I have had the privilege of working with Des Moines Public Schools for 30 years. I graduated from Iowa State University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Development in 1989 (go Cyclones). I received my Master’s Degree in Education from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 2006 (and my Reading Endorsement from Viterbo). I have taught kindergarten, second, and third grade as a classroom teacher, as well as a K-5 Interventionist. This year I am a full time Instructional Coach and will be working with all age levels and teachers. I have been married for 27 years, have 2 amazing daughters, one who is working in Sweden and the other attends ISU. We enjoy doing anything outside, especially tennis and golf, love to travel, and we attend many music concerts to hear Talen sing with the Iowa State Singers. I am so lucky to have a job that challenges me on a daily basis. My passion to make learning fun is an important goal. Please email me if you ever have any questions about your child’s education!
TLC Instructional Coach
Welcome to room 221! My name is Courtney Brewer and I graduated from Iowa State in 2002 with a degree in Elementary Education and an Art Emphasis. This is my sixteenth year teaching Kindergarten. I live in Norwalk with my two children, Carly who is a sixth grader and Luke who is a fourth-grader here at Perkins. I have my own floral business and enjoy doing wedding flowers part-time. I also enjoy running, biking with the family, traveling, reading, playing tennis, and walking our three dogs. I love teaching kindergarten and try to make learning fun and memorable for the little ones! I truly believe Perkins is the best place to learn!
Hi, my name is Ellen Buhrow and I teach 3rd grade at Perkins Elementary. I have taught Title reading for three years, 1st grade for seventeen years, and this will be my fourth year in 3rd grade. I enjoy riding my bike, walking my dog, and spending time with my family and friends. I graduated with 2 degrees from Grand View College and then got my masters at Viterbo University. I love teaching and learning, and am looking forward to a great year ahead!
I have been teaching in Des Moines ever since I graduated from Simpson College over two decades ago. My first teaching job was with 1st graders right here at Perkins in 2001. Later, I spent three years working in the district curriculum office before returning to Perkins in 2007. Since then, I have been a 2nd-grade teacher, 4th-grade teacher, interventionist, and an instructional coach. In 2016, while teaching at Perkins, I was awarded the Presidential Award in Mathematics Teaching. In my free time, I coach football and enjoy spending time with my wife and two kids. I am a huge sports fan and our family loves attending ISU sporting events.
K-5 Math Interventionist
My name is Janelle Conry and I have been teaching since 2000. I taught at Perkins Elementary for my first 13 years in special education and 2nd grade. I made the difficult decision to leave Perkins and teach 4th grade in my hometown for a year and spent the next three years as the Instructional Coach in Earlham. I missed the Perkins community and came back in 2017 and taught 1st grade. I am now teaching 2nd grade. I feel so fortunate to be back at Perkins! I attended Northwest Missouri State University and obtained my Masters in Education through Viterbo.
I live in Earlham with my husband Jeremy and our three children. During my free time I watch my children play sports. Between the three of them I watch softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, track, and football. I also spend a lot of time with my dog, Clyde.
My name is Mrs. Katie Dall-Winther, and I have taught for the Des Moines Public Schools since August 2001. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in Elementary and Middle School. My endorsements were in reading and Middle School. I also received my Master’s Degree from Viterbo University with an emphasis in Literacy and Vocabulary instruction in 2005. My first 11 years of teaching were at the middle school level serving sixth through eighth grades teaching struggling readers through advanced readers. I was very pleased to join the Perkins Academy staff at the 5th grade level in August of 2012.
I enjoy cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, gardening, and spending my time with my family.
This will be my second year teaching 5th grade in the Des Moines Public School District, but my first year teaching at Perkins. I recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2018 with a major in elementary education and a minor in mathematics. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching football (go Vikings & Hawkeyes), staying active (swimming, biking, running, hiking, walking), cooking, baking, and playing with my dog. I am looking forward to my first year here at Perkins Elementary School and am excited to watch all of my students grow!
Music has been a major part of my life since 1991, when I started taking piano lessons. I then went on to play the flute/piccolo in marching band and the bassoon in concert band. After graduating from the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!), I lived out a childhood dream of becoming a shark biologist in Jacksonville, Florida. The Midwest and music brought me back to Iowa to share my passion for music with students. In my spare time, I enjoy watching football (especially the Hawkeyes and the Packers!) and spending time with my two kittens, family, and friends.
My name is Kristin Groepper and I have been teaching in the DMPS district since 2005. I have had the pleasure of teaching preschool, kindergarten, second grade and now first grade. I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I live in the Perkins district with my husband Dan and our kids Hanna, Claire, Jack and Ben and dogs Cooper and Lu Lu. I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my two grandchildren Charlotte and Kennedy! I love being with friends and attending ISU athletic events.
Hi. My name is Laura Halverson. I have been teaching at Perkins since 2005. There is nowhere else I would rather be. I have taught most grades and have also been a math/reading interventionist, but my very favorite position that I have held is my current role of educating my wonderful 4th graders. 🙂 In my free time I enjoy playing golf, taking long walks, vacationing in Florida, yardwork/gardening, spending time with my family and playing with my dachshund, Harley.
