Skip to content

District News

« Back to News Index

WDMCS Welcomes New District Administrators

West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) welcomes several new district administrators for the 2017-18 school year. New leaders will join the district as the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Services, Teaching and Learning Services Executive Director, Human Resources Director, School/Community Relations Director, Special Education/504 Plans Director, Elementary Curriculum Director, and Data Management Director.

Some of these positions are part of the Learning Resource Center reorganization approved by the Board of Education in February. The Executive Director and Data Management Director positions are new, and the district’s curriculum director positions were restructured.

(Updated Sept. 2017)

Michelle Lettington is the new Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Services.
Administrator head shot photo of Michelle Lettington.
Lettington previously served as the Director of Elementary Schools for the Des Moines Public Schools. She began her career as a fifth-grade teacher in the Waukee Community School District. She later served as the Dean of Students at James B. Morris Elementary in the Des Moines Public Schools. Lettington has served as Assistant Principal at Northeast Elementary and Westwood Elementary and Principal of Terrace Elementary in the Ankeny Community School District. In addition, she was Principal of Maple Grove Elementary, Principal of South Middle School, and then Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning in the Waukee Community School District. Lettington earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa, her master’s degree in Elementary Education and PK-12 Principal and Evaluator License from Viterbo University, and her Superintendent License from Iowa State University.

Joseph Libby, Ed.D., is the new Teaching and Learning Services Executive Director.
JoeLibby
Libby formerly served as the Assistant Director of Inclusive Education for the Kent School District in Kent, Washington. He began his career in education as a sixth-grade science teacher at Ruby Reed Intermediate School in Houston, Texas. He later served as the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director for the Albert Lea High School in Albert Lea, Minnesota and Assistant Principal/Athletic Director for the Thornton High School in Thornton, Colorado. He then served as a principal in the Brighton 27J School District in Brighton, Colorado; the 5-6 and 7-8 Schools Principal in Fort Dodge, Iowa; and the 6-8 Principal in the Moffat County School District in Craig, Colorado. Libby earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Coaching from Iowa State University, his master’s degree in Education Administration and Leadership from St. Cloud University in Minnesota, and his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota.

Josie Lewis, J.D., is the new Human Resources Director.
JosieLewisLewis served as the Policy and Legal Services Director and Human Resource Services Director with the Iowa Association of School Boards from 2014-17. She collaborated to provide a high-quality program for school district leaders with updated information and tools to address legal responsibilities. She has consulted with state agencies, school superintendents, and school board members regarding personnel, student and policy issues. Lewis began her professional career as an elementary teacher in the Ankeny Community School District from 2005-11 before earning her law degree. During and immediately after law school, Lewis worked for both Pearson Education and a local civil rights law firm. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2003 with a bachelor of arts degree and attained her master’s degree from Drake University in 2005. Lewis graduated from the Drake University Law School with a juris doctorate in 2013.

Laine Mendenhall-Buck is the new School/Community Relations Director.
LaineMendenhallBuckMendenhall-Buck previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations at Grand View University in Des Moines, beginning in 2015. Prior to Grand View, she worked as a Senior Project Manager at Visionary Services, Inc. for more than seven years, and as a Division Manager at e-Dentity for five years. She currently serves as a member of the Children and Family Urban Movement Executive Committee, and has previously served on both of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and the Des Moines East and South Chamber of Commerce boards. In addition, she completed the Community Leadership Program and Community Connect Mentor Program through the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. Mendenhall-Buck earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Grand View University. She is completing her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Grand View University.

Kandi Hensel is the new Special Education/504 Plans Director.
KandiHenselKandi has served as the Coordinator of Special Programs for the Ankeny Community School District since 2013. She has been responsible for overseeing 504 plans, allocated district resources for special education services, directed homebound instruction, ELL programming, at-risk programs and was the Neveln Alternative High School program administrator. Prior to her work in Ankeny, Hensel served from 2011-2013 as the Hampton-Dumont Middle School Principal. She also served as the Computer Applications teacher in Waukee Schools from 2006-11. Hensel began her teaching career as a special educator in Waukee Schools from 2003-2006. She graduated from Simpson College in 2003 with a bachelor of arts degree in Elementary and Liberal Arts and Special Education. She attained her master’s degree from Iowa State University in 2009 in Educational Leadership, with administrative licensure for PK-12 Principalship and Special Education Supervision.

Beth Brewer is the new Elementary Curriculum Director.
Administrator head shot photo of Beth Brewer.
Brewer previously served as an Instructional Coach for the Waukee Community School District and an Adjunct Professor at Drake University. She began her career in education as a kindergarten teacher at Kreft Primary in Council Bluffs. She then served as a kindergarten teacher in the Ankeny Community School District. She taught first, third, and sixth grade in the Waukee Community School District before becoming an instructional coach at the elementary and middle school level in the Waukee district. Brewer earned her bachelor’s degree in Early/Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa and her master’s degree in Elementary Education and PK-12 Principal and Evaluator License from Viterbo University.

Mike Sherman is the new Data Management Director.
Administrator head shot photo of Mike Sherman.
Sherman formerly served as an Instructional Technology Coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools. He began his career as a Behavior Disorder teacher in the Focus Program at Cowles School in Des Moines. He later taught Digital Communication and served as an Instructional Coach at Brody Middle School in Des Moines. He has also served Des Moines Public as a Special Education Support Teacher and Assessment Coordinator. Sherman earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Simpson College, his Special Education Certificate from Grand View University, Master’s degree in Education from Graceland and an CAS in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa.

District Veterans in New Roles
Two familiar faces will return to the district in new roles for the 2017-18 year. Former Curriculum Director Shane Scott, Ed.S., is the Secondary Curriculum Director, and former English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Professional Development/Curriculum Facilitator Natalie French is the ESOL Director, starting July 1, 2017.

Administrator head shot photo of Shane Scott.Shane Scott is the new Secondary Curriculum Director.
Scott was previously a West Des Moines Community Schools curriculum director, overseeing curriculum and instruction in the areas of K-12 math, science, career and technical education, and more. He has held this position since 2011. He started his career in education as a science teacher in the Freeport School District in Freeport, Illinois. He came to the West Des Moines Community Schools in 1998 as a science teacher at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School. He later became an Associate Principal/Team Leader at the district’s ninth-grade school. Shane earned his bachelor’s degree in Earth Science Education from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s degree and his educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University.

Administrator head shot photo of Natalie French.Natalie French is the new English for Speakers of Other Languages Director.
French was previously as the West Des Moines Community Schools’ K-12 ESOL Professional Development/Curriculum Facilitator, creating and facilitating district and building professional development and guiding ESOL professional learning communities at the district and building levels. She began her career in education as a Spanish teacher at Indian Hills Junior High. She became an ESOL teacher at the school in 2013 before becoming the ESOL Professional Development/Curriculum Facilitator. Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree in Education and her master’s degree in Education Leadership from Drake University.

Please join us as we welcome these administrators to their new positions.