Hello Park Avenue Families! My name is Leslie Bechen and this is my 6th year at Park Avenue as the Success Case Manager. I was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa and I graduated from Simpson College. In my free time, you can find me cheering on my children at their various sporting activities.
The Success Program is here to work with students and families who need support in the areas of behavior, attendance and education. I can assist with referrals for basic needs, housing, parenting skills and mental health. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. -Christopher Robin
Hello! My name is Tillie Heithoff and this is my first year at Park Avenue. I earned by Bachelor’s in Social Work from Buena Vista University and my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Iowa. I am super excited to be at Park Avenue and I look forward to meeting students and their families!!
My name is Mary Love and I am the special education consultant. This will be my 25th year in education and my third year at Park Avenue. I earned my bachelor’s degree from University of NE at Omaha in English/Language Arts/Special Education. I have a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University, Nebraska. In addition to teaching here in Des Moines, I spent 9 years teaching in Omaha, Nebraska. I am an adjunct professor in education at Upper Iowa University . I am married and have three children. In my free time I enjoy spending time with them. I am excited to be here at Park Avenue Elementary!
Hello Park Avenue! My Name is Mike McCormick, and this is my third year as the school counselor at Park Avenue Elementary. I received my masters in school counseling from the University of Iowa and my undergraduate degree in psychology from Simpson College in Indianola. I’m very excited to be a part of the Park Avenue family and look forward to working with the students, staff and parents in the community!
I am the ALP (Advanced Learning Program) Consultant for Park Ave. Elementary. I grew up in this great city of Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School here in DMPS. St. Olaf College is where I spent my college years and received my teaching degree and a degree in Psychology. After college, I moved back to Des Moines and got my first teaching job in Waukee where I taught third grade, fifth grade, and was an ELP (Extended Learning Program) teacher for 13 years.
I began teaching in 2017 at DMPS- all within the Advanced Learning Program. I serve Morris, Lovejoy and Park Ave. I love my job! Being able to support both students and teachers provides an opportunity for me to build wonderful relationships throughout the years and meet the needs of all of my students.
I live in Des Moines with my husband, two daughters- Lily and Elizabeth, and our dog, Goose. My girls also attend DMPS schools. We love to be outside, play games, cheer on the Cyclones and spend time with friends and family! I am looking forward to a wonderful year!
Hi all! I started at Park Ave in January of 2022, but I have been with the district since 2014. I have served as an Attendance Officer at Hoover High School, a Success Case Manager at Lincoln High School and a Restoration and Safety Coordinator at Lincoln High School. I have also spent time coaching football at Lincoln and was the Assistant Activities Director there.
I grew up on the south side of Des Moines right behind Paesano’s Pizzeria! I attended Jefferson, Brody and then graduated from Lincoln in 2002. I earned my AA from DMACC in Criminal Justice in 2005 and then my BA in Sociology with a Concentration in Deviance from Simpson College in 2007. Before joining DMPS, I did a variety of community-based jobs at Orchard Place, New Beginnings Counseling Service and Children and Families of Iowa.
I have lived on the south side for the majority of my life and take great pride in this neighborhood. I’m really looking forward to making Park Ave a great community school!
Hi all! My name is Bailey Swain and I am the School Psychologist. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA and my doctorate in School Psychology from the University of South Dakota. I recently moved to Des Moines, so this is my first year with the district! I’m so excited to be a part of the Park Avenue family!