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.

Fatma Bachelani

Special Education Associate

E: fatma.bachelani@dmschools.org

Bethany Canestraro

Speech and Language Pathologist

E: bethany.canestraro@dmschools.org

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".

 

Jillian Hansen

Academic Interventionist

E: jillian.hansen@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello! My name is Jillian Hansen. I am the K-3rd Math Interventionist at Wright Elementary. I recently graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Elementary Education and Minor in Technology. This is my first year at Wright Elementary and I am very excited to be part of this team! When I am not at school, my hobbies consist of reading, exercising, and enjoying the outdoors with my family and friends.

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

 

Zen Hogan

Therapy Dog

E: barbara.hogan@dmschools.org

Biography

My name is Zen, and I love being the therapy dog at Wright! I am a five year old Labradoodle and hanging out with kids is my favorite thing to do! I completed 18 weeks of obedience training, including advanced and specialized obedience. With the support of my family and lots of practice at home, I became a certified therapy dog. When I am not at school helping students feel calm and happy, I enjoy hanging out with my family, going for walks, and eating Milk Bones.

Instagram: @zenthetherapydog

Jennifer King

Special Education Teacher

E: jennifer.king@dmschools.org

Courtney Nichol

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

Erica Rugama

Special Education Teacher

E: erica.rugama@dmschools.org

Biography

Twitter:  @ericarugama

Faunda Russell

Special Education Associate

E: faunda.russell@dmschools.org

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