Education: University of Iowa- Bachelors Degree in Social Work
Mercy College of Health Sciences- Associate of Science in Nursing (RN)
Nursing Experience: Mercy Hospital- 1 year on a cardiac and respiratory floor
Mercy Hospital- 4.5 years in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
Family/Hobbies: My husband and I live in Urbandale with our son, Chase, daughter, Norah, and dog Peaches. We like to spend time with extended family, find new walking/hiking trails to try and watch our niece and nephew’s sporting activities!
• 2015-Present Special Education Consultant DMPS
• 2011-2015 Special Education Teacher DMPS
• 2009-2011 Preschool Teacher Storm Lake
• 1998-2009 Paraprofessional Cherokee
• Morningside College – Special Education Consultant Endorsement
• Graceland University – Masters in Differentiated Instruction and Assessments
• William Penn University – Bachelors in Education with an emphasis in special education and English Language Learners
My name is Tiara Bales. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. This will be my 10th year teaching kindergarten at King Elementary. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have 5 kids and 2 grand kids and another on the way. In my spare time I enjoy creating clip art, gardening, kayaking, and being outdoors.
This is my first year teaching, and I am thrilled to be a part of the King team! When I’m not at school, you’ll find me hanging out with my family: I’m married with five kids, two cats and a rescue pup. I love to travel, cheer on the Cubs, Colts and Hawkeyes, I am an avid reader and crafter. Finally, I just published my first children’s book this summer!
Hi! My name is Sara Bitting and I am one of the behavior strategists at King Elementary. This is my first year at King and I am so excited to join this team! I am from Des Moines and went to Jackson, Weeks, and Lincoln. After my years in Des Moines schools I graduated from Drake University. I absolutely love being a teacher and am excited to join the community at King. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and gardening.
My name is Emma Bowman and I started working for Des Moines Public Schools in the fall of 2020. I am a part of the special education team, and help students who struggle with their behavior. I graduated from Wartburg College in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in social work, and received my Masters in Social Work from The University of St. Thomas in 2020. I enjoy hiking, taking my dog for walks, and binging a good Netflix show.
My name is Hanna Bush. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2021 with majors in Elementary and Middle Level Education and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Outside of school, I enjoy traveling, being outdoors, and baking for my friends and family. I’m excited to be a part of the King team!
• 2002-Present- DMPS Orchestra Director
• 1999-2002- Urbandale School District, Orchestra Director
• Morningside College – Bachelors of Music Education, Cello
• Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Jazz Performance & Composition, Cello
Family / Hobbies
My husband Jaime and I have three kids, Conner, Isabel and Aydan. My oldest graduated from Hoover High School in 2013 and my younger two went to the Downtown School and then Merrill until we moved out of the district. I spend my free time playing cello in multiple venues around town and in the studio.
I started with Des Moines Public Schools in August of 1999 and have been at King Elementary since July of 2013. Prior to that, I worked in the medical field. I have 2 children and 3 grandchildren and have been married to my husband, Jeff since 1982.
● Masters in Culturally Responsive Leadership & Instruction – December 2018
● Literacy Specialist – December 2018
Upper Iowa University
● Elementary Education Degree – May 2013
● K-8 Reading Endorsement – May 2013
I have taught at King Elementary since August of 2013. I love teaching first grade because I get the honor of teaching children to read. I feel fortunate to work with the awesome students and staff at King. Go King Lions!
My husband Brent and I have three children, Isla, Sayer, and Lachlan. We also have one dog, Copper. As a family we enjoy going camping, swimming, and also just relaxing at home. When I have free time I love to read and go to Starbucks. You might also spot me at Target from time to time
-Iowa State University – Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
-Iowa State University – Masters in Education Administration
-Oak Park Elementary (9 years)
Academic Interventionist K-5 for 5 years
First grade for 1 year
Behavior Strategist for 2 years
Instructional Coach for 1 year
Instructional Coach for 3 years
I have two beautiful boys, Sawyer (who started Kindergarten this year) and Hunter (2 years old). We enjoy taking the dog for walks, going to the zoo, reading books, watching football and spending time with family.
My name is Jamie Hogeboom (Ho-guh-boom). I graduated in May of 2021 from the University of Northern Iowa. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Middle Level Education. Some hobbies include hiking, visiting new places, and shooting landscape photography. I am so excited to be part of the King team!
My name is Jordan Holub. This will be my 9th year of teaching and my 9th year at King. I am excited to make the transition to 3rd grade! I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa and completed my master’s degree at Drake University. I live with my partner, Mike and my puppy Ted! We enjoy playing pickleball and going on bike rides around Des Moines. I also love to take care of my houseplants, read, travel, and try new restaurants!
2016-2017 Centralia School District, Buena Park, CA: PK- 6th grade Deaf and Hard of Hearing Speech/Language Pathologist
2017-2019 Orange Unified School District, Orange, CA: PK- 6th grade Speech/Language Pathologist
2019- present Des Moines Public Schools: PK- 8th Speech/Language Pathologist Monroe Elementary, King Elementary, Holy Trinity PK- 8th, Westminster preschool
University of Northern Iowa, Bachelor of Arts received 2014, Communication Sciences & Disorders major with Spanish minor
University of Northern Iowa, Master of Arts received 2016, Speech- Language Pathology
I like to spend time with my dog, traveling all around, and trying new things. I enjoy spending time outdoors, being with friends/family, and staying active.
