I am excited to be working at Taylor! I look forward to meeting all the students and their families. This will be my 15th year working for Des Moines Public Schools. I taught kindergarten for 6 years on the south side, then moved to the Early Childhood department and have taught in integrated preschool classrooms at Madison, Carver and King, as the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) teacher. I received my undergraduate and graduate degree in education from Drake University.
I’m Mrs. Bainbridge. I feel privileged to be your child’s teacher. I am excited to guide your child through his/her preschool journey. It will be an exciting year full of growth and development. I am passionate about teaching and want to instill a love for learning in every child I meet. Through Iowa State University, I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a special education endorsement. This is my 19th year in the Des Moines School District and sixth year at McKee. I was a kindergarten teacher at Stowe Elementary for eight years and River Woods Elementary for five years. Prior, I taught Kindergarten for one year in Houston, TX. I also taught after-school and summer ELL programs, along with an early childhood autism summer class. I am a proud wife and mother of three young kids, Wesley (6 years old/first grade) and Collin (4 years old/preschool) and Mallory (2 years old). I am originally form Decatur IL. I am an Iowa State University graduate. Last year we moved from Des Moines to Carlisle.
Hello, my name is Shelly Burgess and I have been with Des Moines Public Schools since 2010 as an Early Childhood teacher. I taught elsewhere for many years prior to joining DMPS. My husband Ken and I have four boys. I enjoy exercising, traveling, working outside in the yard, volunteering at events my children participate in, and going to many athletic events and spending time with my family. I enjoy working with children and am looking forward to working with your child here at Mitchell.
My name is Kerri Byl. My students call me Mrs. Byl. I am excited to be teaching full day Head Start at Taylor. Previously I worked in an integrated Head Start classroom at Smouse. I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BS in Education with an Early Childhood endorsement and a Reading endorsement. I have worked in Adel-DeSoto- Minburn, Waukee, and Johnston before coming to Des Moines Public Schools. I am married to my husband, Jeff. We have a son, Logan, and a daughter, Larissa. I don’t want to forget our dog, Roxie. I like the Iowa State Cyclones but I cheer on the Hawkeyes and Panthers if they are not playing the Cyclones. I also like to read, walk, ride bikes, and spend time with family and friends. Fun fact: Mickey Mouse is my favorite character. I look forward to getting to know your family.
I am Angie Clark. I have been teaching PreK for Des Moines Public Schools since 2003. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I also received my master’s degree in education from Viterbo University. My husband Cory and I have two boys. They know how to keep me busy, but I love it! In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Panthers and Hawkeyes! I am looking forward to an exciting year of fun and learning.
My name is Miss Shawna and I am the special education teacher in the Humpty Dumpty classroom. I am married to my husband Chad and together we have two daughters and a son-in-law. We also have 3 boxers and love riding our bikes. I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, a Strat one endorsement (special education, and a reading endorsement. I have been with DMPS since 2012. I am very excited for this school year and cannot wait to meet your child and learn and grow alongside them.
My name is Tracie Courcier. I have been a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools since 2001. I received my undergraduate degree from Simpson College and my Master’s in Special Education from Drake University. My husband, Cory and I have two children, Megyn and Ryan. I love to spend time with my family and friends, go to water parks, and make cookies with my kids at home.
Hello families! I am Susan Crimmins and I will be your child’s teacher this year. I am entering my 13th year with Des Moines Schools, all in preschool! I grew up in Des Moines and graduated from East High. I attended Peru (NE) State College and earned my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Currently, I am a Master’s student at Grand Canyon University. I will be completing my Master’s degree in late February! When I am not in school, or doing my own school work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Randy, and my girls Piper (9) and Abigail (4). We also have two dogs and a cat. We enjoy many things together, but love when we are able to do things as a family. When it comes to sports, we spend most of our summer watching the Cardinals. I look forward to having a great year with you and your child!
Welcome to Preschool! My name is Ms. Kaitlin. I can’t wait to learn and grow with my preschool friends this year! I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and endorsements in Special Education from Iowa State University. In 2019, I graduated from Morningside College with a masters degree and reading endorsement. In my spare time, you can find me cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones, at wrestling meets or spending time with my family, 2 cats and husband.
