Special Education

Andrea Bagby

SPED Interventionist

E: andrea.bagby@dmschools.org

Biography

I have been working with Des Moines Public Schools for over 12 years. This is my fourth year at McCombs and it truly is the #1 Middle School in Des Moines! I have been able to teach in a wide variety of content areas being a special education teacher. I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and my master's from Drake University. I have been married for 11 years and have three daughters, Mya 6 and Piper and Emma are 3.

Carol Kirsch

8th Grade Special Education

E: carol.kirsch@dmschools.org

Denise Bovee

6th Grade Special Education

E: denise.bovee@dmschools.org

Biography

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Grandview College. I went on to earn my Master’s degree in education from Morningside College. I have been teaching special education at McCombs since 1998. I have taught in both 6th and 8th grades. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my husband and children.

Diana Marron

8th Grade Special Education

E: diana.marron@dmschools.org

Biography

I graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  I taught at Harding Middle School for 12 years, then moved to Brody for two years, and have been at McCombs since 2013.  I have taught special education for all but 3 years of my teaching experience and truly enjoy it.  I grew up, and currently live just south of Des Moines in Indianola, but I student taught in Houston, TX.   When I'm not teaching, I love spending time with my boys and my husband.   We enjoy watching movies, going for bike rides, traveling, and just hanging out together.

Joy Davey

Skilled Learning

E: joy.davey@dmschools.org

Biography

In 2005, I graduated from Simpson College with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History.  I taught History for 4 years at a private school in Ankeny.  I then began work on Special Education endorsements at Upper Iowa University and began my career with the Des Moines Public Schools.  I started at McCombs in 2011. I now teach in the Structured Learning Program.  I have endorsements in Intellectual Disabilities and Work Experience Coordination.  I have found my niche with kiddos who are on the Autism Spectrum or have Intellectual Disabilities!  They are a source of joy, frustration, laughter and fun for me!
I am from the South Side and an alumni of Lincoln High, class of 2000!  I have one daughter, Stella, who goes to Jefferson Elementary.  I love spending time with her, watching Iowa Football games, and cooking!  I also have two dachshunds who enjoy barking, digging and racing around the house!
Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions regarding your student in the program or McCombs! I look forward to working with you both!

Riley Fisher

8th Grade Special Education

E: riley.fisher@dmschools.org

Ron Hyde

7th Grade Special Education

E: ronald.hyde@dmschools.org

Biography

Oh my goodness, where to start? Well, I was born in the 1900’s. Since then I have racked up long list of accomplishments that I am very proud of. In case my wife reads this, I first want to mention that I have been happily married for something like 20+ years now and have a son I am very proud of who currently attends Lincoln High School. After my own graduation from Lincoln High School I joined the family business (construction) and was blessed to work with my family for 15 years until I decided to make a change, for what turned out to be even better. I attended Drake University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with endorsements in both special education (k-8 Strat 1) and rhetoric. I now have many years under my belt teaching at both McCombs Middle School and The Des Moines Playhouse. Currently I have taken a number of students across state lines for educational extension trips to D.C and soon, New York. I coach the All-Male Hip-Hop and Step competition team at DSM Lincoln and am the Drama Liaison for DSM Public Middle Schools. I love my jobs and I can’t wait to help your child find their true potential.

Samantha Whittie

Special Education Behavior Disorder

E: samantha.whittie@dmschools.org

Biography

Hi all! I am so excited to be a part of the special education team at McCombs! I may have taken the scenic route to becoming a teacher, but I have truly found my passion in teaching. Prior to teaching, I have had a variety of work experiences. While obtaining my MA in Teaching from Drake, I worked as an associate in a neighboring district and as an in-home behavioral counselor at a nearby mental health agency. Before that, I worked in the radio industry. I received my BA in Journalism and BA in Psychology from Drake in 2012. Outside of the classroom, I love to watch baseball (Go Cubs!), exercise, and spend time with my husband and cats. 

Tracy VanWinkle

7th Grade Special Education

E: tracy.vanwinkle@dmschools.org

Biography

I attended Waldorf College, where I received my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education in 2004, with a K-8 reading endorsement.  I later went on to graduate school at Morningside College, where I obtained my Master’s degree in Instructional Strategist Level II-Special Education K-12.  I also obtained a middle school endorsement from Morningside College.  I have been teaching special education at the middle school level for 10.5 years; focusing mostly in 6th and 7th grade math and literacy.  This is my 3rd year here at McCombs Middle School.  I previously taught at Harding Middle School, and before that a small school in northern Iowa.  My favorite part about teaching is showing students who struggle with learning that anyone can learn and progress.

I am married to my husband Josh, a senior environmental analyst at MidAmerican Energy Company.  We have one daughter, Ava, who is almost 2 years old, and another girl on the way this April.  As a family, we love doing anything outdoors such as kayaking, biking, camping, gardening, and hiking.  We also support the Hawkeyes because who else right!