Hello! This is my second year with King as an associate. I love working with all the kiddos. I am married and have a son who is in second grade. I also have a mini zoo, as my husband would say, of 2.
Cathy Kearney is from Northwest Iowa and is an alumnus of Drake University. She teaches band in ten Des Moines Schools including here at King. Her main instrument is clarinet, but a fun part of her job is that she gets to play so many different instruments. They are ALL fun.
Cathy’s husband Pat is the TLC grant coordinator for the Johnston Community School District. They have one son, Brogan, who is studying music education at Drake University. They also love their rescue dogs, Billie and Mora.
Creighton University, Omaha, NE Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE Master’s Degree in Elementary Education
Endorsements: English as a Second Language
4th Grade Teacher Kellom Elementary (Omaha NE) 4 years
4th Grade Teacher Garton Elementary 1 year
In my free time I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. I love to go for runs and walks with my husband. We also love watching football and spending time with our friends and family.
• Iowa State University – Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, Specialization in English Language Learning
I have spent my entire teaching career here at King!
I have taught ELL, 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th!
• My husband and I live in Des Moines with our 2 beautiful daughters, Mia and Shaila, and our super sweet dog, Rampage! My family and I love to go on walks, bike rides, play outside and watch movies!
• Upper Iowa University – Elementary Education, Reading Endorsement, Strategist 1 & 2 and Alternate Assessment
• 2008-2014 Smouse Opportunity School – K-7 Strat. 2 Behavior
• 2014-Present King Elementary – Intervention, Special Education, Strat. 2 Behavior, Alternate Assessment
I have 3 amazing children; Colton attends Iowa State University for Electrical Engineering, Dawson is a junior in High School, Kaitlyn is a sophomore in High School. In my free time I enjoy doing anything with my children, I also shoot bow, enjoy bike riding, working out and spending time with my friends. I also work 2 part time jobs.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Drama and Theatre for Youth from University of Northern Iowa and received my Masters in Social Work from Indiana University. I previously worked as a school-based therapist in Indianapolis. I love having the opportunity through this role to get to know children and families while helping them learn tools to thrive. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, and curling up with my cat and a good book.
My full name is Alfonso Perez, but simply everyone refers to me as Al. I am the Community Site Coordinator at King. I have over 30 years of experience in Community Engagement, Development, and Outreach. My background is in Pastoral Studies, minor in Business Administration. I have worked in ministry, community consulting, community development, television journalism, and non profit organization. I have developed a wide range of relationships from state government to community alliances to help our King families and students flourish in their academic journey. I have been married to my lovely spouse Jody; a pediatrics nurse, for 15 years. We have 2 incredible kids. Aidan and Anna; our special needs angel. My hobbies are varied. I love my college sports. Chicago sport teams. I love Science Fiction movies. Mexican Soul Food. I enjoy traveling when doable. AND most importantly, I love just resting, doing absolutely nothing, not being bothered, and feeling the least bit guilty about it.
• University of Northern Iowa – Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education
• King Elementary – Art
• I recently moved to downtown Des Moines from Cedar Falls, Iowa. I enjoy spending my free time exploring the Des Moines area, shopping at Target, and hiking with my dog, Fly.
Drake University-2009 English and Secondary Education with an extra endorsement in Reading
Drake University-2015 K-12 School Counseling
Teaching experience (Des Moines)
2012-2013 DMAP-Des Moines Alternative Program 6-8 grade Language Arts
2013-2015 Hiatt Middle School 7th grade Language Arts
2015-2016 Lincoln High School 9th grade English
2016-2018 East High School
2018 King Elementary
I live in Des Moines with my 3 kids who are in 6th, 5th, and 3rd grade and our dog named Sawyer. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, and watching movies.
- Grand View University – Bachelor’s degree in Organizational and Technical Studies, Certification in Sports Management
- Upper Iowa University – Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, specialization in reading and coaching
- King Elementary – Second and Third grade 2013-2017
- King Elementary – Fourth grade since 2017
- I am married and have three kids; Addison, Jacie and Camden. We also have a dog named Rollie and two goldfish. We enjoy being outside, exercising and watching movies together.
Education: Master of Library and Information Science-San Jose State University 2016
Experience: Director of Kothe Memorial Library 2018-2020
Family/Hobbies: Mom to three: Taylor (24), JP (22)and Donovan (10). I am Mama Schiller to Taylor’s wife Britney who made me a grandma/”Gigi” to my first grandson Eiljah brand new in July! I love spending time with my family which includes my SO (significant other) Mark and his German Shepard Bella on his farm. The library is my happy place! I love reading, movies and listening to music. I strive to share the wonders of the library with all ages.
