Rosa (Maggy) Alvardo
I’m a mom of two loving girls Camila 12 and Angie 9. 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. I am originally from Southern California where I began my career teaching 2nd and 4th grades. I also had the pleasure of teaching 3rd grade in a Dual-Immersion school for three years in Denver, Colorado. I’ve been at DMPS since 2002 and have served in a variety of capacities including, K-5 ELL Teacher, Dean of Students, and most recently ELL Curriculum Coordinator.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on language acquisition, as well as a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.
I live in Norwalk with my husband Scott and 3 kids Bianca, Bronson and Brooks. We enjoy going on road trips and attending sporting events, especially rooting for ISU Cyclones! I am thrilled to be supporting Pleasant Hill this year and look forward to getting to know the students and families of this community.
Hello, my name is Amanda Barlow. I’m so happy you’re with us at Pleasant Hill Elementary! This will be my 3rd year serving as the Community School Coordinator. I recently completed my Master of Social Work Degree from The University of Iowa. I started my career as a Family Preservation worker in Des Moines and have worked in various human services positions since. Advocating for mental health, providing resources for families, and developing positive relationships are a few of my passions. In my “free time” I enjoy spending time with my husband, baby, family, and friends and I also enjoy the occasional Netflix binge or reading a good book!
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! I love to spend my weekends with my family and friends. You can almost always find me at the dog park playing fetch with my dog.
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 23 years. I have taught Kindergarten for 21 years and Preschool for 3 years.
My husband, Travis, and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this summer. We have 2 children. Zackery will be 22 this summer and attending Iowa State in the Fall. Kristin is 18 and is still deciding what she wants to do. We also have 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
Hola, My name is Geshya Camacho, I am from Puerto Rico and I am bilingual. I have been with the district for 15 years. I first started as a Native Language Tutor, then a Bilingual Community Outreach Worker and also Bilingual Family Liaison with the district. This will be my 5th year as a Special Education Associate. I graduated on 2003 with a BA in Social Work at the University in Puerto Rico.
I live in Des Moines with my 3 kids, Adriel Jose, Yahelis and Kamila Zoaris.
During my free time I enjoy decorating, movies, music, working out, shopping and love spending time with my kids doing different activities.
I am excited for another great year at Pleasant Hill Elementary.
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 12th 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 16 and will be attending South East Polk as 11th graders. Kyle is 15 and Kadie is 14 and they will be 9th 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! This will be my 4th year at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I really enjoy making our school a safe, clean, fun, and inclusive environment for all. I’m a huge sports fan (Iowa State Cyclones, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears) and love traveling with my wife in my spare time. Pleasant Hill Panther Proud!
Hello! My name is Megan Eischeid and I am so excited to be back at Pleasant Hill this year. This will be my second year as a school counselor in DMPS and my second year at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.
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 eager to support all of our Pleasant Hill students as they grow this year. As a School Counselor, I offer referrals to outside counseling, short-term individual counseling, small group counseling, crisis support, and whole group classroom lessons, simply to name a few. If you’re interested in learning about any of these supports, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Hi, I am Ms. Elgin and this will be my 17th year at Pleasant Hill and 23 year teaching for Des Moines Public Schools. I have spent the majority of my career working with students with IEPs and I love my job!
I also live in Pleasant Hill and my younger 2 children go to school at Southeast Polk. I love getting to watch them in their activities, Mackenzie, a senior, is in show Choir, Ramification, and she dances. Graydon, going into 7th grade, plays soccer and baseball. Madison my oldest goes to Iowa.
We are enjoying cheering on the Hawkeyes and spending time together as a family!
Hello Pleasant Hill Families!
I graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Curriculum & Instruction and an endorsement in Art Education. I also have a Master’s Degree in Art Education from The University of Northern Iowa. I have enjoyed being a teacher in the Des Moines district for many years. I taught in the general classroom for 12 years. I have taught art for 10 years.
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 watch movies and go to farmer’s markets. I also enjoy gardening, walking my very large dog, and spending time with the rest of my family.
I am so excited to see everyone again this fall and meet the new families that will join Pleasant Hill! 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 2nd year teaching at Des Moines Public Schools, and I’m excited for another year 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 living in Iowa and continuing our 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 fourth 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 and our two dogs Griffin and Biscuit. We have three children: Jordan, Levi, and Robbie. I love to camp, read, watch movies, and walk our dogs.
My name is Amanda Horstman. I grew up in Colorado and moved to Iowa right after I graduated high school. My family and I live in Pleasant Hill and love it here! My husband Fred and I have been married 20 years. We have four sons and a grandson (Yes my house is crazy!) The youngest one, Hudson, is 13 and attends Southeast Polk Junior High. My 16-year-old, Harlan, is a junior at SEP high school. My son Haden graduated from SEP and is a sophomore at Grinnell College. The oldest Horstman, Jake, is 27. 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 17 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 collegiate 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 for a number of years. I’m so excited to have landed back in teaching at Pleasant Hill Elementary where we have the best students and staff around!
