Hello! My name is Sarah Carter and I am an instructional coach and behavior strategist at Jackson. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2010 with my B.S. in Elementary Education with endorsements in Social Studies and Coaching. I began working for Des Moines Public Schools as a substitute in January 2011, and was later hired full time as a 5th grade teacher. In 2017, I graduated from Drake University with a Masters Degree in Culturally Proficient Leadership and Instruction and an endorsement in Reading/Language Arts as part of the DMPS Blue contract. I transferred to Jackson Elementary in 2016, and I am so grateful that I did—the staff and students here are welcoming, caring, and so fun to be around!
Hello! My name is Sierra Chelsvig. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2015 with my B.A. in elementary education. I have endorsements in Reading and English/Language Arts. This will be my fourth year at Jackson Elementary but my first year as an academic interventionist! I am so excited and lucky to be able to work with students in all grades! I love Jackson and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else!
· Central College – Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Minor in Special Education/Instructional Strategist
· Drake University – Master’s Degree in progress
· Morris Elementary 2003(Autism Self-Contained Classroom & 1st Grade Teacher)
· Monroe Elementary-1st Grade Teacher & Instructional Coach
· Jackson Elementary- Instructional Coach
Student Environment/Class Description
· I started at Jackson Elementary in 2019 with our fantastic students, teachers and staff. As a team, we are improving student learning to be prepared for this 21st Century World. We want students and staff to feel empowered to learn throughout their school day. We want students to challenge and push each other thinking. As a team of Jackson Stars we are all Learners and Leaders!
My name is Suzie Curry and I have been a speech pathologist at Jackson since I joined the district in 2005. Jackson is the one school that I have consistently worked at since joining Des Moines Public Schools. This is “home” to me! I enjoy working with the kids and their families to help them overcome their communication difficulties. The greatest work accomplishment for me is to know that I have made a difference in a child’s life, no matter how great or small. I live in Johnston, with my husband and our 2 awesome daughters who are ages 7 and 10.
Hello Friends! My name is Ms. Kala and I am the SUCCESS case manager here at Jackson Elementary. I have worked with children in some capacity for the past 15 years either in child care or social work. I have a BA in both Psychology and Sociology from Iowa State University, Go Cyclones! I was born and raised in Des Moines but I moved back here from Atlanta, and later Charlotte in January of 2018. I absolutely did not miss the cold but I did miss home. In my spare time I enjoy watching reality TV, spending time with my friends and family, and everything Harry Potter and Beyoncé. I am so excited to get to know all of you. Let’s have a great year!
Hello! My name is Katie Pfannebecker. I received my BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics from UNI in December of 2004. I attended school while I was teaching to add a reading endorsement, and again later to get my Reading Recovery Certification.
I have held many roles at Jackson Elementary since I was hired in 2006. I have taught 4th grade, 5th grade, 1st grade, and been an Instructional Coach before settling into my current role as an interventionist.
Student Environment/Class Description
My role as an interventionist gives me the privilege to work with a variety of students ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade. I provide small group instruction throughout the day that supports children where they are. The goal is to give them an extra boost of instruction that will help close gaps in their learning. Groups are short term and fluctuate throughout the year. I strive to create a community of learners in which students feel loved and challenged to work hard. I want them to love reading and see that hard work pays off.
Hi! My name is Cindy Reighard. My teaching career started with my education from Drake University. Later, I attended Viterbo University to complete my Masters of Education. I completed my Reading Recovery training in 1999.
After graduating from Drake University, I started my teaching experiences with Des Moines Public Schools in 1990. Des Moines Public Schools has given me many opportunities to teach in several of the elementary schools.
I’m thankful for all the moments I’ve had teaching, learning and celebrating our great opportunities to enhance our minds and to realize the strength and relevance all are created with. I hope to enhance other people’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses by walking the path of learning together. I want the students to know that they have great potential and value.
Hi, Everybody! My name is Marla Sobel, and I am a professional school counselor. I work at Jackson full-time, and I have been lucky enough to be serving Jackson students, families, and staff for almost twenty-eight years (since 1992)! I have been employed by the Des Moines Public Schools since 1986, when I began my educational career as a classroom teacher for the first five years in the district. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa in 1986 and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Drake University in 1992.
I believe that ALL children have the ability to learn and to become productive, contributing, successful members of society. They also have the ability develop satisfying relationships and to manage their lives/feelings in a way that can bring them joy, fulfillment, and positive regard for themselves and others. It is my job as a counselor to help children learn and develop the skills for social-emotional-behavioral management to help them reach those goals.
EVERY child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. EVERY child deserves to have a voice. EVERY child needs to be taught how to effectively manage the challenging ups/downs of real life. I hope to touch their lives in a positive way as I work with them in their classrooms, small groups, or individually.