Special Education

Kari Albaugh

Social Worker

E: Kari.Albaugh@dmschools.org



Helen Copley

School Psychologist

E: helen.copley@dmschools.org

Susan David

Special Education Teacher

E: susan.david@dmschools.org


Hi.  My name is Susan David.  This is my second year of teaching special education at Hillis. I'm so glad to be working with students here! I love working with students and seeing their excitement as they work toward meeting their personal goals in math, writing and reading. Before joining the team at Hillis, I taught at Wallace Elementary and Monroe Elementary. I also taught conversational English in northern Japan for three years. It was a fantastic experience!

In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano and reading.   My husband and I also love to try new restaurants and travel.   It is our goal to visit all seven continents.

Colleges Attended:  Northwestern College, University of Northern Iowa, Viterbo University

Highest Degree Earned:  Master's Degree

Endorsements:  K-6 Elementary Classroom, K-8 Social Studies, Mildly Disabled, Learning Disabilities, Multicategorical Resource/Mild, Instructional Strategist 1: Mild/Moderate, English as a Second Language

Years of Experience:   20

Years at Hillis:  2

Original Hometown:  Pella, Iowa

High School Attended:  Pella Community High School

Marcia Kelly

Special Education Consultant

E: marcia.kelly@dmschools.org

Greg Laraia

Special Education Teacher

E: gregory.laraia@dmschools.org


Biography: My name is Greg Laraia and I am a second year teacher at Hillis Elementary.  I grew up in Ankeny, Iowa.  I attended Des Moines Area Community College and graduated from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.  In my spare time I enjoy traveling, playing golf, and spending time with family.  I enjoy each day that I get to work with my students and am proud of the hard work that they constantly show!

Colleges Attended: Des Moines Area Community College, Grand View University

Highest Degree Earned: Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education

Endorsement: K-8 Instructional Strategist I, Reading, Language Arts

Years of Experience: 2

Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa

High School Attended: Ankeny High School

Beth Miller

Special Education Associate


My husband Bruce and I live in Des Moines with our three children,  Tristen,  Evelyn and Elsie.  We enjoy playing outside, watching movies and we are active in our church.

Colleges Attended:DMACC,
Simpson College

Highest Degree Earned:BA Elementary Education

Endorsements:Early Childhood,

Years of Experience: 2 years teaching preschool,  15 years volunteer teaching Sunday School, 5 years Special Education Associate

Years at Hillis: 5 years

Original Hometown: Des Moines

High School Attended: Norwalk High School

Stephen Montgomery

Special Education Associate

E: stephen.montgomery@dmschools.org

Kelsey Morrison

Special Education Teacher

E: Kelsey.Morrison@dmschools.org

Kaitlyn Norgaard

Special Education Teacher

E: kaitlyn.norgaard@dmschools.org


Biography: My Name is Kaitlyn Norgaard and I teach special education. I love working at Hillis because of how welcoming and wonderful the students and staff are. In my free time I like to spend time with my husband and our puppy, Rudy. I also like to volunteer, read, bake, and create fun projects such as, painting and woodworking.

Colleges Attended:Undergrad: Central College

Graduate Program: Morningside College

Highest Degree Earned:Bachelors

Endorsements:K-8 Reading, K-6 Special Education Strat I, and working towards K-8 Strat II Intellectual Disabilities

Years of Experience: 3

Years at Hillis: 3

Original Hometown:Walford, Iowa

High School Attended: Cedar Rapids Prairie

Tammy Olson


E: tammy.olson2@dmschools.org


I attended UNI majoring in Publics Relations/Communications
Travel and Tourism Degree
Property and Casualty Insurance License- Insurance Industry for 6 years.
Project Management for 8 years.
I have worked at Hillis 6 years.
My hometown was Chatsworth, IL.
I attended Sigourney High School.
My family at home includes my husband, Mark, and daughter Taylan.
I am an Iowa State Cyclone Fan. My family and I are avid hiker's. We love to travel whenever we have the time.


Laura Pfaltzgraff

Speech and Language Pathologist

P: 242-2160 | E: Laura.Pfaltzgraff@dmschools.org


Colleges Attended: UNI

Highest Degree Earned: Masters Degree

Endorsements: Education

Years of Experience: 16

Years at Hillis: 4

Original Hometown: Vinton, Iowa

High School Attended: Vinton-Shellsburg High School

Jeff Plotz

Special Education Associate

Marcy Roush

Special Education Teacher

E: marcy.roush@dmschools.org


Biography:  Hello, My name is Miss Marcy. I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa but spent the last 23 years in Missouri teaching at Northwest Missouri State University. I have two daughters 24 and 21 who still live in Missouri and an 18 year old son who attend Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. I am a very proud mother of my three wonderful children. I have developed Early Childhood Curriculum for several school districts in NW Missouri as well as developed a Deaf Studies Educational Program that has trained several educators and children in NW Missouri. I have worked in Special Education for over 25 years and am so excited to be working at Hillis. I am so happy to be back in Des Moines and work with such a wonderful educational community.

Colleges Attended: Northwest Missouri State University

Highest Degree Earned: Ed Specialist in Special Education Administration and Elementary Administration, MS.ED Learning Disabilities K-12 & Early Childhood Special Education, B.S.Ed in Elementary and Special Education.


Missouri: Elementary Principal and Special Education Administrator, K-12 Learning Disabilities, K-12 Multiple Disabilities (ED and BD), Birth to Age 3 Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education Grades 1-8, and Deaf Educator Birth-Grade 12.

Iowa: Elementary Education 1-8, Mental Disabilities Mild/Moderate, K-8 Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate

K-6 Teacher Elementary Classroom, 5-12 Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate, Birth-21 Deaf or Hard of Hearing, K-12 Instructional Strategist II: BD/LD, PK-8 Principal

Years of Experience: 25 years

Years at Hillis: First year and Loving every minute of it!!!

Original Hometown:Des Moines, Iowa

High School Attended: Des Moines East High School Graduate of 1990

Hannah Weirick

Special Education Teacher

E: Hannah.Weirick@dmschools.org