5-6 Year Old Team

Abby Boruff

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: Abilyn.boruff@dmschools.org

Class Description

Abby Boruff is an Iowa State University graduate, and holds a Master's degree in Effective Teaching with a focus in Curriculum Design and Leadership from Drake University.

"I began my teaching career in Chicago, IL in 2005. I taught in the State Pre-Kindergarten Program and worked for Chicago Public Schools for two years. I moved back to Iowa in 2007 and taught Early Childhood Special Education and Kindergarten in West Des Moines. I joined the Downtown School Family in 2016 teaching five and six year olds! I also get to teach adults at Drake University as an adjunct professor in Early Childhood Curriculum courses."

Miss Boruff in 20 words: Learner. Laugher. Teacher. Reader. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Niece. Cyclone Basketball Fan ("Fan" may be an understatement:). Friend. Life Enthusiast.

Click here to follow Miss Boruff's class on Facebook.

Stephanie Hubka

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: stephanie.hubka@dmschools.org


Hello! My name is Stephanie Hubka and I have been at the Downtown School since 2015. I have the great privilege of working with students in the 5, 6, and 7 year old learning groups. I received my degree in elementary education from Simpson College with endorsements in early childhood education and reading.

When I am not teaching, I love hanging out with my family and friends doing anything outside. I love watching the Iowa Hawkeyes especially during football season. If there is a game on of any kind, I am probably watching it. During the warmer months, I enjoy being out on the golf course trying to fine tune my golf game which is easier said than done!

I look forward to meeting you and working with your child. It will be a great year!

Click here to follow Ms. Hubka's class on Facebook.

Jennifer Jones

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: jennifer.jones@dmschools.org


Hello!  My name is Jennifer Jones.  I have been teaching at the Downtown school for 8 years. In 2005, I graduated from Grand View University with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in reading. After graduating, I subbed for 2 years, until I found my dream job as a kindergarten/first grade teacher at the Downtown School!

I live on a farm in Bondurant with my husband, Clint and our three children, Zoey, Cooper and Otto. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with our families.

I love working with children and seeing them grow! I am a firm believer that students learn more by doing and teaching others. 'Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.' - Benjamin Franklin

Jeff Kerns

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: jeffrey.kerns@dmschools.org


Hi! I am Jeff Kerns. I have been teaching at the Downtown School since 2007. I have a Bachelor in Elementary Education from Grand View College and a Master's degree in Effective Teaching and Learning from Drake University.  I love spending time with my family. My wife and I have three children and seven grandchildren. I believe in giving back to the community. This is why educating children is a passion of mine. I also love to serve others that are less fortunate by participating in mission trips. Other hobbies of mine include collecting license plates and rocks, especially geodes.

Barb Leise

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: barbara.leise@dmschools.org


Hello! My name is Barb Leise and I teach 5, 6, and 7 year old children at the Downtown School.  I’ve been at this school since 1998.  I’ve been teaching kindergarten, first grade or second grade since 1988.  I love my job. Teaching is my passion.I believe in the research based practices and individualized instruction that is supported at the Downtown School. I feel fortunate to be here. I attended Iowa State University for my undergraduate degree and Drake University for my master’s. I am married and we have a chubby cat at home. I have 6 nieces and nephews who live in town. We are fortunate to get to be a close part of their lives.

Michelle Wheeler

5/6 Year Old Teacher

E: michelle.wheeler@dmschools.org


I have done home child care and preschool for 9 years. In 2011, I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and Language Arts. This will be my first year teaching at the Downtown School. I held a long-term sub position in a 5/6 classroom last year and have subbed for the Des Moines Public Schools for the last 2 years. I live on our family farm just outside of Carlisle with my husband Scott, and our four children: Tyler, Joshua, and our twins Miles and Rebecca. I love teaching and I am very excited to get to know you and your child.