Family engagement includes all of the ways we, as staff and as families with preschoolers, work and play together in preparing children for success in school and life. I am here to support family, staff and classroom activities–meeting needs and providing information, comfort and opportunities. I have degrees in child-development and social work, and have worked in early childhood for more than 30 years. My husband and I have three children who are now young adults. My favorite times in life are when we are all together. Contact me in Woodlawn’s Twinkle Star Community Room, by email or by phone.
Hello Preschool! I am Joanna Braucht, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) here at Woodlawn Preschool. I have been at Woodlawn as the SLP and before that as an SLP Associate since 2012. I am the mother to two DMPS students, Eden and Sawyer. I am also a proud graduate of 4 DMPS schools. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and being outside. I look forward to serving your preschoolers in a fun and caring way!
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” -David Augsburger
Communication Services Mission: Supporting students, teachers, and families to help all students become competent communicators in an ever-evolving world.
I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. I love the Hawkeyes! I have been a School Social Worker for approximately 20 years, working in Volusia County, Florida and Des Moines Public Schools. My focus is supporting the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students, as well as supporting various needs of our families and school staff. I enjoy teaching social skills individually or in small groups. I have served elementary-age and pre-school children for most of my career. I am so excited to be working with pre-school, as I believe you will always be happy around 3 to 5 year olds!
Hello, my name is Marissa Cokeley, and I am looking forward to a fantastic school year with our students and families. In 2014 I graduated from Iowa State University with my bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, with an endorsement in special education and reading. Before coming to Mitchell Preschool, I worked at Unity Point Health Child Development Center as an assistant teacher with children ages 3 months to 5 years old. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and running 5Ks with my mom. I am excited to grow and learn alongside your child this year!
My name is Emily Dickison. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2010 with a degree in Communication Studies. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, going for a walk or bike ride, and crafting. Cheers to a new school year!
Hi, my name is Jodi Harrell! I enjoy being part of the Early Childhood Department where I serve as an Early Childhood Social Worker and Mental Health Consultant. I graduated from Grandview University for my undergraduate degree and the University of Iowa for my master’s degree. I have also been trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and I often consult on how to implement PCIT principles in the preschool classroom as well as in the home. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my step-granddaughter, friends, and family; and I love to travel whenever I can.
Hello and welcome to Woodlawn Family! I have been serving as a school nurse with DMPS for more than 25 years. Throughout this time, I have worked with students from high school down to the elementary level. I am fortunate to have joined Woodlawn in 2020, and love working with the preschoolers. I started nursing school at University of Iowa and graduated from GrandView College. My husband and I have two adult sons. I am a proud grandmother of twin boys, Griffon and Gannon, and their beautiful sister Marklyn. I look forward to working with you to keep your preschooler safe and healthy. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can assist in any way
Hi, my name is Erin Loy. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Iowa and my Master’s degree from St. Ambrose University. I have been in the social work field since 2002 and have been with the district since 2017. I am working at both Woodlawn and Smouse. I love working with the early childhood age and seeing them learn and grow. I am married with 2 young children at home. In my free time I enjoy watching the Hawkeyes and like to spend time with my family. I am very excited to be here and am looking forward to a great and successful year with your children.
Hello, my name is Jana Morris and I am a Behavior Support Teacher at Mitchell. I have worked for Des Moines Public Schools since 2003. My husband and I have two kids, Erin and Ryan. Together as a family we enjoy riding bikes, heading to the beach, and camping. I look forward to helping Mitchell have the best year!
Hi, my name is Beth Pattschull and I am one of the Early Childhood Special Education consultants. I have been working in Early Childhood Special Education with Des Moines Public schools since 2002. I enjoy working with this age group and seeing the excitement that learning brings each day. I feel passionate about providing children with experiences to build the foundation for later school success. I am married with two children.
Hi! My name is Brandon Stumberg and I am the SLP at Taylor. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders and a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. I have been working with preschoolers at Taylor since the building opened in 2014. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with family, fishing, golfing, and walking my dogs.
In my role as Family Engagement Facilitator, I am here to support family, staff and classroom activities while providing information and resources. Hablo español y me gusta apoyar a las familias que hablan español aquí en Taylor. I have degrees from Loyola University Chicago and the University of Iowa, where I received my Masters in Social Work. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, traveling, spending time at the lake and learning more about other cultures. Contact me in via email, School CNXT or by phone – I’m happy to help in whatever ways I can.
I graduated from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Des Moines University with my Master in Public Health. I have worked all of my career in pediatric nursing. My experiences include the University of Iowa, Blank Neonatal Intensive Care, and Des Moines Public Schools. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the children and families in the DMPS Early Childhood Programs.
My name is Amanda Wittenberg. I graduated from Grand View University in 2013 with my BSN. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and tending to my many houseplants. I look forward to getting to know your kiddos.