Hello Jefferson Elementary Families! My name is Leslie Bechen and this is my 3rd 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 Ms. Boley and I am the Office Manager at Jefferson Elementary. I have been with DMPS since 2021 and I am so grateful to be a part of the Jefferson family. I truly enjoy seeing the student’s smiling faces throughout the day. In my spare time, you will find me looking for adventures to do with my girls, reading a book or watching old movies.
I look forward to great year with you and your family.
Please reach out with any questions!
Welcome to Jefferson Elementary! My name is Karene Curray. I have been the school counselor at Jefferson Elementary for 16 years and in education for 26 years. I was born and grew up in Des Moines. I am a DMPS graduate. I received my teaching certificate from Grand View University and my BA in Psychology and Masters in Counseling from Drake University.
I live in Bondurant with my husband, 5 kids and our dog, Waffles. My family and I enjoy camping and gardening. I am looking forward to a great year at Jefferson Elementary!
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!!
Hi Jefferson Jets! My name is nurse Amanda. This will be my first FULL year with DMPS as I started in February! I come to Jefferson with lots of experience caring for littles. I worked as a practical nurse in pediatric home care for 4 years and spent the last 5 years in the pediatric ICU as a registered nurse. My boyfriend and I have two dogs that love to be outside. Looking forward to a good year!
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 University in 2018 and worked in public health before working for DMPS. I spend most of my free time with my partner and our elementary age daughter. We enjoy spending time in nature and reading lots of books.
Hello Jefferson Families! I am Stacy Satterstrom and this is my 7th 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 love spending my time with my husband and our 3 young daughters, who keep us pretty busy! We enjoy riding our bikes on the DM trails, playing softball, attending concerts and sporting events, traveling to new places, and making memories with our extended families and friends. Looking forward to working with the wonderful families at Jefferson this year!
Hello! My name is Abbey Vitosh. I am the Special Education Consultant! 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 Master degree at Morningside University. In my free time I like to be with my family/friends, spend time outside boating, hiking, and sitting by a fire, working out, and cheering on Cyclone athletics and the Chicago Cubs. Previously I worked as a Special Education teacher in the elementary setting. I have taught a variety of levels and grade spans within the district.
Hello! My name is Michelle Volquardsen and I am the Advanced Learning Program Consultant. I have been working in Des Moines Public Schools for 10 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!
Hi my name is Madison Wilcut . I have been with DMPS for a little over 12 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 a couple years ago 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 shopping at Marshall’s .
Hello, my name is Grace Wolgamuth and this is my first year in DMPS. I graduated from Grand View University in 2021 and fell in love with books and libraries. I am so excited to be a Jet and to be a part of the great community that we have here! My goal is to encourage children to read, and help them expand their knowledge from the classroom into the library with the great selection of books that Jefferson has to offer! I love to kayak, hike, go to local sporting events, and spend time with my friends and family. OH, and of course I love to read!
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!