I have a wife who is also a teacher, a 15 year old son and a 11 year old daughter. Both of my children are active in tennis, hockey and baseball/softball.
I love to teach students to be physically active and be the best they can be. I look forward to meeting our new students and connecting with our current students
Hi! My name is Kayla Kinyon. This will be my 2nd full school year here at Pleasant Hill, as I started in April of 2022.
I live in Des Moines with my Husband Brogan, our two children, Valerie and Logan and our dog Bailey. I am excited for this new school year!
My name is Tawnee Koch and I have been an Instructional Strategist in the Des Moines School District for 8 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 be a part of the teaching staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary School and am looking forward to 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.
Greetings, Pleasant Hill families!
My name is Patricia Leong and I prefer to go by, “Ms. Patty,” at school. I enjoy the outdoors, long-distance running, cycling, traveling, fine arts, music, cooking, card games, reading and yoga.
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 later became a part-time substitute teacher in my hometown of New York.
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. At two different private elementary schools, I gained experience with small group intervention outside the homeroom. I also gained experience teaching in the homeroom, working with students with special needs and multi-language learners. I also gained experience working in education administration and leadership.
In 2017, I received a master’s degree from Framingham State University in Massachusetts for international education. The program had American professors fly to Seoul to instruct weeks of intensive courses to our cohort of nineteen educators, in person, and after school hours. It is my hope to return to school once again to continue my learning.
Between 2019 and 2022, I completed my student teaching and exams for a license in K-6 education from the University of West Florida online, which was transferred to Iowa. 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 teaches 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. We are very happy to be here and love working at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.
Hello, Pleasant Hill Elementary students and families. My name is Destiniy Long. I’m so excited to be your school nurse for the 2023-2024 school year. This will be my first year of school nursing and I’m pumped to be your school nurse!
I graduated with my Associates of Science inNursing (ASN) from Mercy College of Health Sciences in 2014. I recently completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2023. I’ve primarily worked here in Des Moines at our local hospitals.
I live in Mitchellville, IA with my husband Danny. We have 5 daughters. Natalie is the oldest and entering her senior year at Southeast Polk High. Isabella is in 11th grade. Mackenzie in 7th grade, Layla in 4th grade, and our baby Paislee May is just 3 years old. We love having a full house of girls!!!
My hobbies include camping, boating, and pretty much anything that has to do with being outdoors. I have grown fond of nurturing indoor plants this year. I also enjoy party/event planning and free reading. I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan and love the Las Vegas Raiders. Go Raiders!!!
I look forward to creating a fun filled year and looking forward to the opportunity to serve the Des Moines Public School District as your school nurse!
Mrs. Long/ Nurse Long
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. For ten years, I taught second grade. This will be my second year as an instructional coach. I am lucky to work alongside the amazing teachers we have here in Pleasant Hill.
I live in Bondurant with my husband Brian and our son Wyatt. We are expecting another baby boy to join our family early October! 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, exercising, walking Julius and Kip or reading books! I am looking forward to a WONDERFUL school year!
Hi, my name is Bobbi McCaughey. I have been working as an a special education associate for 14 years now. The first seven were with Carlisle schools and the last seven with DMPS at Oak Park. I am thrilled to begin working at Pleasant Hill this year.
I live in Runnells where I love to garden and spend time with my family. I spend a lot of my free time in front of my sewing machine creating fun things with fabric.
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.
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 since 2015. I truly love working with children! I am so excited to be teaching 1st Grade again 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 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!
My name is Michelle Nelson. This is my 23rd year teaching. I love teaching and my students! Welcome to our Classroom Family: We are teammates, friends, investigators, and creators. We respect and listen to each other. We set goals and constantly encourage each other to reach them. 2023|2024 is going to be an amazing year!
My wonderful husband Jim, silly Chocolate Lab mLee, and I live in Des Moines, Iowa. We are fortunate to be near our family! Jim, recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka. ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease), has become a full-time advocate for Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) nationally and locally. Family, reading, modern quilting, cooking, and supporting/volunteering for PVA and our unique school community keeps me busy outside of school. (I make a mean triple-chocolate cheesecake…)
Please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, via Snap! Connect, or 515.242.8432.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
Pleasant Hill Elementary is an exceptional school community! Join us in celebrating your student’s academic and social-emotional growth. Go Panthers!
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 25th 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 Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Viterbo University in Wisconsin during the summer of 2005. This is my 20th year at Pleasant Hill teaching 5th grade.
I have a 18-year-old son, Brett and a 16-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 love watching my children play baseball and softball. I also enjoy walking, shopping, and fishing. We all love being outside enjoying the sun!