I have been teaching with Des Moines Public Schools as a special education teacher since graduating from Iowa State University in the spring of 2001. I am currently working with 4th and 5th grade students at Perkins Academy and LOVE IT! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cheering for the Iowa State Cyclones – GO CLONES! , playing outside, and shopping!
My name is Mrs. Jackman and I am a kindergarten teacher at Perkins. I have been teaching at Perkins for 30 years and love it! My husband and I have 2 grown children who live in town. We enjoy BBQ’s and family time with them when we can all work it in. I also enjoy CrossFit, yoga, reading, going out with friends, eating lots of tacos, and entertaining at our home. Perkins is a wonderful school, and I am proud to be a part of its amazing culture.
I have been teaching with Des Moines Public Schools since the fall of 2003. I was a support teacher for a year. Then I taught 5th grade for 7 years before switching to 2nd grade in 2010. I attended Grand View University where I majored in Elementary Education with endorsements in Math and Reading. In my free time I love spending time with my family and participating in recreational sports such as slow-pitch softball and sand volleyball.
Welcome to Perkins and Mrs. Lundy’s kindergarten! I have been teaching with Des Moines Schools since 1998 and have been teaching kindergarten at Perkins since 2008. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Teaching Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten Children from Iowa State University, and a Master of Education degree from Grand View University. My husband, Erik works for the City of Des Moines. We have two daughters, Josie (26) and Megan (21). Both girls are proud Perkins graduates! In my spare time, I love to go to movies, read, watch ISU football and basketball, and hang out with my two little dogs, Ruthie and Dolly, family and friends.
Hello, I would like to introduce myself to the Perkins family. My name is Mindi McCoy and I am in my late 40’s and live in Urbandale. I am from Council Bluffs, IA and have lived in the Des Moines area since 1998. I am single, and live with a Yorkie/Maltese mix named Ellie, and a Calico cat named Molly Cat. My hobbies include yoga, gardening, walking my dog, dining out with friends (I don’t cook but, love to eat) going to the downtown farmers’ market, seeing movies, and watching some bad TV to relax at the end of each day. I enjoy reading on my patio in the summers although, don’t read as much as I would like to during the school year.
My degree is in Art Education from Northwest Missouri State University, where I graduated in 1994. I was also commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army when I graduated. I was able to pay for my own college by going through Army ROTC. After graduating, I spent a little time at Ft. Ben Harrison doing some active duty training before it closed, and then I worked as a K-12 Art teacher in a small town in Missouri for 3 years before moving to Des Moines.
Since moving to Des Moines I have worked as an elementary art teacher, and a high school alternative teacher, and I also worked for DMACC in the high school completion program for 5 years. Then I came to DMPS and worked at Callanan and as an adjunct professor at DMACC. I do hold a Masters degree from Iowa State. Go Cyclones! I am certified in the State of Iowa to teach K-6 Art, 7-12 Art, and 7-12 Multicat.
I am no longer in the Army Reserve. I did enjoy it, during my time, I got to do things that a lot of people never get to do! I have gone skydiving, rappelling, rode in Blackhawks, and tanks, and I even got to blow stuff up! I do have some fun scars from my time. I have a little scar on my elbow from my one and only attempt at an Aussie repel.
I am happy to be in an art classroom where I belong. I do have to say the students at Perkins are GREAT! They are enthusiastic learners and I have had the pleasure of seeing some real artistic talent. I am excited to guide them through the process of learning about the various art media and techniques as well as different artist styles throughout history. We will also spend some time talking about our art and critiquing it. I do make an effort to connect what we are doing in the art room to what the students are learning in social studies and science, and to reinforce the language arts concepts in the art room.
Please feel free to stop in the Art room any time and check out what is going on!
Hello I am Mrs. Oglesbee. I enjoy the pleasure of teaching 3rd graders. I began my career at Perkins in 2005. My classroom is always abuzz with learning. I live with my husband ,a dog and 2 cats.. I enjoy reading, camping, music, table top games, and cooking.
Mr. Sondag is in his 8th year teaching and 4th year at Perkins. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2010 with his elementary education degree. He has taught 3rd and 4th grade.
In his free time from school he enjoys doing activities with his wife and children. He enjoys golfing, fishing, being outside, hockey, and anything Iowa Hawkeyes.
I have been working in Des Moines for the past 6 years. I am a proud graduate of Central College where I majored in Exercise Science. After college I started working for the district at Hoyt middle school. After 3 years at Hoyt I moved to Perkins elementary where I have been currently teaching for the past 3 years. I consider myself a sports time and most of my hobbies revolve around athletics. When I am not teaching you can find me with my family, on the golf course, or watching whatever sport is in season. I love the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Cleveland Browns, the Indiana Pacers, and the Chicago Cubs.
I can remember being in 8th grade and have such admiration for my teacher, Mrs. Thompson. I love how she was able to guide us through the challenging aspects of history. She introduced us to novels that pushed me to look differently at my place in the world. I decided that year I wanted to be a teacher. I have now been teaching for over 20 years! It is my goal to guide my students to love learning as much as I do. I love being a teacher in Des Moines Public Schools because of the amazing students who motivate me to always be growing as a learner and teacher.