Tiffany O’Hara Next Principal at Hillis Elementary

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Tiffany O’Hara will be the next principal of Hillis Elementary School, pending board approval.

Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce Tiffany O’Hara as the next principal of Hillis Elementary School. With an impressive background in education, O’Hara brings over three decades of experience to her new role.

O’Hara has deep roots in the district and has remained in Iowa throughout her career. She graduated from East High School, where her interest in elementary education was ignited when she had an opportunity to assist teachers in a second-grade classroom during the school day. She continued to focus on education, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Iowa State University.

O’Hara currently serves as the Director of Talent and Personnel at DMPS, a position she has held for the past nine years. She started her career as an elementary educator in the Saydel Community School District. She went on to serve as elementary principal at St. Patrick’s School in Perry, where she oversaw preschool through 8th grade for three years. O’Hara was also employed as an elementary principal at Holy Family School in Des Moines for eleven years, and at Terrace Elementary in Ankeny for seven years before returning to DMPS.

“First, I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to serve the wonderful community at Hillis Elementary School,” O’Hara said. “As an educator, my passion to lead has deep roots in building level leadership and serving building staff that directly impact student success. I look forward to serving the Hillis community with a passion for learning, fostering a strong community and achieving student success. I look forward to engaging and partnering with each family in the Hillis community in the service and success of each child.”

DMPS Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Tim Schott said O’Hara’s extensive experience and dedication to student achievement at the school and district levels make her an ideal leader in the Des Moines school community.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tiffany O’Hara as the new principal of Hillis Elementary School,” said Tim Schott, DMPS Executive Director of Elementary Schools. “She will build upon the school’s legacy of excellence and continue to provide a nurturing and enriching environment for our students.”

O’Hara will begin her work on July 1, 2023, pending School Board approval. Current Hillis principal, Renee Gelfond, is leaving the district to pursue other opportunities.