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Heather Snopek

Special Education Associate

Emily Alexander

Special Education Teacher

Gregory Halterman

Special Education Associate

Marisa DeVito

2nd Grade Teacher

Hi! My name is Marisa DeVito and I am very excited to be teaching 2nd grade this year at Samuelson! I recently graduated from Drake University with a BSE in Elementary Education with a Reading endorsement. I also have a minor in Leadership Development.

 I am originally from the Kansas City area (Missouri side) and am now proud to call Des Moines my new home. In my free time, I love to travel and spend time with friends, family, and my two puppies, Dolly and Toby. I am looking forward to working with all of the Samuelson students and staff and am ready for a great year of learning ahead! 

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.

Kaitlin Clough

1st Grade Teacher

Hi!  My name is Kaitlin Clough and I am thrilled to be teaching 1st grade at Samuelson Elementary!  I grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa and then attended Iowa State University for my undergraduate degree.  In May of 2017 I graduated from Drake University with a Masters of Science in Education degree.  I previously taught 2nd and 1st grades for the Marion Independent District, before moving to Des Moines where I live with my husband Ben and our dog, Ginny.  I love to spend time with my family and friends, bake, watch movies, and go out to eat at new restaurants!  I love working with children and helping them grow emotionally and academically, so please know that I look forward to coming to work each day to help them do exactly that!

Savannah Stuckmayer

Community School Coordinator & Metro Kids Care

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!

Bayley Anshutz


Welcome to Samuelson! My name is Bayley Anshutz. This is my fifth year teaching kindergarten at Samuelson. I love watching the kindergartners learn and grow throughout the year! I received my bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. Go Cyclones! I have endorsements in reading and math.  When I’m not at school I love to travel with my husband Frank, garden, spend time with my family and friends, try new restaurants, and go for walks with my dog Mookie. I look forward to working with the youngest members of Samuelson Elementary!

Denine Larson


Hi! My name is Denine Larson.  I am so excited to be a part of Samuelson Elementary as a Reading Interventionist.  I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  I received my Master’s Degree at Emporia State University as a Master Teacher/Reading Specialist in 2008 and Licensure for Building Level Administrator in 2014.  In addition, I earned National Board Certification in Literacy in 2004 and renewed again in 2014.  I have a passion for learning and work hard to instill a love of learning in my students.

I am married and have two daughters attending the University of Kansas.  My husband and I moved to Des Moines this August from Kansas City where I have been a Reading Specialist for the past 13 years.  Previously I taught 2nd and 3rd grade for 7 years.  We look forward to exploring all Des Moines has to offer.  Establishing relationships with students and families is a priority to me and I await the opportunity to connect with the Samuelson community!