola. I have a BA in Elementary Education, Reading Endorsement and a Special Education Endorsement. I taught Special Education for 10 years, 2nd grade for two years and 1st Grade for 6 years. I truly love working with children! I am so excited to be teaching 1st Grade again this year with one of my best friends, Mrs. Dolphin!!
I am married to Flip and we have two children. Jadie is an art director for a firm in Kansas City. Cody moved to Colorado and works for Miller Coors. I have the privilege of being a grandparent to two precious kids! In my spare time, I enjoy playing games with my family, decorating my house, and gardening.
I am very thankful and appreciative to be working at such a wonderful school where every student’s education is a priority. I look forward to meeting and visiting with all of my students’ parents. My door is always open, so please contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.
Hello, Panther Families and Community!
Welcome to Team 2N at Pleasant Hill Elementary! My name is Michelle Nelson – aka Ms. N. (I taught 3rd grade here previously.) Our classroom is a community of caring, respectful, and responsible learners: Taking risks, making mistakes, and sharing respectfully while learning independently and collaboratively is expected.
My elementary education degree and reading endorsement are from Buena Vista University, as well as graduate credits from Kaplan, Morningside, and Drake Universities. 2022-2023 represents my 22nd year as an educator! I reside in Des Moines with my husband Jim and chocolate Labrador mLee. We are blessed to be near our children and grandchildren. (Our classroom family will hear many stories about Beckett, Fynlee, Jim, and mLee!)
Pleasant Hill Elementary is an exceptional school community! Join us in celebrating your student’s academic and social-emotional growth. Go Panthers!
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or 515.242.8432.
I attended Grand View College. I graduated in 1999, majoring in Elementary Education. I received endorsements in the areas of Reading, Language Arts, and Early Childhood. I am starting my 24th year of teaching. My first year of teaching was in Newton, Iowa. I taught 1st and 2nd grade reading. Then, I taught four years at Wallace Elementary in Des Moines. There, I taught 4th and 5th grade and was also the 3rd-5th Literacy Leader. I graduated with my master’s degree in Elementary Education from Viterbo University in Wisconsin during the summer of 2005. This is my 19th year at Pleasant Hill teaching 5th grade.
I have a 17-year-old son, Brett and a 15-year-old daughter, Kendall. We have a Miniature Dachshund named Sugar. I enjoy spending time with my two children and the rest of my family, friends, and of course, Sugar! I also enjoy shopping and fishing.
Hi! My name is Kathy O’Brien. I live in Altoona. I have 2 grown children and 5 amazing grandchildren: Jadyn, Abby, Jackson, Jace and Emily! ❤ I enjoy swimming and being near the ocean.
This is my first year with the DMPS District. I’m excited about being part of the Pleasant Hill Elementary team!!!
Mr. Parker is the 5th grade band director for Pleasant Hill Elementary. This is his tenth year with DMPS. For nine of those years, he was the Band/Orchestra director for Hoyt Middle School. The first three years included band at Pleasant Hill Elementary.
Mr. Parker has taught music for Keota, Woodward-Granger, and Des Moines Christian Schools. In that time, many of his bands have been successful in the areas of concert, jazz and marching band. His highest accomplishments are winning a state jazz title and having his concert band perform as the class 2A representative at the Iowa Bandmasters Association convention.
Mr. Parker was born and raised in Ottumwa. He has traveled across the country and parts of Europe including Russia with a Christian based group, The Continental Brass and Singers. He resides in Waukee with his wife, Amanda and their two boys, Carson and Caleb who are 16 and 12. Mr. Parker also enjoys coaching baseball and time with his 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!!
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!
Hello! It is hard to believe but Pleasant Hill Elementary has been my home for 26 years now! I live in Waukee, Iowa which leads to me always being asked, “Why do you make that drive every day?” and my reply is, “I love my school!” Pleasant Hill Elementary is an amazing school with an outstanding staff, wonderful students, and great families!
I grew up in the small town of Denison, Iowa where I was 1 of 12 children. My parents are Marlene and Gordon Wiebers. My mother passed away from cancer twelve years ago. I have four sisters and seven brothers. One of my greatest joys is being an aunt to my thirty nieces and nephews, as well as my almost 40 great nieces and nephews! It is always chaotic and loud when we are all together, but I love it and wouldn’t want it any other way.
After high school I attended AIB (American Institute of Business) in Des Moines were I earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Office Management. I worked for 7 years as an office manager for a small sales business in Des Moines. I then decided to go back to school at Upper Iowa University in Des Moines and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I also earned endorsements in Reading and Early Childhood.
I began teaching at Pleasant Hill Elementary in 1997. During my years at Pleasant Hill I have taught a first/second grade combination class for one year, a fourth/fifth grade combination class for one year, fourth grade for ten years, kindergarten for two years, intervention groups for one year, third grade for two years, fourth grade for two years, second grade for six years, and this year I am teaching 5th grade.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, shopping, and going to movies. I also enjoy watching or attending sporting events. I am a Denver Broncos fan, Iowa State Cyclones fan, as well as a Kansas City Royals fan! However, I am the biggest fan of my family, friends, and students!!!
I have been the music teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary since the fall of 2012. I have been a music teacher in the Des Moines district since the fall of 2006. Since beginning my music teaching career in the fall of 1997, I have taught vocal music at all levels from Kindergarten to 12th grade. During my tenure with Des Moines Public Schools, I have provided many different performance opportunities for students, including extracurricular choruses and show choir. At Pleasant Hill I direct the Panther Pride Show Choir and our Panther Pride Chorus who enjoy the opportunity to share out in the community, including a performance at the Iowa Cubs. I enjoy writing music for students, and I have written and performed several compositions over my years of teaching.
I believe in teaching the fundamentals necessary to help students take their music to the next level. I also believe in giving students many different performance opportunities to showcase their talents and develop confidence.
I have a son, John who is a Senior at Southeast Polk High, and my daughter Emma, who is a Freshman at Southeast Polk both attended Pleasant Hill Elementary. My wife, Julie, is teaching Third Grade at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I also work part-time for Colfax Tractor Parts as a farm equipment detailer.
During my time at Pleasant Hill, I have seen growth in the musical talents and involvement of students and am excited about the musical opportunities we will have at Pleasant Hill!
I graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa with a BA in Elementary Education and endorsements in reading and special education. I taught third grade for four years in Manning, Iowa, and five years of fourth grade at Northwest Elementary in Ankeny, Iowa, before becoming a stay-at-home mom and Children’s Ministry Director at NewLife Church in the summer of 2008. I came back to teaching again in the fall of 2013 as the part-time interventionist here at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I returned to the classroom full-time as a third grade teacher in the fall of 2015. I’m looking forward to my eighth year teaching third grade at Pleasant Hill Elementary. Each year brings its own set of challenges, but I love learning new things to help all kids be successful!
My husband, Scott, and I live in Altoona with our kids, John and Emma. John is a senior at Southeast Polk, and Emma is in ninth grade. I enjoy riding bikes, reading, playing games, doing puzzles, and watching my kids participate in marching band and show choir.