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School Staff

Justin Ballard

Instructional Coach /Dean of Students

My name is Justin Ballard.  My teaching career has spanned over 17 years.  I have experience teaching second through fifth grade. I received my masters in administration and am currently utilizing that degree through the Dean of Students role here at Windsor.   In addition to being the Dean, I am also an Instructional coach, dedicated to guide and assist teachers in their own learning and growth.

Outside of school, I love spending time with my wife and two boys. My boys are 17 and 19. (For my own safety, I will not disclose the age of my wife). I enjoy fishing, my dogs, reading, and riding my bike.

Liz Bennett

School Nurse

Nurse Bennett has been a nurse at Windsor for 13  years and a school nurse for 27. She is from northwest Iowa.  She graduated from University of Iowa’s nursing program in 1984. She is married with 3 grown children, all who went to Windsor. When not working, she loves to walk, play golf and spend time in Okoboji, Iowa where she grew up. She is a Hawk fan!

Melissa Bickel

Speech Therapist

Becky Bolte

4th Grade Teacher

Casey Brown

Office Manager

Hi my name is Casey Brown. I have been with DMPS for 10 years in many positions including Sub Associate, ELL Associate and SPED Associate. I have an Associates Degree from DMACC in General Studies with certifications in Management,  Accounting,  Supervision and Digital Marketing. I am enrolled at Simpson College currently working on my BA in Human Services with a Sociology Minor.  I  enjoy spending time with my family, friends and pets. I also enjoy being the Office Manager at Windsor and spending time with the students.

Sandy Byriel

Kindergarten Teacher

Saudia Cowman

1st Grade Teacher

Rebecca Damman

2nd Grade Teacher

Hello! My name is Rebecca Damman. I was born and raised in Ankeny, Iowa. At Iowa State University, I obtained my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education in the Fall of 2020. My endorsements include reading and English language arts. This is my first year teaching 2nd grade at Windsor Elementary School. I am excited to be a part of the Des Moines Public School District. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with friends and family and painting.

Kimberlyn Davis


Hi, I’m Kimberlyn. I’ve worked in the education/ early childhood field for a little over 5 years and love it! This is my first year in a school setting and I’m super excited to get to know everyone and experience something a little different!

Tricia Dyer

PE Teacher

Karen Fatino

Library Associate

Hanna Groepper

2nd Grade Teacher
P: 515-242-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

Beth Hansen


Ms. Doeden is so excited to be the school counselor at Windsor! She spends her free time reading, having coffee with friends, and hanging out with her dog Chewy.

Cathy Harned


Janelle Hartwig

SCL Special Education Teacher

Hi, my name is Janelle Hartwig. I am excited to start working at Windsor Elementary. This will be my 3rd year of teaching special education and I have loved every minute of it. I dual majored in special education and elementary education thought Grand Canyon University. I purchased my first home last year during early covid in Beaverdale and have really enjoyed being in the area. I have a dog named Luna, she’s 2.5 years old. She’s beyond spoiled! I love camping, gardening and pretty much anything outdoors. I’m looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year!

Crystal Heddinger

Special Education

Hello! My name is Crystal Heddinger. I have been at Windsor since 2016. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and recently received my Masters at Drake University. I have my degree in early childhood and elementary education with an emphasis in special education and a K-8 Reading endorsement. I have my masters in Culturally Responsive Leadership & Instruction. I have worked as a resource teacher with multiple grade levels each year. I absolutely love my job, the staff, and students here at Windsor! Go Wildcats!

Stacy Hoffman

Special Education Teacher

Stacy has lived in Des Moines, Iowa her whole life.  She went to Des Moines Public Schools and graduated from East High School in 1979.  She went to Upper Iowa University and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  She has been teaching for 18 ½  years.  I love to come to school every day and teach children.  I love my job!!

Diane Kair

Kindergarten Teacher

Lauren Kern

School Based Therapist
Class Description

Caren Krauss

Special Education Teacher
P: 515-242-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

Hello! My name is Caren Krauss and I have been teaching for over 20 years. I did my undergraduate work at Central College with a BA in Elementary education and earned a reading endorsement. I received my MA degree from Kaplan university, my ELL endorsement from the University of Missouri and my SPED endorsements from Upper Iowa. I live in West Des Moines with my husband and two cats. I really enjoy building relationships with students and their families to make learning a positive experience.

