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Gregory Halterman

Special Education Associate

Katherine Baker

Kindergarten Teacher

Hi!  My name is Katie Baker.  I began teaching for Des Moines Public Schools in 2000.  I taught 2nd grade for many years and currently teach Kindergarten.  I’m married and we have two teenage daughters.  I love gardening indoors and out, spending time with family, and have a passion for reading. Looking forward to another fantastic year at Samuelson.

Lisa Weatherall

2nd Grade Teacher

My name is Lisa Weatherall and I love teaching second grade!  I attended Iowa State University to earn my bachelor’s degree in education and later attended Graceland University for my master’s degree in Education.  I began my career in Des Moines Public Schools at Moore Elementary where I taught special education for 4 years before becoming a second grade teacher.  I taught at Woodlawn for a year before we switched to the Samuelson Building.  I enjoy working in the Beaverdale neighborhood and I love the diversity of our students.  My husband Jim and I have three teenage children, who keep us very busy. We spend most of our free time involved in their athletic or school activities.

Samantha Schmitt

Special Education Associate

Brooke Wehrman


My name is Brooke Wehrman. I have been the school nurse at Samuelson Elementary since 2017. Prior to becoming a school nurse I worked at ChildServe for 11 years. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand View University in 2008. I am also a Certified Pediatric Nurse. I love being a pediatric nurse and helping children. I am married and have wonderful and courageous twin daughters who keep me on my toes.

Alyson Waldorf

Special Education Teacher

Lyndsey Zobrist

2nd Grade Teacher

Hi! My name is Lyndsey Vandello. This is my fifth year teaching, but my first year teaching 2nd grade. Prior to teaching at Samuelson, I taught 6th grade for two years and 4th grade for two years in Ottumwa. I love working with kiddos of all ages and learning just as much from them as they do from me!

I attended the University of Iowa, which means I am a Hawkeye fan! I love to read and watch movies, as well as spend time with friends and family. Of my two brothers and two sisters, I am the oldest. My youngest siblings are 9 and 10, so I travel frequently to see them and we have lots of sleep overs! I recently adopted a four month old puppy who loves to go for walks and cuddle on the couch.

I am so excited for this year at Samuelson! I look forward to working with your students and learning and growing alongside them!

Carrie Weers


Hi.  My name is Carrie Weers.  This is my 24th year in the Des Moines Public Schools.  I started with Des Moines Public Schools in 1995. I have worked at McCombs Middle school as a 6th grade Reading and Math teacher, and served as a school counselor at Park Avenue and River Woods Elementary.  I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education including a Minor in Mathematics, and Reading and Coaching Endorsements.  I received my Master’s Degree from Drake University in Elementary School Counseling.   I live with my husband and two daughters who are 16 and 19.  I love to spend time at my daughters’ activities, boating, and reading.  I look forward to working with your student and family.

Ashley Forret

ELL Teacher

Hello! My name is Ashley Forret. This is my 3rd year at Samuelson teaching ELL. I have been teaching for 10 years and previously taught 4th and 5th grade in a different district.I grew up in West Des Moines and then attended Iowa State University with a degree in Elementary Education. I then went on to get my Masters from Morningside.

I am married and I have two sons. My oldest is 2 years old and my youngest is 4 months old. In our free time we enjoy spending the summer on the golf course and lake. In the fall and winder time we like to watch football and cheer on the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.

Heather Silberhorn

Special Education Associate

Hi!  My name is Heather Silberhorn and I am a Special Education Associate here at Samuelson.  This is my first year with the school district, although I have many years of experience in Early Childhood Development.  I have a degree from Iowa State in a non-education field, but have discovered I really enjoy working with children more than my first career choice.

I am married and we have three children who attend Meredith Middle School and Hoover High School.  Go Huskies!  They are all busy with school activities so you’ll often find us cheering them on during their games, enjoying an orchestra concert, or working the concession stands.  All three attended Samuelson so I am excited to be “back” at Samuelson this year working with the great students and staff.