Why Work for Des Moines Public Schools?

DMPS. IOWA’S LEADER IN EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION

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DMPS is proud to be Iowa’s largest provider of public education and one of Des Moines’ top employers.

Not only do you get a career with a competitive salary and great benefits, but at Des Moines Public Schools you will be part of the most innovative school district in Iowa with more choices for students and families than anywhere in the state.

Des Moines Public Schools may be the biggest provider of public education in Iowa, but we take anything but a one-size-fits-all approach to educating our students. In fact, families in Des Moines can find more educational options than anyplace in the state, including:

  • Advanced Placement. Central Academy, attended by students from 39 central Iowa middle and high schools, is Iowa’s top AP program, dedicated to providing a challenging curriculum. The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development placed Central Academy “in a class by itself” as a college preparatory school. In addition, DMPS is in the midst of a significant expansion of AP course offerings throughout all five high schools, providing thousands of student access to rigorous and advanced courses.
  • International Baccalaureate. Home to the only IB program in Iowa, DMPS offers this world-class educational opportunity at four elementary schools (Hubbell, Park Avenue, Stowe, and Walnut Street), four middle schools (Brody, Goodrell, Meredith, and Merrill) and Hoover High School. In addition, Central Academy is currently the only school in Iowa to offer the renowned International Baccalaureate diploma.
  • Central Campus. Find learning opportunities in several high-skill areas, including graphic design, broadcasting & film, culinary arts, fashion, and automotive technology. In addition, DMPS is home to one of only three high school aviation programs certified by the FAA and has the largest marine biology of any non-coastal high school.
  • Higher Education Partnerships. Des Moines Public Schools’ proximity to Drake University, Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College has created numerous partnership and collaborative efforts that support and educate DMPS teachers and administrators.
  • Downtown School. The Downtown School, located at Central Campus, is a national model where students learn in multiage classes. The school has been nationally recognized for its innovative education program and as a great option for working parents.
  • Montessori. Cowles Montessori School is the only public Montessori program in Iowa, serving students in grades K-8. Students learn in multiage classrooms and children’s natural curiosities are explored to the fullest as they advance at their own pace.
  • Traditional Programs. Phillips Elementary School has a dress code and features increased emphasis on basic academic skills. The school also stresses personal respect, responsibility and discipline as cornerstones of a place where academic achievement can be maximized.
  • Alternative Programs. Future Pathways, Scavo Alternative High School, Orchard Place, Casady Alternative High School, and McKee Alternative Middle School offer programming for students who may be struggling with attendance requirements at a comprehensive school or have other personal issues and need alternative programming.
  • Ruby Van Meter and Smouse Schools. Ruby Van Meter School (serving high school-age children) and Smouse Opportunity School (serving elementary-age children) provide high quality instruction to physically and mentally disabled students.



When you work for Des Moines Public Schools, you will be part of a group of educators and staff who are recognized as being among the very best in their fields. These are just some of the awards and honors they have earned in recent years:

  • 2016 AP Teacher of the Year
  • 2016 Social Studies Teacher of the Year
  • 2016 ADK Excellence in Education Award
  • 2016 ISPRA Communicator of the Year
  • 2016 DMR Coach of the Year
  • 2016 5-Time Energy Star Partner of the Year
  • 2016 PBS Tech Innovator of the Year
  • 2016 MLK Make a Difference Award
  • 2016 ADBOI Meritorious Budget Award
  • 2016 Science Bound High School of the Year
  • 5 High Schools on the Iowa AP Index
  • 2016 NSPRA Golden Achievement Winner
  • 2015 DMR Creative of the Year
  • 2015 Iowa Teacher of the Year – Clemencia Spizzirri, Merrill Middle School
  • 2015 Magna Award, National School Board Association
  • 2015 District of Distinction Award, District Administration magazine
  • 2015 Iowa Alternative Educator of the Year – Randy Botkin, Scavo High School
  • 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching finalists
  • 2014 Prostart Educator of Excellence Award
  • 2014 Iowa School Social Worker of the Year by the Iowa School Social Workers Association
  • 2014 Four Rotary Educators of the Year
  • 2014 Rising Star by the Journalism Education Association
  • 2014 Two Finalists for Iowa Teacher of the Year
  • 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching winner
  • 2013 Dr. Robert E. and Phyllis M. Yager Exemplary Teaching Recognition Award
  • 2013 Steve France Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2012 Finalist for Iowa Teacher of the Year
  • 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching finalists
  • 2011 James Madison Fellowship for the state of Iowa
  • 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching winner
  • 2010 Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching by the Mathematical Association of America
  • 2010 Excellence in Education Award runner-up
  • 2010 Toyota International Teacher Program honoree
  • 2010 James Bryant Conant Award in High School Teaching.
  • 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching finalists
  • Art Educator of the Year by the Art Educators of Iowa
  • Outstanding Secondary Art Educator by the Art Educators of Iowa
  • 2009 Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Junior High/Middle School Mathematics Teaching
  • Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for the school district’s comprehensive annual financial report.
  • Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year for the state of Iowa by the National Association of Biology Teachers
  • Educator of the Year by the Printing Industry of the Midwest
  • Daughters of the American Revolution US History Teacher of the Year nominee
  • Financial Literacy Educator of the Year for the state of Iowa
  • Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials
  • 2009 James Madison Fellowship in American History
  • Iowa Industrial Technology Education Middle School Teacher of Excellence