New Principal for Smouse Opportunity School

Roxanne Cumings

Principal Roxanne Cumings

Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce a new principal at Smouse Opportunity School. Roxanne Cumings, who has been serving as the school’s interim principal since June of last year, has accepted the position. She will replace Amy Wiegmann, who accepted another position within the district.

Before serving as interim principal, Ms. Cumings was a long term substitute for the School Improvement Leader at Smouse. She came to DMPS from Waukee, where she served as the Executive Director of Student Services, overseeing Special Education, English language learning, Talented and Gifted programming, homeless education assistance and nursing staff. Ms. Cumings earned a dual degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Special Education and Language Arts. She has a Master’s of Education and a Certification of Advanced Study from Iowa State University.

“I have fallen in love with the joys and challenges of the special school experience,” Cumings said. “I embrace the opportunity for many more years of service to children with significant disabilities, their families and the dedicated staff who work tirelessly to help the students reach their fullest potential.”

Ms. Cumings will begin serving as principal Feb. 8, pending board approval of Superintendent Thomas Ahart’s recommendation on Feb. 7.

“Roxanne Cumings has been an advocate for special needs students at the state and local level her entire career,” Ahart said. “She is highly qualified to lead Smouse Opportunity School, providing students with meaningful opportunities through rigorous educational experiences centered on individualized student programming that prepares students for successful futures.”

Smouse Opportunity School serves students with special education needs beyond those that can be met in a comprehensive school. Smouse opened in 1931, a gift to the community from Dr. David and Amanda Smouse.