I graduated from Iowa State University and received my masters from Viterbo. I have been teaching since 1993. I grew up on the southside and went to Jefferson, Brody and Lincoln. I am very lucky to be teaching at a wonderful school in my neighborhood. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, attending my kids activities, going to concerts and sporting events.
Lori Heyob Ancona
I am Lori Heyob Ancona and I teach vocal and general music at Brody. While I have taught music for many years in my hometown of San Diego, CA, and more recently in Des Moines, this is my fourth year at Brody. I am excited and honored to be a part of such a great school! I have a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Southern California, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, and my Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University. I love working with students by teaching them, and also by learning from them! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my four children Tim, Lexi, John, and Jayne, and performing with my band, Opus Taylor.
Welcome to 6th Grade! My name is Mr. Berger, and teach Math and Science at Brody Middle School. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2001 with a degree in Elementary Education. I began my teaching career with Des Moines Public Schools in 2001. My wife and I have two daughters; Sydney and Olivia. I enjoy spending time with my family, watching Iowa State athletics, and hunting in my spare time.
My name is Stacey Bowles and I teach English Language Arts and Global Studies. I have my undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Elementary Education, a K-8 reading minor and a 7-12 English endorsement. My graduate degree is from Drake University in secondary counseling. I enjoy spending time with my family and attending my kid’s activities. Scrapbooking, traveling, reading and shopping are some of my hobbies.
“A book today, a friend forever.” Author Unknown
I earned my degree in education from Iowa State University, so I am a huge Cyclone fan. I grew up on the south side of Des Moines. I attended McCombs and graduated from Lincoln High School. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and attending my children’s sporting events. My husband Todd and I live in Johnston with our three children, Alex, Taylor, and Connor.
Leanne Chapman Thill
In 1998, I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in elementary education. I started teaching 6th grade special education at Goodrell Middle School the following year, and received a secondary special education endorsement from Grand View University in 2000. For several years, I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at Harding Middle School. I have been at Brody the past two years. My favorite activity outside of school is biking; I often commute by bike. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends.
I have degrees in international studies and English from the University of Iowa, as well as an MFA in nonfiction writing. I also studied Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador at the Center for Interamerican Studies. This is my seventh year teaching. Before coming to Brody, I taught Spanish in the Mississippi Delta and high school English in Houston, Texas. I am passionate about the power and benefits of language acquisition, and am thrilled to work with our Brody students this year!
This will be my second year teaching middle school math and science. My finance and I recently moved to the Des Moines area this summer as he started graduate school at Des Moines University. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Level Education from Illinois State University, the other ISU. I am originally from the suburbs outside of Chicago, Illinois and come from a large family of TEN. My family is very important to me and I am grateful to Des Moines Public Schools welcoming me into their family. A little bit about me outside of the classroom is that I love to be active but also love all types of food, especially sweets. Even though I do not have any animals yet, I love dogs and cannot wait to have one or two of my own one day! I have a passion for learning which is a quality I hope to instill in all my students in both math and science. I am excited for this new school year and looking forward to supporting all my learners!
I am new to Des Moines Public Schools, and I am excited to be teaching English Language Learners at Brody! This is my third year teaching after two years in bilingual education. I speak Spanish and love working with our bilingual/bicultural students from all backgrounds. I support ELL students in 6th, 7th, and 8th (and their teachers) to reach our high goals of success at Brody.
I graduated from Hoover High School and then got a degree at Grand View University in Secondary Business Education. I have taught Computer Applications for over ten years and enjoy the challenges of change in Technology. When I am not teaching, I spend enjoy spending time with my large family.
A way for students to stay connected to this classroom, collaborate, and share content is by using our class website. This website is used to post assignments directions with due dates, and rubrics. Students turn in work, view examples, and provide feedback about each assignment. Parents are encouraged to sign up and be a part of the group as well.
Mr. Fiorenza earned his undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and graduate degree in Education from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. A native of Illinois, he has been living in Chicago for the past 13 years. An avid fan of Chicago Cubs baseball and Chicago Bear football, as well as Notre Dame football, he is excited to once again be back in Iowa. Along with his wife and son, Mr. Fiorenza is a proud resident of Des Moines and a passionate advocate for math education. It is Mr. Fiorenza’s firm belief that through a strong math education the doors of opportunity are opened for all.
Welcome to the seventh grade! My name is Catrina Gardner, and I teach seventh grade Communication and Advocacy. This is my first year at Brody, and I am very happy to be here! I am an alumna of Grinnell College, where I studied history and education. After graduating, I served in the United States Peace Corps as an education volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa for three years. I returned to Iowa in 2014 and began teaching middle school social studies and language arts at the Meskwaki Settlement School. I recently moved to Des Moines to be closer to my fiance and my family. I love teaching global studies and helping young people understand the world around them and how they can make a difference in it. When I’m not in school, I enjoy reading, being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and (for this year) planning a wedding!
