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Caren Cousins

3rd Grade Teacher

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.

Emma Mrvoljak

ELL Teacher

Hello! My name is Emma Mrvoljak and I am very excited to be a part of the Samuelson team this year. This will be my first year at Samuelson and my second year of teaching. Last year, I taught Kindergarten at a charter school in Minneapolis, Prodeo Academy. I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and fell in love with Des Moines while attending Drake University for my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. I graduated in Spring of 2017 with endorsements in Reading and ELL. I am very excited to be back in Des Moines.

When I am not at school, I like to spend my time reading, cooking, exercising, and spending time with my friends and family. I also love to travel and experience all that the world has to offer by experiencing, understanding, and appreciating different cultures. My favorite places that I have traveled to have been Croatia, Bosnia, Finland, and Puerto Rico.

Kayla Haskin

Special Education Teacher

Hi, I am Kayla Haskin. I grew up in Dubuque, Iowa and lived there until I went to college at Iowa State University. After college, I started my teaching career in 2011 at Woodward Academy in Woodward, Iowa. I taught middle and high school kids who were in special education. I also taught a GED course to help students earn their degree. After a short time there, I came to the Des Moines Public Schools District. This will be my 9th year working in the district and my first full year here at Samuelson. Since being in Des Moines I have taught at the elementary level working with students in Special Education. At home I live with my husband, our two children, and two dogs. When I have free time I like to relax on our back patio and just and listen to nature. I love music, learning, and teaching. I’m looking forward to working with the amazing Samuelson staff and families again!

Korey Hauenstein

5th Grade Teacher

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.

Cynthia Prior

Strings Teacher

Kathryn Olson

Instructional Coach

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.

Victoria Story

Special Education Teacher
P: (515)242-8441 | F: (515)323-8642 | E: