Robert Burnett


P: 242-8422 | E:


I am honored and humbled to have been given the privilege of serving the Downtown School. I was born and raised in this great city and it’s where my wife and I have chosen to raise our two children. I’ve loved seeing our city grow and change into what it is today and am proud to now have a small role in shaping its next population and leaders.

What you are getting in me is a positive and energetic leader focused on continuous improvement and reflection in a supportive environment. I face each day with the zeal it deserves and will attempt to illuminate the positive aspects of our roles so loud that it will be difficult to hear anything else.

My teaching experience was based on differentiating and individualizing education so that all learners would be successful. My experience leading an IB school the previous 3 years have only deepened my desire to develop curriculum that meets the needs of all students and nurture lifelong, productive, and engaged learners prepared to meet the changing needs of our shared future. I have been pleasantly surprised how well the foundational concepts of IB and PBL correlate. I look forward to learning and leading under the Project Based Learning framework and will do everything in my power to strengthen and illuminate its importance.

I look forward to forming positive and productive relationships with all of you to continue the great things happening at DTS.

Please click here if you would like to learn more about my background.

Dana L. Allen

Dean of Students & Special Education



I learned about the Downtown School when I was a high school student at Colfax-Mingo. Since then it was my dream to become a “Downtown School” teacher.  When I first heard about this school, I thought it was a dream and in the years I have been teaching here, I can’t imagine teaching in a better place.

My history with the Downtown School goes back to 2006, when I was fortunate enough to be chosen to do my pre-teaching at the Downtown School.  I then received my undergrad from Simpson College in 2008 with my degree in Elementary Education, Liberal Arts, and a minor in Psychology. I received concentrations in reading and special education.

Since being hired with the Downtown School, in 2008, my journey here has gone in various directions.  I have worked with the 7/8 team, the 9/10 team and I currently work as our K-5 special education teacher.  I am also part of our build leadership team and our building technology specialist.

In addition to all of my professional roles at the Downtown School and with DMPS, I am a UNI Panther. I completed my masters in administration the summer of 2018 with University of Northern Iowa as a part of their Urban Education Principalship Network. My new learning has been a gift in preparing me for future roles in our district.

I am grateful for my professional career with Des Moines Public Schools and the Downtown School. It continues to be a dream!  I truly can't imagine a better place to be!

My Mission: Support a school culture that focuses on cultivating the skills needed for every child to fulfill their future dreams.


Please visit my links below to see the other district work I am involved in.

Trailblazer Page

Demonstration Teacher


Or feel free to browse through my journey with UNI.

Leadership Portfolio

Technology Philosophy