Instructional Support

Jill Alessio

Gifted and Advanced Learning Consultant

E: jill.alessio@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello, my name is Jill Alessio and I am Wright’s Gifted and Advanced Learning Consultant.  I have been with Des Moines Public Schools for 25 years.  I have served students and staff as a classroom teacher, Math Leader, Instructional Coach, and Dean of Students.  I am married with three children.  I enjoy family time, vacationing, and advocating for children.  I look forward to getting to know the Wright Community and learning how I can serve them.

Angie Bates

Special Education Associate

E: angie.bates@dmschools.org

Whitney Derga

Speech and Language Pathologist

E: whitney.derga@dmschools.org

Biography

I will be serving as the speech-language pathologist at Wright and Morris Elementary Schools for this upcoming year. I grew up in the small town of Farley, Iowa (near Dubuque) and attended undergrad and graduate school at St. Ambrose in Davenport, IA. I completed my year of internships in Nashville and graduated in May. As wonderful as Tennessee is, I am so excited to be back in Iowa and working in the Des Moines Public Schools. I am an outdoor person and am always up for a new adventure!

Melissa Dohlman

K-2 Intervention

E: melissa.dohlman@dmschools.org

Biography

Hi!  My name is Melissa Dohlman, and I teach Reading Recovery and Reading Intervention at Wright.  This is my first year at Wright Elementary, and I am loving it!  I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004. This is my 12th year of teaching, and I have spent my years teaching Reading Recovery, 1st and 2nd grade.  I have a passion for literacy and hope that it shows in my teaching, and encourages my students to have a passion for literacy as well.  I am married to a middle school teacher, and we have four children- ages 10, 8, 5, and 2.  I don't seem to have a lot of spare time on my hands, but I love watching the Hawkeyes, reading, and being a "dance mom".

 

Kathleen Hentges

Special Education Associate

E: kathleen.hentges@dmschools.org

Biography

I have been a special education associate at Wright since 2013. I love being able to spend time in all grade levels and specials classes! I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BS in Public Administration, and I am currently working towards my Masters. In my spare time, I love spending time with my two little boys, my husband Shawn, our cats, and our chocolate lab Jarvis.

Barbara Hogan

Counselor

E: barbara.hogan@dmschools.org

Biography

 

Hello! My name is Barbara Hogan and this is my second year at Wright. I have a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) and a Master's degree in Counseling from Drake University. I grew up in Des Moines and have been with DMPS since 2012. My husband Michael and I have a one year old daughter, Georgia, and are expecting our second child early this spring! We have two dogs, Duke and Zen, and a cat named Bruce. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and being outdoors. I am looking forward to a great year!

Blog:  www.mrshoganschoolcounselor.com

 

Courtney Jensen

Instructional Coach

E: courtney.jensen@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello! My name is Courtney Jensen and I am so excited to be Wright's instructional coach! I joined the Wright team in 2012 and have since taught fourth and fifth grade. Wright Elementary is such a special place and I love being a part of this amazing community! I'm from Iowa City and I have my B.A. from The University of Iowa (Go, Hawks!). I am also pursuing my Masters degree in Literacy Education from UNI. When I am not at school I can be found running, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading, and hanging out with my chocolate lab, Lola.

Twitter:  @JensenFab5th

Jennifer King

Special Education Teacher

E: jennifer.king@dmschools.org

Erica Rugama

Special Education Teacher

E: erica.rugama@dmschools.org

Biography

Twitter:  @ericarugama

Heather Saville

Special Education Teacher

E: heather.saville@dmschools.org

Biography

Hi! My name is Heather Saville. I joined the Wright Elementary team in 2011 after spending two years in Waukee as a special education associate. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in coaching. I am currently working on obtaining my master’s degree in Special Education from Morningside College. We recently adopted a black lab puppy named Remy who keeps us very busy! I am the Varsity Basketball Cheer coach at Norwalk High School.  In my free time, I like to run, read and spend time with my family and friends.  I also spend a lot of time at the race track, in Knoxville, where my husband races sprint cars.

Twitter:  @MrsSavilledmps

 

Sonja Wastvedt

Interventionist

E: sonja.wastvedt@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello!  My name is Sonja Wastvedt.  I am the Reading and Math Interventionist at Wright Elementary.  I moved to Des Moines in 2013 from Pennsylvania where I taught for 10 years.  During those years I taught Gifted and Talented, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades and was a Literacy Coach.  Previously,  I taught 3rd and 6th grades in North Carolina and 1st grade in Montana.  My undergraduate degree is from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and my Masters degree as a Reading Specialist is from Westminster College in Pennsylvania.  I have also lived in Rochester, New York and Lolland, Denmark.  I am married and have 3 children.  In my free time I like to garden, swim, read, cook and play my harp.

Twitter:  @wrightreader