Welcome to Taylor Preschool! My name is Rachel Dorpinghaus and I’m so excited to work with your child this year! I grew up in Eastern Iowa and moved to the Des Moines area for college. I graduated from Simpson College in 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education and endorsements in both Reading and Early Childhood. Before coming to Taylor, I taught Transitional Kindergarten and Preschool at a school on the south side of Des Moines for 6 years. I’m thrilled for another year at Taylor! I look forward to working with your preschoolers and creating lifelong learners with a passion for school!
Hello! My name is Ms. Kenzie! I’m married to my husband Zack, and we have a baby named Zander. Also, we have two puppies at home, Loki and Luna. I look forward to working with all of you this year! I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education. This is my seventh year in the Des Moines School District.
Hello friends and families! My name is Carissa Harrington and I am so excited to start my 9th year teaching Head Start for Des Moines Public Schools. Prior to teaching I worked at the Bettendorf Family Museum during the summers, where their motto is “play together, learn together”. I taught camps and facilitated hands-on-learning for the guests. This experience allowed me to see how influential hands-on-learning can be and how it plays a key role in the development of young children. I obtained my Master’s in Education with a focus on Culturally Responsive Leadership from Drake. With the classroom activities and curriculum, your students will have many opportunities to learn and grow. I look forward to working with you and your children, and creating memories for us all!
My name is Sara Heim and I will be your child’s teacher this year. This is my 16th year teaching in Early Childhood Education. I love this age because of the growth I see in students and the contagious energy they bring to school everyday. I live in Norwalk with my husband, Tim and our boys, Colby and Conner. I enjoy reading, watching movies, being outdoors, and cheering on the Cyclones. I am looking forward to a great and successful year of working with you and your child.
My name is Janet Henderson and I am the teacher in the Humpty Dumpty room at Taylor Early Learning Center. I have been working with young children for many years in a variety of ways including being a nanny, a childcare provider, a director of childcare and a preschool teacher. I am married and have 2 adult children. We have 2 Labradors that keep me on my toes! My husband and I are Iowa State fans and spend the winter driving to Ames to enjoy many sports activities especially basketball and volleyball. We also enjoy doing home improvement, watching cooking shows and taking walks.
Hello! My name is Kaci McKewen. I am beyond thrilled for this school year. A little about me: I graduated from Simpson College in December 2020. I have an Elementary Degree with endorsements in Early Childhood, Reading, and Social Studies. My hobbies include Frisbee Golf, riding bikes, and spending time with my family. Really excited to work with you as a team for your child.
I am so excited to start a new school year and share it with all of our students and their families! I have been teaching in the Des Moines Public Schools for three years. I graduated from UNI with undergraduate and master’s degrees in Special Education. Go Panthers! I like to spend my time reading, quilting, and with my wonderful family.
Hi, my name is Danielle Mullenix and I am the Head Start teacher in your child’s classroom. I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. I have been a preschool teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools for 10 years. I have been married to my husband Micah for 8 years and we have two boys. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am very excited to meet all of you and work with your child this year. We are going to have so much fun!
Hi! My name is Alicia Peterson but almost everyone calls me Miss P. The best way to contact me is to send a message through School CNXT. I am an avid reader and enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters.
I’m Stacey Zimmerman and I am going to be one of your child’s teachers for the upcoming year. I am very excited to help guide your child’s learning during the following months. I have lived in Iowa all my life. I grew up on a farm near Harlan, IA. I have a dog named Kaylee who is a Sheltie mix. She loves going for walks and trips to the dog park. This is my third year of teaching preschool here at McKee. I graduated from Iowa State University with my bachelors in early childhood education unified with special education. I have also worked in childcare centers during college and during the summers. I am looking forward to a great year with you and your child. If you ever have any questions or concerns please don’t be afraid to ask!
