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Tai Le

Custodial Staff

Jill Cory

Art Teacher

Welcome to the Samuelson Art Studio! My name is Jill Cory, and I have proudly been with Des Moines Public Schools for many years. I graduated from Iowa State University in Elementary Education and Art. I recently graduated from Drake University with a Masters’ Degree in Culturally Responsive Leadership and Instruction. I love my role as the art teacher, because I have the opportunity to work with all of our wonderful and creative students. My son recently graduated from Iowa State University, and my daughter will be a junior at Valley. The three of us cheer for the Cyclones, Cowboys, and Yankees. We also have fun cooking together. I am happy and honored to be serving the students and their families at Samuelson Elementary.

Rachel Venard

4th Grade Teacher

Hello! My name is Rachel Venard-Konchalski.  I am so proud to be part of Samuelson Elementary.  I have been a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools since 2008.  I have been a substitute teacher, ELL teacher, and a 4th grade teacher.  I received my teaching degree from Upper Iowa University in Elementary with Endorsements in English/ Language Arts, ESL/ELL, Reading, Social Studies, and Middle School Education.  I enjoy learning about history, reading, and spending time with my pets.   I am looking forward to another fantastic school year.

Caren Cousins

3rd Grade Teacher

William Morris

1st Grade Teacher

Abby Wiechmann

Speech Pathologist

Hi! My name is Abby Wiechmann and I am the Speech-Language Pathologist here at Samuelson. This is my first year with the Des Moines Public Schools and I am excited to be joining this great community! I previously graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with my Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I will be serving four schools within the district including one preschool, two elementary schools, and one middle school. My husband and I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and trying out different ice cream shops in the area! I am looking forward to a great school year!

Andrew Sowatzke

Band Teacher

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.

Diana Garcia

Building Associate

Kathryn Olson

Instructional Coach