Nearly 5,000 people work to provide and support a quality education to more than 30,000 students in Des Moines. From school administrators and educators to bus drivers and technology professionals to food and nutrition providers to financial experts, these dedicated DMPS employees are committed to providing the best possible experience for students and families. Each month the Become Here Spotlight will shine on an administrator, an educator and a staff member to share a little more about the many people working to teach and support the children and students of our community.
Willie is in his 2nd year at Jefferson Elementary School and continues to build on the great things he led in his first year. He uses his dynamic personality and leadership style to support the culture of care and learning for Jefferson students. He builds and maintains relationships with students, staff and community to provide a positive experience and successful opportunities for all. He has an instructional focused mindset and works to support the staff to provide consistent, standards-based instruction. Willie is engrained in the work with the teachers and staff and keeps the focus on every student’s success.
Joshua Benitez has hit the ground running as an Algebra I and Social Justice in Math educator at Roosevelt High School. When you visit his classroom there is evidence of positive relationships and joy in the math classroom. He is positively contributing to his Algebra I PLC and offering critical insights to support math instruction in every Algebra I classroom. A student recently shared that what they’re learning in Social Justice in Math has inspired him to evaluate his actions and consider how he can make a difference in his community. We are blessed that Mr. Benitez chose DMPS and Roosevelt High School!
Mary has worked for DMPS Food & Nutrition since 1987. After working in the school kitchens for a number of years, she transitioned to the Central Nutrition Center in 2001. The past few years, Mary has been helping the team by going to schools, especially Brody to help them an extra set of expert hands in preparing and serving food to students. She plays an important role in making sure DMPS is feeding both minds and bodies at our schools.