I am a proud graduate of the Des Moines Public Schools. I attended McKee Elementary ( when it was a neighborhood elementary school), Hoyt Middle school and East High school. While at East I attended school with 7 cousins and my sister. We are a close East side family. My two sisters, brother in law and and three cousins all work as teachers in the Des Moines Public schools. I attended the University of Northern Iowa after graduating high school. I later transfered to Upper Iowa University where I earned a degree in secondary social studies education specializing in teaching Government, Psychology and Sociology for grades 7 -12. While completing my degree I worked as a teacher associate at Ruby Van Meter school in Des Moines for 10 years. I then taught Special Education at Lincoln High school in Des Moines for 9 years.. While teaching at Lincoln I completed my Special Education cretification through Morningside College. I have worked as a special education associate at Moulton for 6 years. This year will be my 25 year working in the Des Moines public schools. In addition to working for the Des Moines schools. I have taught swimming lessons and coached swimming for 32 years . Some of that time working for the Des Moines public schools communtiry education program and coaching through the East High school middle school and age grooup swim team programs. When I am not working at Moulton or teaching swimming thoughout the Des Moines metro I spend time attending my niece and nephew.s sporting events at St Ambrose University , Grinnell College and East High school. All of them are 4th generation East High graduates and attendees. I also enjoy traveling with my family, swimming and reading.
Hi! I joined the Mouton Staff in 2004 and am currently a special education teacher for 5th grade. I have a lot of pride in our school and believe that we are up to great things! I enjoy the daily challenge of helping students reach their potential. I believe that every student can learn, make progress, and be successful in the classroom.
Growing up in Des Moines, I graduated from Roosevelt High School (99), and earned my B.A. from Simpson College (03).
When not in school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, John, and our kids, Amanda and Tessa.
Growing up with a mom and grandma that were teachers, I always felt like being a teacher was in my future. During high school and college, I worked at a childcare center that supported children with special health care needs. This is when I realized that I wanted to be a teacher that specialized in helping students who needed different supports. After college and for several more years, I managed a Pediatric Day Health program, providing care for children with Skilled Nursing needs. In 2016, as my own children were getting ready to enter school, it felt like a good time to make a switch, and I came to Moulton!
Hello! My path to Moulton has come by way of having earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Buena Vista University and a Master of Social Work from my hometown college, the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I spent *just a few* years working in community mental health and substance use before stepping into the world of school social work and I couldn’t be happier to serve at Moulton this year.
I began my career as a mathematics teacher in the special education department at Theodore Roosevelt High School in August 2014. My passion for special education came from the 11 years I worked at Camp Sunnyside where I ran the Respite program. For three years at Roosevelt I created innovative ways to meet students’ needs and close the opportunity gap, resulting in several students being able to end their services in the area of math. Following my time there, I spent four years as an Instructional Strategist Coach for special education mathematics, supporting all five comprehensive high schools in DMPS as well as district wide programs. I strive to find ways to make school work for every student and love to network/collaborate to come up with new and innovative strategies to meet individual needs.
Hey! My name is Dawn Johnson, and I am originally from Alabama. I received my elementary education degree at an all-girls school in Marion, AL. After graduating, I moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina where I taught 5th grade for two years and third grade for two years. My husband, who served in the military, was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood for a year, and while we lived there, I taught preschool. We then moved to El Paso, TX. While we were there, I taught fourth grade and special education. My husband recently got out of the military, and we moved to Des Moines for his new job. Last year, I was a TA at ADM CSD. I am really excited for the opportunity to work at Moulton this year! Each year I teach, I learn so much from my coworkers and students. In my free time, I am taking county dancing lessons (which I am struggling with, but loving!) and participating in escape rooms. My husband and I have escaped over 20 rooms across the US so far. Since I recently moved to Iowa, I am also looking at fun and unique experiences in the area.
Hi, I go by “Ms Sue” to the kids here at Moulton. I have been an Associate Teacher for almost 7 years here at Moulton, and I am so proud to be here. I grew up in Des Moines and graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy and went on to college to study art. I married a sailor after 2 years of college and we began a new adventure and moved to San Diego, California. My 2 children were born there and that’s when I realized that children are all unique and learn differently. I began taking classes in child development. I continued on when we transferred to Hawaii and I completed my Early Childhood education. I taught for 15 years in a program that was both parent/child participation pre-school. I helped parents understand child development and how children learn. I also, worked with our elementary school and directed the After School program for 250 children K-6. I took another giant step and took on the position of Pre-school program director for YMCA of Honolulu, Central Y in Waikiki (multi-cultural) for 7 years. I moved back to Iowa to take care of my dad and during the time my dad needed me I was a 2nd grade Associate and substitute.
My name is Marissa Knepper and I am a Special Education teacher at Moulton. This is my first FULL year of teaching. I was a Special Education teacher last year in 4th and 5th grade. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education. Go Panthers! My husband’s name is Cory and we have a labradoodle named Macy Mae. I am originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I graduated from Linn-Mar High School. One of the many things I love about teaching is helping my students reach their goals and dreams. I love seeing the “light bulb” go off in their head after working hard toward their education. The most important thing about teaching (to me) is the relationship-building between me and my students. I don’t want to be JUST a teacher to my students but a mentor, someone who can help them along the good times and the bad times, educational or non-educational. Every child deserves a chance to thrive in their lives, especially towards their goals and dreams.
I graduated from UNI in 1994 and moved to Texas for my first teaching job. I loved teaching 1, 2,and 3 grade while I was there, but moved to Denver, Colorado to be with my future husband in 2002, I taught in the classroom and was a Math Coach. My family decided to resettle back in Iowa and we moved to the Des Moines area in 2015. I have been at Moulton my whole time in Des Moines and love being a special education teacher. On my evenings, I love to take walks with my daughter and dog, Dotty, I love scary movies, going swimming in the summer and going horseback riding.
Hello! My name is Ms. Thornton, and I have taught in DMPS since 2015. I’ve known since high school that I wanted to be a teacher, and I pursued that dream at Northwestern College. I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in K-12 Special Education. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, flowers, and roller skating around Des Moines!