Hello! My name is Andrew Anderson, and this is my second year with Jefferson Elementary as the School Social Worker. I received my B.A. in Sociology from Drake University and master’s in social work from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the special education team here at Jefferson, I was the Special Education Case Manager for the FOCUS program within the district. My wife and I have two wonderful boys (4 and 19 months) who enjoy playing outside and learning new things. I was born and raised in Wisconsin which means I’m an avid Wisconsin sports fan and enjoy watching and attending as many games as I can.
Hello Jefferson Elementary Families! My name is Leslie Bechen and this is my 2nd year at Jefferson Elementary as the Success Case Manager. I was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa and I graduated from Simpson College. In my free time, you can find me cheering on my children in their various sporting activities.
The Success Program is here to work with students and families who need support in the areas of behavior, attendance and education. I can assist with referrals for basic needs, housing, parenting skills and mental health. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. -Christopher Robin
My name is Rhonda Davis and I am a Special Ed Associate at Jefferson. I have been at Jefferson for 14 years, I have had several job titles during that time, Special Education is my love! I have a husband Bill, and three children who have been students at Jefferson. Go Jets!!
My name is Joey Phelps and I started at Jefferson during the 21-22 school year. I received my B.S. in Biology from Iowa State in 2018 and worked in public health before working for DMPS. I spend most of my free time with my partner and our 7 year old daughter. We enjoy spending time in nature and reading lots of books.
Hello Jefferson Jets! I am Stacy Satterstrom and this is my 6th year in Des Moines working as a Speech-Language Pathologist with DMPS. I currently work with children 3-years old through 8th grade at schools on the Southside of Des Moines. Prior to moving to Des Moines, I was a school-based SLP in the Chicago area for 10 years. I am a graduate of Marquette University (B.S. – speech pathology and audiology ’05) and Southern Illinois University (M.S. speech-language pathology ’07).
When away from school, I spend my time with my husband and our 3 young daughters, who keep us pretty busy! We enjoy riding our bikes on the DM trails, attending concerts and sporting events, traveling, and spending time with our families and friends. Looking forward to working with the wonderful families at Jefferson again this year!
Hello! My name is Abbey Vitosh and I am new this year to the Jefferson team! I grew up in Iowa City as an Iowa State fan and moved back to Ames for College. I completed my undergraduate degree at Iowa State and my masters degree at Morningside University. In my free time I like to be with my family/friends, spend time outside, working out, and cheering on Cyclone athletics and the Cubs. This is my first year as a Special Education consultant! I previously worked as a Special Education teacher and have taught a variety of levels and elementary grade spans within the district. I am excited to join the staff and family at Jefferson this year!
Hello! My name is Michelle Volquardsen and I am the Advanced Learning Program Consultant. I have been working in Des Moines Public Schools for 8 years. I taught 6th and 8th grade science at Hoyt Middle School for 6 years. During that time, I earned my masters from Drake University in Culturally Responsive Leadership. I also worked toward my endorsement in Gifted & Talented at Drake. That endorsement allowed me to pursue my current position in the Advanced Learning Program. Outside of school, I love to spend time with my family, go on walks, and learn new things. I have two toddler girls that keep my husband and I very busy!
Madison Wilcut (Formally Woods)
Hi my name is Madison Woods. I have been with DMPS for a little over 10 years now. I worked at Metro Kids as the Assistant Enrichment Leader for only one month shy of 10 years then joined my work family upstairs as a Special Education Associate. Which by the way I am loving it ! When I am not at work you can find me curled up in a corner reading, coloring, or running across the street for a snow cone.
My name is Giovanna Zavell and I am your Community School Coordinator! I split my time between Jefferson and Wright Elementary Schools. I am excited to begin a full school year and support our students, families and staff. I am originally from Chicago and graduated from Drake University (Go Bulldogs!) in 2018 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and English. Outside of work, I enjoy taking long walks, reading and spending time with my friends. I hope to meet all of you this school year and continue to grow our Jefferson Jets community!