Hello! My name is Jennifer Butz. I have been teaching in Des Moines since 2008. I earned my undergraduate degree from The University of Iowa in 1999 and my graduate degree from The University of Oklahoma in 2004. I taught 1st and 2nd grade in North Carolina for two years, 1st/2nd grade Multiage in Mannheim, Germany for five years, for the first four years in Des Moines I taught 3rd grade, and have taught 5th grade for the past six years. I’m so excited to be a part of Samuelson’s staff as this is where I began my educational path as a kindergartener! I look forward to instilling a love of learning in children, and challenge them to read, read, read! I love teaching because of those “AH-HA” moments, and when students make a connection to the real world while in a lesson. I look forward to being a part of each child’s educational path!
Hello, my name is Melissa Martin. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching fifth grade at Samuelson for seven years. My first Samuelson students are graduating in May! Before landing here, I enjoyed being a 6th grade teacher at Harding Middle School, also in DMPS. I grew up in Des Moines, attending Woodlawn, Meredith, and Hoover. In December 1999, I graduated from Iowa State University. It’s fun to teach in my old neighborhood. Currently, my husband, son, daughter, and I live in Johnston. We enjoy traveling, playing outside, biking, gardening, and exploring.
In December 2017 I will graduate from Drake University! I’m earning my Master’s Degree in Culturally Responsive Leadership and Instruction. This will not take me out of my fifth grade classroom, it will enhance my teaching to benefit my students. My students know I hold high expectations of them and believe in their success. I value each student’s culture and uniqueness while I also help each child feel like they fit in. I feel incredibly blessed to have the best job in the world. I love spending my days with the amazing children of Samuelson Elementary.