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.
Or feel free to browse through my journey with UNI.
Hello, I’m Elizabeth Angier but I prefer “Beth”. I am a Registered Nurse, and hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.
I am most passionate about my family, photography and people. I have three children. My older children live out of state, one in Georgia, the other in Canada. My youngest daughter will attend Callanan and lives here in Des Moines. My eldest son is a pilot for Delta Airlines, and also a pilot for the Army guard flying the Blackhawk Helicopter. My youngest son owns a dance studio in Canada which has approximately 950 students. I have 4 grandchildren, 2 boys, 2 girls ranging in the ages of 17 to 3. My 82 year old mother resides with me and has since the tragic passing of my father.
My camera follows me everywhere. I have spent countless hours shooting everything from a magnificent sunrise, the architecture of an open window in a collapsing barn or the many beautiful faces of which my family members often present. I also enjoy helping others. In the past, I have spent many years working with the homeless, both adults and children crawling into abandon buildings, walking the wooded areas, and working food vans, providing whatever attention was needed. I have volunteered with my church working various shelters, and food banks.
Van Waardhuizen, Deb
Hi! My name is Deb VanWaardhuizen (it stands for “keeper of the house” in Dutch). Most of the students refer to me as Ms. Deb or Mrs. V, but you can call me Deb. You can find me at the front desk upon entering the school. I started in the district in August 2000 at Park Ave Elementary then moved to the Downtown School in July ’08. Working in offices has been my main role, formerly with a Methodist Church and Simpson College. When not at school you can find me camping, attending auctions, crocheting by the woodstove, or just relaxing on our 14 acres 30 miles SE of Des Moines. I’m a “farm wife” and we’ve raised pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, horses, chickens, ducks, cats, and dogs …. Did I miss anything?? Oh yes, the grandchildren – have 7 ranging in age from 2 to 19 – and we enjoy spoiling everyone, then sending home! They all like to ride/drive our 8 antique AC tractors that my husband Robert collects and parades. I’m a former 4-H member/leader and currently the Marion County Supt. for Dogs. We “train” kids to teach their dogs obedience and agility. If you have any questions about the school, let me know and I’ll certainly try to answer them or I will find out who can.