Special Education

Linda Brown

Special Ed Associate

E: linda.brown3@dmschools.org

Shayla Downing

Special Education Teacher

E: shayla.downing@dmschools.org

Biography

Education

  • University of Northern Iowa- Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Special Education

Teaching Experience

  • Special Education- 2 Years

Family/Hobbies

  • I live with my husband Ryan and son Hunter. I enjoy spending time with my family, golfing and shopping.

Rochelle Evans

Special Education Associate

E: Rochelle.Evans@dmschools.org

Mallory Fraaken

Special Education Teacher

E: mallory.munson@dmschools.org

Biography

Education

  • Iowa State University- Master's in Education with an endorsement in Level 2 Special Education
  • Central College- Bachelor's Degree Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and Special Education

Teaching Experience

  • Special Education- 3 Years
  • 4th Grade at Urbandale- 6 Years

Family/Hobbies

  • When I am not at school I enjoy playing slow-pitch softball, reading on my deck, taking my dog Buster for a walk, and spending time with my family.

Riley Gavin

Special Education Teacher

E: riley.gavin@dmschools.org

Lisa Kirby

Special Ed Associate

E: lisa.kirby@dmschools.org

Julie Lersten

Speech and Language Pathologist

E: julie.lersten@dmschools.org

Biography

Education

  • University of Northern Iowa- Master's Degree in Speech Pathology

Teaching Experience

  • River Woods and Moulton Speech Language Pathologist
  • Des Moines Public Schools- 15 Years

Family/Hobbies

  • I am married and have 3 children who live in Denver, Boston, and Chicago- all great places to visit!

Kristeen Varvais

Special Education Teacher

E: Kristeen.Varvais@dmschools.org

Biography

Education

  • Morningside College- Masters in Education
  • University of Nebraska- Bachelor's in Elementary Education with endorsements in Special Education Instructional Strategist I and II and Reading

Teaching Experience:

  • Instructional Strategist at River Woods- 1/2 a year
  • Co-teacher/Instructional Strategist at North High School- 13 years

Family/Hobbies

  •  In July, 2015 my husband, Tim, accepted a job offer in Des Moines so we packed up our two dogs and one cat and a moving truck full of possessions and we made the move to Des Moines! A few months later I started subbing for DMPS and discovered that it was time for me to give up teaching high school and switch to elementary. I did a few long-term positions in the district until I found my niche at River Woods Elementary. I officially became part of the staff in January, 2017.

Tim and I have two kids. Our daughter, Courtney, lives in Rochester, MN and works for the             Mayo Clinic. Our son, Austin, is an active member of the United States Air Force and lives               with his wife and 3 fur babies in Minot, ND.