Janelle Leahy

3rd Grade Teacher

I have been with the Des Moines Public Schools since 1994, I have taught kindergarten through 3rd grade. In the year 2000 I came to Windsor.   I am also proud to say I spent 12 years as a student in Des Moines Public Schools and am a Roosevelt alum!  Go Riders!  I graduated from Grand View University with a degree in elementary education and later earned my early childhood endorsement.  I enjoy working with young children and their families.

Jordan Leckband

Music Teacher
P: 515-2425-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

Jean Maurer

SUCESS Case Manager
P: 515-242-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

Traci Merical

5th Grade Teacher

Kathy Metelman

ELL Teacher

Molly Mitchell

2nd Grade Teacher

Tuyen Nguyen


Amy Nichol

5th Grade Teacher

I have been teaching in Des Moines for 20 years. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1999 and earned my master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in 2013. This will be my ninth year at Windsor Elementary. Before teaching at Windsor, I taught special education and 2nd grade at Capitol View Elementary, and 3rd grade at Edmunds Elementary.
My husband and I live in Clive with our 3 children Adison, Grace, and Brady, and our dog Dash.

Scott Nichols


Hi Everyone!

My name is Scott Nichols and I am now in my 10th year as principal of Windsor Elementary. It seems crazy how fast the time has gone! Prior to Windsor, I was a Dean of Students for two years at River Woods Elementary in Des Moines and I was a classroom teacher in Knoxville, Iowa and Humboldt, Iowa for 15 years before coming to DMPS. I have a Bachelor’s degree for Iowa State University in Elementary Education, I have a Mater’s Degree from Drake University in ETLL – Curriculum, and a Specialist’s Degree from Drake University in Educational Leadership.

I have a wife, Stacie, and two children – one in college and one that is out of school and just got married this last summer. I am very active in the community through the Lion’s Club and I was also a Boy Scout Leader for 12 years. In my spare time I enjoy watching Iowa State, reading, playing cards, and bowling – or at least trying to bowl.

Class Description

Asia Olson

1st Grade Teacher
Class Description

Kathy Posekany


Jacqui Powers

Special Education Teacher

Jacqui joined the Windsor staff in 1999 as a Resource Teacher.  She graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in elementary education with an emphasis in special education.  She received her master’s  degree in learning disabilities from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1987.  Jacqui lives in Urbandale with her husband and has three children.

Kate Rodriguez

4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Rodriguez graduated from Iowa State University with a teaching degree. After college she joined the Peace Corps in Costa Rica.  In Costa Rica, Mrs. Rodriguez taught environmental education and English in public elementary schools. She has been a teacher in Des Moines since 1999 and at Windsor since 2007.  In Des Moines she has taught Spanish, 4th grade, and 5th grade.  Mrs. Rodriguez also earned her Master’s degree in Education from Viterbo University in 2010.

Alisa Roth


I have been teaching at Windsor since 2012. I grew up in Hudson, IA and later received my BA in Elementary Education with endorsements in special education, reading, and coaching from Drake University, where I also played volleyball. I love spending time with family and friends and being active.

Juli Smith

Kindergarten Teacher
P: 515-242-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

Welcome to kindergarten! My name is Juli Smith, and I have been teaching with Des Moines Public Schools since 2005. I graduated from The University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education. I have a reading endorsement, as well as, early childhood education and early childhood special education endorsements. Before coming to Windsor, I taught a wide range of grade levels including preschool, kindergarten, first, second, fourth, and fifth grade students.

Kathleen Warren

Art Teacher

Rachel Zimmerman

3rd Grade Teacher
P: 515-242-8440 | F: 515-323-8648 | E:

I graduated Iowa State University in December of 2017, and this will be my fourth year at Windsor. I’m originally from Harlan, IA where I grew up on my family’s dairy farm alongside my twin sister, Emily, and my younger brother, Josh. In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing guitar, being active outside, and spending time with my friends and family. I just recently started my master’s program at Drake, so I’m excited to keep learning and look forward to this school year!