DMPS Names Two New Principals, Middle School Director

Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of three educational leaders for  the state’s largest school district: Kevin Biggs as principal of Roosevelt High School, Deb Markert as principal of Hoyt Middle School, and Corey Harris as the Middle School Director.

“Kevin, Deb and Corey are experienced educators who, together, will bring fresh perspectives to their new roles,” said Superintendent Tom Ahart. “I am pleased they are joining the district’s leadership team to play important roles in our secondary education opportunities in Des Moines.”

All three principals will officially begin their new roles on July 1, although each 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:

Roosevelt High School, located at 4419 Center Street, is home to nearly 1,700 students in grades 9-12. Kevin Biggs replaces Kathie Danielson, who is going to work for the Heartland Area Education Agency. Biggs most recently has been the district director for athletics and activities for Ankeny Community Schools. He began his education career as a special education teacher in California, where he was assistant principal of Trabuco Hills High Schools and Mission Viejo High School. Biggs has a bachelor’s in music management from the University of the Pacific, a bachelor’s in music education from National University, and a master’s in educational leadership from Cal State-Fullerton. 

Hoyt Middle School is located at 2700 East 42nd Street. It is home to more than 500 students in grades 6-8. Deb Markert is replacing Laura Kacer, who has accepted a position in another school district. Markert has spent much of her career with Des Moines Public Schools, beginning as a social studies teacher at Hoyt Middle School and later East High School. After one year with the Johnston school district, she returned to DMPS as assistant principal at Goodrell Middle School, where she has been since 2005. Markert has a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in educational leadership, both from Iowa State University.

Corey Harris is the district’s new Director of Middle Schools. He is currently senior director of Uplift Education, a network of public charter schools in the Dallas, TX area. He has been a principal in Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh and Memphis, where he began his career as a teacher in 1996. Harris has a bachelor’s in education from Rust College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Memphis.