Special Assignments

Jill Alessio

Gifted & Talented Teacher

E: jill.alessio@dmschools.org

Doug Bown

Orchestra Teacher

P: 515-242-8423 | E: douglas.bown@dmschools.org

Tina Clark

Library Associate

E: maria.clark@dmschools.org

Jenna Connolly

K-3 Reading Interventionist

E: jenna.connolly@dmschools.org

Molly Girsch

Before- and After-School Supervisor

E: molly.girsch@dmschools.org

Sarah Grady


P: 515-242-8423 | E: Sarah.Grady@dmschools.org


I am honored to be the principal of McKinley Elementary. I have learned that McKinley is a place where strong connections are made between home, school, and our community.  As I get to know all the staff it is evident that they are committed to ensuring your children have the best opportunities for success.

I began my work with the Des Moines Public Schools in 2005, and have served in different roles during my career: classroom teacher, interventionist, instructional coach, and Dean of Students.  I have also been fortunate to work with students, families, and staff at several different elementary schools across our district.  These experiences have shaped me as an educator and helped prepare me to be an elementary principal.  On a personal note, my husband and I have two daughters.  Our oldest daughter will be a sophomore in college and our youngest will start 7th grade in the fall.  

I am committed to create and foster an environment here at McKinley, where all children feel safe and have access to high quality instruction, so they can cultivate positive change for our school and community.  I am looking forward to building meaningful relationships with them and all of you.  

Susan Guess


E: susan.guess@dmschools.org

Donna Heard

Metro Kids Child Care

E: donna.heard@dmschools.org

Pamela Heard

Chief Engineer

E: pamela.heard@dmschools.org

Erin Holstrom

Instructional Coach & Interventionist

E: erin.holstrom@dmschools.org


Greetings! My name is Erin Holstrom. During my 16.5 years at McKinley, I have worn many hats. I started my career in education as a Title 1 Math and Reading Teacher. Then I became a Math Leader for the building. After that I taught 3rd grade for 8 years and I currently work as a TLC Instructional Coach and Interventionist. I have a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in Reading from the University of Northern Iowa.

While teaching 3rd grade, I attended Drake University and earned a Master's degree in Effective Teaching with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Education is very important to me as is building relationships with students, families, and the people I work with. I love being at McKinley and feel blessed to work with wonderful students, parents, and staff!

I am married and have one child. In my free time I enjoy shopping, watching movies, reading, spending time with family and friends, and cleaning/organizing.

Linley Houser

Guidance Counselor

E: linley.houser@dmschools.org

Stephanie Hudson

Instructional Coach

E: stephanie.hudson@dmschools.org

Tracy Kennedy

Title I Teacher

E: tracy.kennedy@dmschools.org

Ryan McNulty

Band Teacher

E: ryan.mcnulty@dmschools.org

Lori Perkins-Detrick

Title I Teacher

E: lori.perkins-detrick@dmschools.org

Jennifer Rico

ELL Teacher

E: jennifer.rico@dmschools.org

Mary Simmons

ELL Teacher

E: mary.simmons@dmschools.org

Jeanette Vander Zyl

Office Manager

E: jeanette.vanderzyl@dmschools.org