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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!

Denie Rew

1st Grade Teacher

My name is Denie Rew.  I am so honored and proud to be a member of the Samuelson community!  I have been a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools since 2003.  During my career I have worked in preschool, home intervention, and classroom.  I received my teaching degree from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!!) in the areas of Early Childhood Education and Special Education, and I am currently earning my reading specialist endorsement.  I am always excited for new learning opportunities and growing as a teacher.

I currently reside in Urbandale with my AMAZING family!  My family includes my husband Jason, my daughter Dennan, my son Dayne, and our sweet pug, J.T.  Our family loves going camping, playing sports, and watching our beloved Cyclones.

My goal is to always provide a fun, caring, and positive learning environment for every child that enters my classroom!

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.

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.

Tyne Christensen

Office Manager

Hi there! My name is Tyne Christensen. Students refer to me as Miss Tyne. When walking into Samuelson I am the first face you see. I try my best to get to know each and every one of you. Building a good relationship with Samuelson families is very important to me.

I started with the Des Moines Public Schools in 2001. My positions within the district have included Child Caregiver, Special Education Associate, and Office Manager. When I am not at school you can find me fishing. I love to fish! I also enjoy camping, singing, and watching sports (Denver Broncs, Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Cubs). Once I even tried out for the hit TV show “The Voice”. That was an exciting experience!

I am so glad that I am involved in such a wonderful community. Our school diversity is something I am very grateful for. I look forward to continue getting to know you and your family.

Matthew Lauer

Custodial Chief

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!

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! 

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!

Alyson Waldorf

Special Education Teacher