Hello, my name is Mrs. Sharon! This will be my 18th year with Des Moines Public Schools. I love to spend time with my husband and our two bonus children. I’ve spent the summer at the pool and taking day trips. I’m excited for a wonderful year learning about you and your family. Masters of Education Morningside College 2008 Early Childhood Education and Special Education Iowa State University 2004
Hello, my name is Rachel Tegeler, Early Childhood Special Education teacher. I lived in the Stuart, Iowa area on a dairy farm until I was thirteen. I then moved to Marshalltown where I graduated from high school. After high school, I attended Mt. Mercy College in Cedar Rapids where I received my Elementary Education degree. Two years ago I completed my master’s degree in Early Childhood with a specialty in teaching and diversity. This is my eighth year in the Des Moines Public School district. I have been in the early childhood profession for over twenty years, which has included working in childcare settings as well as teaching in an integrated preschool program in the Cedar Rapids area. I am married and have four boys ranging in age from 22 to age 15. I love to read, bike, spend time outside and time with my family.
Hi, I’m Angela Tonasket. I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. I went to Grand View University, where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Education and my endorsements to teach preschool, elementary school, as well as specialized reading and special education up to 8th grade. I also attended the University of Northern Iowa, where I received my endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education. I began teaching in 2009. I am married and have four children. I have three boys and one girl. I also have two dogs at home in Pleasant Hill. When I’m not at school, I like to garden and listen to books or podcasts. I also like to travel and work on home improvement projects. I love teaching at Woodlawn and seeing students grow and change. I can’t wait to meet your child and challenge him/her to discover the joy of learning with me.
I am Sara Vais. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I also received my master’s degree from Drake University in Effective Teaching. My husband and I have two kids and we enjoy going to Buc’s hockey games and cheering on the Panthers and Cyclones!
Hello! My name is Alicia Washburn. I am an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with Des Moines Schools. I graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. I received my Master’s degree in Effective Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Drake University. I live in Des Moines with my son Jack. We enjoy many outdoor activities, traveling, time at the lake, watching and playing sports, movie nights, and game nights! Looking forward to getting to work with a great group of children and families this year! It’s going to be a wonderful year of learning!
I am very proud to be a teacher in the Des Moines Public School District. I love working with preschool age children and seeing them mature and grow. The classroom is an engaging, hands-on learning environment filled with fun and love. My Early Education degree is from Upper Iowa University. I have worked in a private preschool, as an Associate in a special education classroom, and also have a business degree from the University of Northern Iowa. My husband and I have two boys, a cat, and a dog. Our lives are very busy with school activities.
Hi, my name is Heather Werning and I will be the Head Start teacher in your child’s classroom this school year. The 2019-20 will be my 11th year as a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools and there is no doubt that teaching is my passion. I love the energy that the preschoolers bring into our classroom on a daily basis and the pure love and excitement for school that they have. It amazing to watch how much learning takes place in each and every preschooler throughout our school year together.
I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and spent my first ten years with Des Moines Public Schools teaching in the Shared Vision Preschool classroom at Moulton Elementary. I am married to my high school sweetheart and a proud mother of two amazing kiddos who are six and three. Together we enjoy spending time outdoors doing anything from hiking, swimming, to fishing. I am so excited to meet each of you and work with you and your child this year.
Hi, my name is Martha Wiemers and I am the Early Childhood Special Education teacher in the Down by the Bay classroom! A little bit about me, I have my Master’s in Special Education from Portland State University. This is my second year teaching preschool with DMPS and fifth year teaching special education. This summer I eloped in Oregon, and I live with my husband Jeff and two dogs, Whittaker and Dexter in Des Moines. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my three little nieces, camping, hiking, and cheering on the Hawkeyes and the Portland Trailblazers! I am so excited for all the learning and growth that will take place this year.
Hi. My name is Julie Wilcox. I have been teaching for over 25 years in the Head Start Program. I look forward to working with your child this year at McKee. This is my 2nd year at McKee. Previously I taught with Drake Head Start, Even Start in Des Moines, Findley Elementary, and at Taylor Early Learning Center. I am eager to get to know the children and families I work with at McKee. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two boys.
I graduated from the College of Saint Mary with a double major in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. I received my Master’s Degree from Drake in Early Childhood Special Education. I have been teaching Head Start for 21 years and enjoy working with all of the families and their children. I am married and I have a 18 year old son and a 16 year old daughter. When I’m not at school I enjoy traveling, crocheting, and spending time with my family. I look forward to teaching your child this year.