The 2016-17 school year starts my 17th year teaching and I am as excited as ever! I am from Arizona, but have fallen in love with Iowa seasons. I have a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and have a Reading Endorsement. I am married with two kids. I love to read, kayak and hang out with my family. This is my second year teaching at McKinley Elementary and I am thrilled to be back with such amazing staff, students and families.
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.
I am very excited to begin the 2017-2018 school year as a 4th grade teacher. It is hard to believe that I am beginning my 19th year as a teacher at McKinley. The first 15 years I was a Special Education teacher working with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. I then taught 5th grade for two years. Last year, I taught 3rd grade.
I got my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, with endorsements in special education and early childhood, from Grand View College (now Grand View University) in 1999. In the spring of 2016, I completed my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis on Teaching Students who speak English as their second language from Buena Vista University.
I am married and have two children. My hobbies include reading, swimming, and spending time with my family.
Hello! I am Laura Myers, a special education teacher working with students who have intellectual disabilities. I started with the Des Moines School District in December of 1997 teaching at a middle school for five and a half years. I was fortunate to be able to spend some years home with my children when they were younger. When my youngest started Kindergarten, I returned to the district and came right here to McKinley Elementary. This is my fifth year at McKinley, and I truly enjoy it here. The students and their families make the difference for me, and I have great ones!
I went to college at the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with a major in Special Education: Moderate / Severe / Profound Mental Disabilities. Eventually, I went back to school and enrolled at Graceland University. I now have a Master’s Degree in Differentiated Instruction.
I have three wonderful children who keep me very busy away from work. They are 15, 13, and 9 years old – two boys and one girl!
Thank you for visiting our school’s website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
My name is Tosie “Virginia” Simmons. I go by my middle name, but you’ll need my first in case you need to send an email.
I have two Bachelor Degrees one in Biology that I recieved from Westminster College in SLC and the second in Elementary Education from the College of Santa Fe in Albuquerque.
After staying home with my sons for 15 years I was lucky enough to do a term of service through Americorps at Walnut Street. Thankfully, I was hired after that term and became the library associate at Walnut Street. I was there for 2 years before coming to McKinley as a Special Education Associate.
2014-15 will be my fourteenth year as a teacher and I have been lucky to spend every one of those years teaching preschool at McKinley Elementary. I’ve also done some teaching in summer school to second graders in the past. There is no doubt that teaching is my passion and I love all the reading, singing, dancing, acting, using technology and playing we do in our classroom. It is wonderful and amazing to see how much learning takes place during our nine months together!
My education path took me to Iowa State University where I earned my Bachelor’s degree and also became a dedicated Cyclones fan. I am married and the proud mother of an amazing seven year-old daughter. We enjoy reading books together, crafting, playing in the park and cooking together. Come in and introduce yourself next time you’re at McKinley!
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Hi, my name is Mrs. Wright and this is my 10th year of teaching Kindergarten here at McKinley. I grew up in Manchester, Iowa. It is a small town in northeast Iowa. After graduating high school, I attended Iowa State University where I studied elementary education and Spanish. I had the opportunity to travel to Spain for a summer while I was in college to study Spanish and be immersed in the culture. It was an amazing experience and I was fortunate to be able to travel around while I was there as well.
After finishing college, I completed my student teaching in West Des Moines in elementary Spanish and in Des Moines teaching first grade. When I was hired at McKinley to teach Kindergarten, I was a little nervous to be honest. I had never thought about teaching Kindergarten before. I decided I needed to accept the job and give it a shot. Here I am 10 years later and am still loving it. I continue to learn every year and grow professionally as a teacher. I am currently studying for my master’s degree in education and will finish in February with a degree in Differentiated Instruction.
Other things that keep me busy besides teaching and studying are my family, friends, and hobbies. I am married and have a three year old daughter, Charlotte, who keeps me on my toes. Charlotte’s little brother is expected to make an arrival sometime in April. We are all very excited to meet him and know Charlotte will make a great big sister.