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Leah Sengbusch

3rd Grade Teacher

Hi! My name is Leah Sengbusch.  I am so proud to be a part of Samuelson!  I have been a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools since 2007.  I have taught both 3rd and 4th grade during my career.  I received my teaching degree from Iowa State University in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Language Arts.  I am always excited for new learning opportunities and growing as a teacher. I am certified in Level 1 and 2 for the International Baccalaureate Program and have been to trainings for Responsive Classroom, Project Based Learning, CGI, and Schools for Rigor. I was the VFW State of Iowa Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2018 and am very proud of that honor. I am always looking for new opportunities to learn. I hope to pass on my passion for learning to my students, as well as, showing them that mistakes are awesome opportunities to help us grow.

I enjoy spending time with my son and daughter. I love fishing, hiking, camping, cooking, walking my dog, and watching movies.

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.

Mark Battista

4th Grade Teacher

Leanne Lewis

Kindergarten Teacher

Hi! My name is Leanne Lewis. This will be my first year teaching Kindergarten at Samuelson and I am very excited about it! I previously taught Kindergarten in England for five years! I love teaching and can’t wait to help each and every one of my students develop a love for learning and to discover new interests. When I am not at school, I love spending time with my husband, taking my dog Soshi for walks, cooking, kayaking, and traveling the world. My favorite place that I have visited so far is Japan. I am looking forward to a fun-filled year!

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!

Jennifer Butz

5th Grade Teacher

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!

Jaclyn Brees

Instructional Coach

Hello!  I feel honored to have the privilege of working with the staff and students at Samuelson Elementary School.  I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Central College and my master’s degree from Drake University.  I started my career at Southeast Polk School as a Special Education teacher and then as a 6th grade classroom teacher.  I came to Des Moines Public Schools as an Instructional Coach.  I have worked at Brubaker Elementary, Smouse Opportunity School, and Samuelson.  I live with my husband and two children.  I enjoy being outside, yoga, movies, and books.

Kimberly Hofbauer

Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Kim Hofbauer.  I am proud to be a 1st grade teacher here at Samuelson.  I have been teaching first graders for over 20 years.  It’s been a joyous career that I truly love.  I hope to inspire my students to find excitement as they begin their journey of learning. I have 2 boys, Christian and Elijah. Christian is a senior at Iowa and Elijah is a sophmore at Waukee High School.  I enjoy cooking, bargain shopping, farmer’s markets, reading biographies and walking my dog, Marley.  I look forward to making positive connections with my students and their families.

Amy Wiegmann

Associate Principal

Hi! My name is Amy Wiegmann. I am extremely excited to be a member of the Samuelson staff. My journey in the Des Moines Schools started in 1991. I have worked in multiple positions including a special education teacher, behavior interventionist, behavior support teacher, dean of students, associate principal,  school improvement leader and elementary principal. I am married, have a son who is attending DMACC, and have three grandchildren with one on the way. I love to play volleyball, garden, go on walks with my dog, and cook. I look forward to serving the students and families at Samuelson!

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.