DMPS Names New Principals at Three Elementary Schools

Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of three veteran educators in the district as new elementary school principals: Marsha Kerper at Capitol View Elementary School, Gregory Grylls at Cowles Montessori School, and Jaynette Rittman at Edmunds Elementary School.

“Marsha, Greg and Jaynette are experienced educators who have shown their commitment to our students, our district and our community,” said Superintendent Tom Ahart. “I am pleased to welcome them to their new leadership positions in Des Moines, and look forward to their work with our students, teachers and families in keeping our schools on the path to success.”

All three principals will officially begin their new roles on July 1, although will be working on a transition plan with their new schools between now and then. Additional information on each new principal and school is as follows: 

Capitol View Elementary, located 320 E. 16th Street, is home to 539 students in grades K-5. Marsha Kerper replaces Marcia Johnson, who is retiring after the 2012-13 school year. Kerper began her career in education at Des Moines Public School as a teacher in 1987, beginning at Brooks Elementary School. She also taught at Madison and Pleasant Hill Elementary schools, was dean of students at Monroe Elementary School, and since 2003 has been the principal at Madison Elementary School. She earned her BA from the University of Northern Iowa and MA from Iowa State University. 

Cowles Montessori is located at 6401 College Avenue. It is home to 348 students in grades K-8, and is the only public Montessori school in Iowa. Greg Grylls is replacing Udell Cason, who has been serving as interim principal. Grylls began his career at Des Moines Public Schools in 2000 as a teacher, and then dean of students, at King Academy of Math and Science. He was also a dean of students at Carver Community School and is currently the school improvement leader at McCombs Middle School. Grylls has also taught overseas in both Japan and Kenya. He earned his BA in elementary education from Central College and MA in educational administration from Iowa State University. 

Edmunds Elementary is located at 1601 Crocker Street. It is home to 287 students in grades K-5, and will be moving into a new school building in August. Jaynette Rittman replaces David Perrigo, who resigned. After teaching for two years in California, Rittman joined Des Moines Public Schools in 1988 as a teacher at Moulton Elementary School. She has been an administrator with Des Moines Public Schools since 2001, serving as vice principal of the Mann Watrous Elementary School, principal of Adams Elementary School, and since 2007 has been principal of Garton Elementary School. Rittman earned a BS in elementary education from the University of Oklahoma and an MS in administration from Drake University.