Sherry Brooks has been with Central Academy since 2001, teaching Advanced Language, Literature, and Composition, Advanced American Literature, Advanced Placement Literature and Composition, Advanced Placement Language and Composition, and IB English. She received her MAT from the University of Iowa in 1997, Prior to teaching at Central Academy, Ms. Brooks taught four years at North High School. She has received the Who’s Who Among American Teachers Award twice and received the Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award through Northwestern University in 2019. Ms. Brooks earned her Gifted and Talented Endorsement in 2019 and is her department’s Professional Learning Community lead and the head of the English Department.
8th Grade Advance Language, Literature and Composition
AP Literature and Composition
Luci Core joined the Central Academy staff in 2014 and teaches Prep Academy English Language Arts and Accelerated Language and Literature. She received her BFA from Iowa State University and her master’s in teaching from Morningside College. She is endorsed 7-12 English/Language Arts, 7-12 Speech, 7-12 All Language Arts, and K-12 Reading. In 2016, she earned her Gifted and Talented Endorsement, and is a part of the Building Leadership Team. She previously taught for Sioux City Community Schools, Dowling, and Iowa Connections Academy.
Prep Academy English Language Arts
Accelerated Language and Literature
Anne has been with Central Academy since 2007, teaching almost all science courses offered to 8th and 9th graders and beyond. She received her BS from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Masters of Education from Doane College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Gifted and Talented Endorsement from Viterbo University. Prior to joining the Academy staff, Anne taught at Crete High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, instructing Biology, Applied Chemistry, Applied Physics and Environmental Science. Anne serves on several district committees and is a Professional Learning Community lead and department chair for the science department.
French IV (AP French)
French V (AP French)
Lindsay joined the Central Academy faculty in 2008 teaching Spanish ab initio and Spanish B courses in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program as well as Spanish I for 8th grade students. She earned her BA in English and Spanish and her MAT in English and Spanish education from the University of Iowa. Prior to teaching at the Academy, Lindsay taught Spanish levels I through AP V for six years at Roosevelt High School and taught English for one year at Lincoln High School. She is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and the Iowa World Language Association.
Advanced Language, Literature, and Composition (8th)
Accelerated Language and Literature (9th)
Dara Green joined the Academy faculty in 2008 teaching DMPS’ first class dedicated to teaching students how to throw on a pottery wheel. Ms. Green graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998 and taught for Chicago Public Schools before moving to Des Moines, Iowa. She received her National Board Certificate in Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Art in 2004 and 2014. Ms. Green’s classes are structured using Flipped Learning and Training to Teach models. Please explore the links below to learn more.
Throwing Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced
Denis joined the Central Academy faculty in 2008 teaching English. He earned one undergraduate degree in speech, English, and theatre from Simpson College and another from the University of Minnesota in elementary education. He did his graduate work at Northwestern University. In Des Moines, Denis has taught at Lincoln High School (1974-1979), Douglas Elementary School (1980-1984), and Hoover High School (1984-2008). Denis received the National Federation of State High School Associations regional Outstanding Speech, Debate, and Theatre Award and was inducted into the Iowa High School Speech Association Hall of Fame in 2003. He is a member of the National Council for Teachers of English and the Iowa Communication Association.
Prep Academy Advisor
Kristin came to Central Academy in 2001. She earned her BA in English from Luther College in 1993 and her Masters in Counseling from Drake University in 1997. Before coming to Central she served as high school counselor at Norwalk High School from 1997-2001. She began her career as a middle school English teacher, first in Remsen, Iowa and then at Norwalk Middle School.
Becky Johnson has worked for DMPS since 1980. She has taught Elementary, Middle, and High School Studio Art in Des Moines. Becky joined the Academy faculty in 2014 teaching AP Art History, Intermediate Art History, and Introduction to Art History.
Ms. Johnson holds a permanent Professional teaching endorsement w/ Administrative certification, and is a Connie Belin Gifted Education Fellow. She attended Iowa State University and the University of Iowa where she received her BFA in Metalwork/Jewelry, Ceramics, and Photography. She received her MSE from Drake University. Becky has been a reader for the College Board AP Art History exam 2015 in SLC, Utah Course Descriptions AP Art History This course is designed as a high-level, challenging course with similar rigor to that found in the collegiate classroom.
AP Art History is an introductory survey course dealing with the history of art and its evolution from ancient to modern societies. AP Art History covers approximately 30,000 years of art creation, from the Prehistoric and Neolithic periods to 20th Century, Postmodern, and current art trends. Though a brief survey of Asian, African, Islamic, and other Eastern Art is studied, the bulk of this year-long class covers mainly Europe and the rest of the Western World. The course studies historical transition of art periods, as well as how culture, religion, government and history reflect the personal and sociological art trends throughout the existence of humans. No prerequisite.
Intermediate Art History In this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of the functions of imagery, while exploring the role art has played throughout Western and Non-Western history and contemporary trends. The focus of this course is describing, exploring, and participating in the creative process in order to better understand the role of art in history. Students are responsible for keeping a journal for notetaking and preliminary sketches. No prerequisite.
Introduction to Art History In this course, students will develop a basic vocabulary for describing visual art, while understanding the functions of imagery. We will explore the role art has played throughout Western and Non-Western history and contemporary trends. The focus of this course is describing, exploring, and participating in the creative process in order to better understand the role of art in history. Students are responsible for keeping a journal for note taking and preliminary sketches. No prerequisite.
