Kristin Rourk New Director of Early Childhood Programs
Des Moines Public Schools welcomes Kristin Rourk as the new Director of Early Childhood Programs. She joins the district as Susie Guest, the current director, retires following a decades-long career serving Des Moines students.
Rourk received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and special education from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in education from Viterbo University, and a second master’s degree in educational policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa.
Rourk currently serves as the Early Childhood Special Education and Preschool Programs Administrator for the West Des Moines Community Schools. Prior to her work for WDMCS, she worked as an Early Childhood and K-6 Special Education consultant for Heartland Area Education Agency, and as a PreK-2nd grade teacher in Adel, IA. She is also the current vice president of the Iowa Division of Early Childhood.
“I am thrilled to join Des Moines Public Schools to support our youngest learners becoming their best selves,” Rourk said. “The work begins with us in preschool. When we focus on developing the whole child in the early years, we set the foundation for our students to be successful in their future experiences in school!”
Rourk joins DMPS at a time when the district is expanding early childhood programs, and seeking additional support from the state to guarantee preschool for Iowa children whose families live at or below 180% of the federal poverty level.
“We are thrilled that Kristin will be taking over our excellent preschool program,” said Tim Schott, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. “She has the proven experience, creativity, and tenacity to lead us toward our goal of 100% preschool participation.”
Rourk assumes her new role on July 1, 2023, pending school board approval.