“Librarians save lives: by handing the right book, at the right time, to a kid in need.” – Judy Blume
Simpson College, Indianola, IA. Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Endorsement, Reading Endorsement, Coaching Endorsement.
1999-2017 1st grade teacher Norwalk Elementary
2017-present King Elementary Interventionist
I live in Indianola, Ia. with my husband and my 3 boys. Two are in high school and I have 1 boy in elementary. We love to spend time together and my husband and I enjoy watching my boys play sports.
I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I am currently getting my Masters degree in school leadership from Dordt University.
This is my seventh year teaching, all of which have been at King. I have taught second grade, third grade, first grade, and kindergarten.
My husband, Dayne, and I live in Bondurant. We have one son, Kolynn. We have three pets. Our two dogs are named Simba and Remi. Our cat’s name is Larry. I love to read, spend time outside and spend time with my family.
Hello King Lions! My name is Justice Stevens and I teach 3rd grade. I live in Ankeny with my husband Josh, two children Easton and Emilia, and our dog Ruby. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2019, Go Cyclones! I grew up in Atlantic, Iowa and I am the oldest of 5 siblings. I love reading, fall weather, and everything chocolate!
“If One Has Courage Nothing Can Dim the Light That Shines From Within” – Maya Angelou
Mr. Donte T. Todd is a graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. A couple years later he decided to pursue and complete a Master’s degree at Kennesaw State University in Educational Leadership. Mr. Todd’s most recent educational accomplishment was the earning of his educational specialist degree in Secondary education with a concentration in history from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA.
Mr. Donte Todd begin his career in Montgomery, AL as a full time substitute . He continued his career in South Atlanta, GA by teaching 4th, 2nd, 5th, and 6th grade! Mr. Todd exudes a love for great classroom management, building student relationships, and helping his students create and exceed expectations. He has served as a guest speaker on two separate engagements and loves to make educational songs students can relate to. He believes that every child is always one teacher away from being great! Mr. Todd is so happy to being the fourth grade and looks forward to a great school year!
Bachelors Degree Evangel University
Elementary Education/Learning Disabilities
Urbandale Middle School 1999-2002
Hoyt Middle School 2003-2006
Monroe Elementary 2006-2009
Edmonds Elementary 2009-2012
King Elementary 2012-Present
I live in Urbandale and have 4 sons, 2 dogs and my beautiful wife. I coach football, wrestling and track. In my free time I love to travel and spending time with my family and friends.
My name is Alex Udorvich, students call me “Miss U.” I am one of the Academic Interventionists here at King. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have endorsements in Social Studies, Language Arts, and Reading. I am currently working toward my Master’s Degree in Culturally Responsive Instruction and Leadership at Drake University with an endorsement in ESL. I enjoy watching TV and movies and going to live music. I also like to go for walks outside to enjoy nature’s beauty.
- Iowa State University – Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, specialization in ELL
- Willard Elementary – Bilingual Tutor in 2003
- Moore Elementary – ELL Teacher 2003-2005
- Capitol View Elementary – ELL Teacher 2005-2011
- King Elementary – ELL Teacher since 2011
- I enjoy spending time with my family. I have three kids: Ray, Natalie and Angel. Ray is the oldest and lives on his own but he still likes to hang out with his mom and his siblings. Natalie likes spending time on her phone and talking with her friends but she LOVES being a big sister to Angel. She started middle school this year. She’s also starting to do more chores at home. Angel is a busy toddler who LOVES to climb, run and make messes for mom or sister to clean up. As for me, I like to watch shows or movies on Netflix, listen and dance to music, and take care of my plant family. I am always up for learning something new too.
• University of Iowa – Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, Endorsements in English Language Learning and Reading
King Elementary – 1st year, 5th grade
• I love to travel and have been to countries such as Spain, Italy, and France
• I try to stay active with yoga and lifting weights, but also I enjoy staying home and watching new shows
• Clarke University: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
• University of Northern Iowa: Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education
• Endorsements: K-8 Social Studies, K-8 Reading, K-12 English as a Second Language, PK-K Teacher, 5-8 Middle School Generalist, PK-12 Talented and Gifted, and K-12 Athletic Coach
• Holy Family School Pre-Kindergarten Teacher 1996-2007
• Hiatt Middle School Reading and Social Studies Teacher 2007-11
• DMPS Gifted and Talented Consultant 2011 to present
• Spending Time with Family, Friends and Animals
• Traveling Around the World
• Listening and Playing Music
My name is Betsy Yates and I am an Academic Interventionist at King. I work with small group of students to practice math and reading skills. The 2021-2022 school year is my 12th year teaching at King and my 19th year teaching overall. My first six years of teaching I taught 5th grade and when I started at King I taught first grade for three years before moving to an interventionist position.
I am originally from Missouri and attended college at Truman State University and played on the golf team. While at Truman, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Since teaching at King I have also earned my Reading Endorsement from Upper Iowa University.
I have two teenagers and we stay busy with their activities and our dog. During the Covid-19 pandemic we started fostering kittens and haven’t stopped!
I am so excited to be returning to King and see our students learn and grow this year!!