I started working at Hoyt Middle School in 2003. I am the SUCCESS Case Manager. I provide support to students and their families to be successful in school. I also facilitate our Chrysalis afterschool girls group, Blazing Stars. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a daughter and son. My husband and I enjoy watching them grow and learn new things every day. Some things we like to do as a family are; golfing, watching/playing sports, geocaching, and spending time with our extended family.
Bachelor in Social Work- University of Northern Iowa 2002, Minor in Family Studies
Masters in Social Work – University of Northern Iowa 2003
I have been with Des Moines Public Schools since 2010. After being in the classroom for 15 years I took on the role of TLC Instructional Coach role here at HMS. I relish in all the adventures that come with teaching and learning and look forward to all the great experiences that are ahead.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my daughters Emma, Camryn, Ava and Laney. I am interested in Equity work, learning, and my physical and mental wellness. I love to play and coach volleyball and track at Hoyt Middle School.
B.A. in Elementary Education-University of Northern Iowa
Social Studies Endorsement (k-8), Talented and Gifted (k-8)
Masters in Cultural Responsiveness and Leadership: Spring 2017-current-Drake University
Des Moines and Suburbs 2002-2003: Long Term substitute teacher
West Des Moines Community Schools 2003-2006: Talented and Gifted teacher
West Des Moines Community Schools 2006-2010: 3rd grade
Hoyt Middle School 2010-2015: Global Studies teacher
Hoyt Middle School 2015-present: TLC Instructional Coach
twitter feed: @msecksclass
I have been teaching in DMPS since 1999. I have taught science and math in grades 5-8. I look forward to working with students each day. Building relationships with my students is a priority in my classroom along with learning science! Outside of school I enjoy gardening, travel and spending time with my daughter.
BS in Education from Iowa State University
1999-2004 Merrill Middle School
2004-2005 Park Ave Elementary
2005-2015 Goodrell Middle School
2015-2016 Induction Coach for DMPS new teachers
2016-present Hoyt Middle School
1. I believe in second, third, fourth, fifth….and so on…chances! The beautiful thing about life is that we have the opportunity every day to change who we are. When we wake up in the morning, we have an opportunity to start again!
2. I believe that change, and the motivation to change, happens when you have developed great relationships with people that care about you. If you do not feel physically or emotionally safe, you may not be motivated to reach your potential.
3. Hard work DOES pay off! Making good choices about your life is not that easy. IT’S HARD WORK! In the end, however, the feelings of success and accomplishment ALWAYS justify the means.
4. A sense of humor gets us through the day. I may not be the funniest person you’ve ever met, but I do enjoy a good laugh! If people laugh and smile at my humor, it totally makes my day!
I enjoy reading comic books, going out to eat, learning more about behaviors, and spending time with my kiddo at home.
B.S. in Elementary Education – University of Northern Iowa
Endorsements in SPED: Learning Disabilities (grades K-6) and a Multi-Cat Endorsement (grades K-6)
M.S. in Principalship/Educational Leadership – University of Northern Iowa
Hoyt Middle School 2003-current: Special Education 6-8th Grade Literacy in a Self-Contained classroom for students with Behavioral Disorders
I am in charge of the Jay’s Jr. Hobbyists. We do everything “geek” from reading comic books, watching science fiction movies, playing RC cars, and playing board games and card games.
I am excited to have the opportunity to make an impact with each and every student that I come in contact with. I look forward to the opportunity to learn as much as I possibly can from my wonderful colleagues.
In my spare time I love watching and attending Iowa Hawkeye games. I enjoy reading and listening to music when I can, but most of all I love learning how to play the guitar. Most of my free time is spent with my wonderful wife and two boys; Isaac and Hayden.
The University of Iowa:
BA English Literature
MA Secondary Education
I am the school nurse for Hoyt Middle School. I’ve been working for Des Moines Public Schools since 2010. Before becoming the school nurse for Hoyt, I worked in the Operating Room for over 10 years. I am married and have three children. I love to spend my free time attending my children’s sporting events, coaching soccer, and watching movies with the family.
Associate Degree Registered Nursing – Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
Bachelor Degree in Nursing – American Senntinel University
Hoyt Middle School 2010-current: School Nurse
Iowa Methodist Medical Center Operating Room 2006-2011: Operating Room Nurse
Iowa Lutheran Hospital Operating Room 1998-2006: Operating Room Surgical Technologist
My name is Justin Theisen and I have taught special education for Des Moines Public Schools since 2008. I have been with Hoyt Middle School since 2016.
In my free time I love spending time with my wife and 3 kids. I also enjoy cooking, sports, exercise, and being outdoors.
The University of Northern Iowa:
BA Physical Education
MA Special Education
Physical Education, Special Education, Coaching
Kristen Van Dyke
I have been with DMPS since 2001 in the capacity of Special Education Associate in a variety of settings which include elementary and secondary settings. In 2016, I graduated from college and received my license to teach a few months later. I am excited to be teaching English Learners in our ELL program. Building relationships with my students while creating a safe environment to learn is a priority in my classroom along with learning all we can about language! When I’m not at school I enjoy spending time with my husband and boys and reading books.
BA in Education from William Penn University
Endorsements in: Reading, Special Education, English as a Second Language
2001-2015 Smouse Opportunity School SPED Associate
2016-2017 Student Teaching at Brubaker and Stowe
2017-2018 East High School SPED Associate
2018 – Current ELL Teacher
I have worked at Hoyt Middle School since 2014. I love being a school counselor because I get to work with all students. Every day is an adventure with a building of over 500, as I never know who is going to walk through my door! Additionally, I enjoy being able to help students and families find the resources they need, either in the school system or in the community at large. If you need anything for your student, do not hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I will be happy to help in any way that I can! In my spare time, I like to hang out with my family. My hobbies include jogging, skiing, and watching live music whenever possible!
Related Counseling Experience
The Young Women’s Resource Center 2002-2014
B.A. English Literature- University of Iowa 2001
MSEd School Counseling- Buena Vista University 2010
I have been with Des Moines Public Schools since 2003. After being in the classroom for 15 years as a Science teacher at Hiatt Middle School, I transitioned out of the four walls of a classroom to take on a new role as an Equity Coach at Hoyt Middle School! I’m enjoying the changes that have come with a new position in DMPS and love creating relationships in a new building as well.
When I’m not at school I love spending my days and nights with my son, Zion, and my husband, Freddie. I also enjoy spending time with my friends. I’m interested in reading (usually books on social justice, but I can get lost in a good novel too) going to the movies, thrifting, and traveling when we can.
BA in Earth Science with an endorsement in Physical Science – Iowa State University
MS in Effective Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Urban Education – Drake University
Hiatt Middle School : 2003-2018
Hoyt Middle School: 2018- present