Mr. Parker is the 5th grade band director for Pleasant Hill Elementary. This is his twelfth year with DMPS. Ten 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 18 and 14. Mr. Parker also enjoys spending time with his family.
Hello! This is my 2nd year at Pleasant Hill Elementary school. I am committed to making our school clean and safe for all of the students and staff at the school. I’m a mother of two daughters, Danica 14 and Jasmine 9. I also care for my sisters two children, Destiny 15 and Damien 12. I am originally from Newton Iowa. In my free time I like the outdoors and all kinds of animals. Go Panthers!!
My name is Vanessa Purcell and this is my first year with the Des Moines School District. I graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 2022 with a degree in History and a background in Museum Studies.
After graduating, my husband (a Des Moines native) and I moved up here and currently reside in West Des Moines with our two cats.
I am an avid fan of Chicago sports teams, especially the Cubs. When I’m not working, I am reading, cooking, or spending time with my friends and family.
I’m so excited for the school year and to be with the Pleasant Hill community!”
This will be my 24th 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.
This year I will be starting my 19th year of teaching for Des Moines Public Schools. I am looking forward to starting my 2nd year at PH as an Academic Interventionist as well as the Intern Assistant Principal at Pleasant Hill. I have spent 15 years prior to coming to Pleasant Hill teaching at Capitol View Elementary in Des Moines and 2 years at Lovejoy Elementary. I have taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and was an academic interventionist for 6 years. I am so excited for my new role as the Intern Assistant Principal and am looking forward to connecting with more families and students this year. I hope to meet everyone soon and can’t wait for an amazing school year!
My husband and I live in Urbandale with our 5 children. Cole and Ella are our twins that will be sophomores this year at Urbandale High School and Madelyn our daughter will be in 8th grade at Urbandale Middle School. Our youngest two kiddos will be at Webster Elementary School, Ava in 4th grade and Maddox in 3rd grade. We keep busy with softball, basketball, soccer, show choir, track, cross country and enjoy being outside together. I am currently serving as the Silver Cord coordinator for the Urbandale High School.
I was a graduate of Johnston High School in 2000 and graduated for the University of Iowa in 2005 with my Elementary Education Degree. After I began teaching, I knew I wanted to continue learning and graduated with my Master’s Degree in elementary education in 2005 from Viterbo University. I am currently working on my Administration Degree at Viterbo University and will graduate in 2026. I have been the co-chair on the district Educator Quality and Professional Develpment Committe for the Des Moines Public Schools for the last 6 years. We plan professional development across the district as well as manage the budget for teachers’ growth and development opportunities. Starting next school year, I will be a District Leadership Coach empowering staff with their self-directed growth and learning. Last school year I served as the English Language Learners support for the building, providing professional development on language acquisition skills and led professional development for the staff on support our students learning English.
I believe that my job as leader and teacher is to have high expectations of all students and I know that they can learn at a high level and will succeed in the future. I look forward to an awesome school year and please know I am here to support all students and be the best advocate I can be for the students at Pleasant Hill!
My name is Shannon Webb-Ren. I have been married 9 years my husband’s name is Steve and we have two beautiful children. LillieAnn is 12 years old and is a 7th grader at Hoyt Middle School. She attended Pleasant Hill Elementary. Kylen is 6 years old and is a 1st grader at Pleasant Hill Elementary. We also have a 3 year old dog named Dallas. I have lived in Des Moines my whole life and attended DMPS.
Pleasant Hill Elementary has been a wonderful school for my kids and I’m excited to be a part of this great team and look forward to the adventures in learning and spending time with the kids.
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!” It is always a great day to be a panther!
I grew up in the small town of Denison, Iowa where I was 1 of 12 children. 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 five years, and this will be my second year teaching 5th grade!
In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, 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!
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 ninth 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 student at DMACC, and Emma is in tenth grade at Southeast Polk. I enjoy reading, playing games, doing puzzles, serving at church, and watching Emma participate in show choir.
Hello! I grew up in the Des Moines area and graduated from Des Moines Christian School. I am beginning my 14th year of teaching and my first year at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University in Elementary Education and my master’s degree at the University of Northern Iowa in TESOL.
My first 7 years of teaching were focused on the middle school age teaching reading, social studies, religious studies, or math. The last 6 years I have been an intervention teacher as well as an alternative math teacher.
I have two brothers (and one sister-in-law), two nieces, one nephew, as well as my mom. We enjoy spending time together especially when it comes to attending Iowa State football or basketball games! One of our favorite places to go is Colorado.
My first teaching job was in Thailand, where I live for 5 years! I have been able to travel to over 10 countries including Mexico, Dominican Republic, South Korea, and Australia. I love to travel and look forward to the next adventure!