Special Education

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

Kaitlyn Norgaard

Special Education Teacher

E: kaitlyn.norgaard@dmschools.org


My name is Kaitlyn Norgaard, this is my second year of teaching and my second year at Hillis, I am so happy to be here!  I am originally from Walford, Iowa where I attended high school at Cedar Rapids Prairie. I graduated in May of 2015 from Central College in Pella, IA with a major in elementary education and endorsements in special education and reading. While at Central I met my husband Jack and we got married this past summer!

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.


Jeff Plotz

Special Education Associate

Marcy Roush

Special Education Teacher

E: marcy.roush@dmschools.org

Dara Sam

Special Education Teacher

E: chandara.sam@dmschools.org


My name is Dara Sam. I am a Third year teacher. I teach K-2 behavior. I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. I attended college at Simpson where I received my degree in elementary education. I absolutely love and adore all of my students and look forward to seeing the progress and hard work each of my students will give this year!

Class website:  http://chandarasam.wix.com/myclassroom

College(s) attended: Simpson

Highest Degree Earned: Bachelors

Endorsement(s): Reading and Special Education

Years of Experience: 4

Years at Hillis: 3

Original Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

High School Attended: Des Moines North