My name is Maria Howard, and I teach Global Studies/Spanish at Brody. I am originally from Dallas Center, and I have my degree in elementary and middle level education from the University of Northern Iowa. My greatest passion as an educator is the promotion of global citizenship. I genuinely believe in the power education as the most promising pathway towards peace and development in the world. In my free time, I love to travel and spend time with my family.
I am excited for a change of scenery here at Brody in Des Moines. I am native to Cedar Rapids and have been teaching there for about 10 years. I REALLY love math so I am hoping that my excitement for math rubs of on my students. We’re already off to a great start and I’m looking forward to having a fantastic year!
For the past 5 years I have taught 4th grade at Pleasant Hill Elementary on Des Moines’ East side. Since Math and Science are passions of mine, I decided to take a new journey and join Brody on the path to academic greatness! I am excited to teach 7th grade Math and Science this year. At home, my husband Dustin is an electrician and we have one son, Declan, who is the light of our lives. We have several furry babies- a boxer named Alli, a cat named Trouble, Snowball the guinea pig and Snickers the hamster. Away from school I love to be on stage, either acting or singing. I have been an avid arts and theatre fan my whole life. I am also a HUGE hockey fan (Go Predators!) and football fan (Go Titans!).
Welcome to 6th Grade! My name is Ms. Kyle, and I teach Math and Science at Brody Middle School. I graduated from Grand View University in 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education. I began my teaching career with Des Moines Public Schools in 2015. My husband and I have two boys; Brentley and Max. In my spare time I love spending time with family, quilting and petting my fur babies Marco and Warhol.
I started my teaching career in the Des Moines Public Schools in 1999 and I have taught at Brody since 2005. I teach Physical Education and coach 8th grade boys and girls basketball. I was born and raised on the South side of Des Moines. I attended Watrous Elementary, Brody Middle School, and Lincoln High School. I graduated from Missouri Western State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and obtained my Masters degree from Graceland University. My family consists of my wife Karianne and our two sons Garrison and Braden.
Hello! My name is Lisa Major Beeman. I am a sixth grade teacher at Brody Middle School. I am responsible for instruction in the content areas of reading, language arts, global studies and academic lab. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with Bachelor Degrees in Education (kindergarten through eighth grade), Reading, and Early Childhood Education. I also have two Masters Degrees in the areas of Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction (kindergarten through twelfth grade). I have served as both a teacher and a principal in Iowa and Colorado. I am married and have one young son who keeps me very happy and busy. I am proud to be a staff member at Brody Middle School and am excited to be a part of your child’s journey toward lifelong learning.
I graduated from Simpson College, attended Drake University, received my Masters Degree from Murray State University and hold a National Board Certificate in Reading and Writing. My passion in life is teaching. When not teaching I love spending time with my family. In my free time I enjoy kayaking, riding bikes, yoga and walking. I am excited to be a part of the Brody family.
I’m the special education teacher in The Structured Learning Center here at Brody Middle School. I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education (K-6). I hold endorsements in special education (Strategist I and II) and reading, with certification in autism training. I received my Master’s Degree in 2010 from Morningside College. I reside on the south side, and I have been associated with Brody for many years. I attended junior high here, my kids attended middle school here and my oldest granddaughter attends middle school here, with more to follow! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, attending extracurricular activities with my grandkids, and cheering on the Hawkeyes! Go Hawkeyes!!
For three years I have been teaching 7th grade literacy at Brody; this is my tenth year in the district. Before joining the Des Moines Public Schools, I worked for the Iowa Department of Education and the West Des Moines Community School District. My husband and I moved to Iowa many years ago, and have raised twin sons who currently attend the University of Wisconsin Madison. In addition to our sons, we have four more “children:” two cats and two Cairn terriers keep us busy. In my spare time I love traveling, reading, and gardening. Recently, I fulfilled all the requirements to be a Master Gardener through the Iowa State Master Gardener program.
My name is Nathan Pinion. I have been an art educator for over two decades. My undergraduate degree is from Northern Illinois University. I recently completed my masters in effective teaching from Buena Vista University. Outside of the classroom, my wife and I are busy with our four children’s extra curricular schedules. My educational philosophy is that all students can become proficient. Understanding vocabulary, media, techniques, being able to evaluate art, and understanding historical developments in art are as important as creating art. I look forward to working with each and every student.
I have been teaching PE/Health since 1994. I played softball at the University of Iowa and was a member of the first Big Ten Championship team in Iowa softball history. Since then, I have taught at elementary, high school and middle schools and have been varsity coach for basketball, volleyball and softball. Currently, I am the head softball coach and assistant athletic director for Des Moines Lincoln, as well as athletic director for Brody Middle School. The best part about teaching is the “AHA!” moment when a student understands the concept. My favorite quote is, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
My name is Connor Wyrick and I am excited to start my teaching career at Brody! I graduated from Iowa State and have worked as a substitute and a paraproffesional. I grew up in Cedar Rapids, lived in Ames during college, and am happily getting to know Des Moines. I like to skateboard and spend time with my wife Alyssa and our pug Boo. I’m grateful to have the chance to get to know the students of Brody and to engage with the community.