DTS Staff

Beth Angier


E: elizabeth.angier@dmschools.org


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.

Erika Buckner

TLC Instructional Coach

E: erika.buckner@dmschools.org


Hello!  My name is Erika Buckner. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, and received my Master's in Effective Teaching and Learning from Drake in 2009.

I started my career at The Downtown School in 2005, where I have been a 7-8 and 9-10 year old teacher, and an Instructional Coach. I also have experience as a Demonstration Teacher for the district as well as being a Trailblazer, working on integrating technology into the classroom and personalizing learning.

I love Project Based Learning and can't imaging teaching any other way! It's amazing to see the knowledge and independence in learning students gain throughout the process. I am passionate about the use of technology with students to further their understanding and personalize their learning experience. I also value building independent, reflective learners who are able to set goals and track their progress to see how much they are growing, taking charge of their learning!

Deb VanWaardhuizen

Office Manager

E: deborah.vanwaardhuizen@dmschools.org


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.