Praveen Bannikatti Interim Director of Virtual Campus

Praveen Bannikatti 2W2A1017

Praveen Bannikatti will become the interim Director of Virtual Campus on July 1, 2023, pending board approval.

Des Moines Public Schools is excited to announce the appointment of Praveen Bannikatti as the interim Director of Virtual Campus, effective this summer. Bannikatti will be stepping into this role as Jonathon Mendoza, the previous director, moves on to pursue new opportunities outside the district.

Having joined DMPS in 2008 as a Social Science teacher at North High School, Bannikatti brings a wealth of experience to his new position. Over the course of his career, he has served in various roles within the district, including nine years as a teacher and academic interventionist at North High School, two years as associate principal at North, and two years as associate principal at East High School and Virtual Campus. He is currently serving as associate principal at Roosevelt High School.

Interim Superintendent Matt Smith said Bannikatti is a natural fit for Virtual Campus, an online high school (grades 9-12) designed and taught by DMPS educators who provide greater equity of access and opportunity for success to all students.

“As the first virtual high school in Iowa developed by our own Iowa educators, Virtual Campus is a unique educational opportunity for students to learn and grow in an online environment,” Smith said. “Praveen has done great work as an educator and leader in our high schools and brings the right experience and understanding to work with students and teachers to build on the success of Virtual Campus.”

Bannikatti’s educational background is also impressive. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Iowa State University, and two master’s degrees – one in Teaching (M.A.T.) from Drake University and another in Educational Administration from Iowa State University.

Bannikatti said he is looking forward to this new opportunity.

“I am thrilled to be part of a dynamic team and community that is committed to having all learners thrive to become their best selves by nurturing their sense of belonging, ensuring equity and access to standard driven rigorous learning experiences, and to be prepared to take ownership of their next chosen path after graduating high school,” he said.

Pending approval from the school board, Bannikatti will officially assume his responsibilities on July 1, 2023.