Darci joined Central Academy in 2014, where she taught World Literature, Advanced Placement Language and Composition, and Advanced Placement Literature. Previously she taught DMACC Composition and Introduction to Literature at Roland-Story High School. During the summer, she also teaches for Grand View University and Des Moines Area Community College. She received her BS in English Literature and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University.
Michael has been with Central Academy since 1986, teaching Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-calculus, Integrated Math I, II and III and AP Calculus AB. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He is an Edyth May Sliffe Awardee and a national recipient from Iowa for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. Michael is a former Vice-President of the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics and state representative for the National Association.
Radically Accelerated Math – Year 2
Lana has been with Central Academy since 1997, teaching Prep Academy Accelerated Math 2, Algebra 1, Geometry, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations. She received degrees from the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and Iowa State University. Lana is a recipient of the Edyth May Sliffe Award. She is with the Iowa and National Council of Mathematics Teachers and is involved with the ISU/National Science Foundation research project on Discourse in the Middle School Mathematics classroom.
Prep Academy Accelerated Math 2
Linear Algebra & Differential Equations
Michael Marcketti joined the Central Academy staff in 2007. He has taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Radically Accelerated Math 1, IB Mathematics SL Year 2, AP Calculus AB, and Advanced Math Problem Solving. He received his BA in Mathematics from Grinnell College, and his M. Ed from Graceland University, with additional courses from ISU, U of I, and Southern University. Mr. Marcketti has previously taught at West High School in Iowa City, The Episcopal School in Baton Rouge, Roosevelt High School and is an instructor for the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education. He is a two-time recipient of the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Secondary Mathematics Teaching. Additionally, he has been an American Regions Mathematics League Coach, an officer of the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
AP Calculus AB
Advanced Math Problem Solving
Jeff Marks joined the Central Academy in 2018 and is currently teaching in the Prep Academy program as well as Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Radically Accelerated I. He received his B.S. in engineering at Iowa State University as well as his secondary mathematics teaching endorsement. He received his Masters in Education at Viterbo University and has taken additional graduate level mathematics courses at other universities. Mr. Marks started teaching at Hoyt Middle School in 1991, moved to Brody Middle School for 14 years, then switched to Roosevelt High School for the 12 years prior to moving to Central Academy. He has been published in two NCTM publications: Promoting Purposeful Discourse and Teaching Middle School Mathematics. He is a National Board Certified teacher in early adolescence mathematics and was the state of Iowa finalist for Presidential Award for the Teaching of Mathematics and Science.
Prep Academy mathematics
Radically Accelerated Mathematics I
Catie Miller joined the Central Academy staff in 2007, and currently teaches English 9 Advanced Studies in World Literature and Advanced Placement Language and Composition. She received her BA in Communication from Simpson College, and her masters from UNI. Previously, she taught at Meredith Middle School, Roosevelt High School, where she was Head Forensics Coach, and Hoover High School, where she served as assistant forensics and drama coach. Ms. Miller spent two years teaching in Japan with the Kofu/Des Moines Teacher Exchange. She was the 2017 Iowa PBS Digital Innovator. She is currently working toward an advanced degree in rhetoric.
World Literature, Composition & Speech
Advanced Placement Language and Composition
Advanced 9th Grade English World Studies in Literature
Ms. Pinkney earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and she completed the Cameron Secondary Teacher Education Program. Ms. Pinkney taught 9th, 10th, 11th grade English in Lawton before relocating to Des Moines in 2005. She teaches 8th grade Advanced Language, Literature, and Composition at Central Academy, and she is the Dream to Teach instructor at Central Campus.
Ms. Pinkney has a variety of interests outside of school. Her main interest is music. She is a drummer who has been a member of several hard rock bands, and she has recorded three CDs. Currently, she is the drummer for Headsmut. Ms. Pinkney is an avid concert goer. She is also a sports enthusiast, and she is a jogger. Ms. Pinkney also enjoys movies, board games, listening to music, traveling, cleaning, and spending time with her husband.
Language, Literature & Composition
Brian Reece joined the Central Academy staff in 2007. He received his BA in Mathematics from Central College, and his MSM from Iowa State University. Brian has previously taught at Lake Mills High School, Melcher-Dallas High School and Johnston High School. In 2010, Brian completed a real world externship with Hy-Vee. Brian is a member of the National Council of Mathematics Teachers, a 2008 Edith May Sliffe Award recipient, a 2013 awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
AP Calculus BC
AP Computer Science Principles
Scott has been with Central Academy since 1988, teaching courses involving all aspects of science and computer science. He completed his undergraduate work at Iowa State and graduate work at the University of Iowa. Scott has been named Science Teacher of the Year by the Iowa Academy of Science. He is the Iowa Academy of Science Earth Science Chair, the Datastreme Instructor for the American Meteorological Society and the Iowa Representative for the National Earth Science Association of Teachers.
AP Computer Science
Canada Snyder teaches College AP US history, College Middle East history & Islam, College history of Latin America, AP Seminar and advises Model UN. Canada was the State of Iowa’s secondary history team leader for the new state standards. She has worked for the Iowa Secretary of State Office in creating the official Caucus curriculum for the state. Ms. Snyder was selected as 1 of 6 teachers nationwide by the World Affairs Council-Dallas/Ft. Worth to participate in an education study tour to the United Arab Emirates in Spring 2019. She has traveled extensively both with students and backpacking on her own. She is an active member of several professional organizations including the National Council of History Education, the National and Iowa Council of Social Studies, and the National and Iowa Geographic Alliance as well at the Organization of American Historians. She has presented at several national conferences, state and local conferences. Canada Snyder is the recipient of the Belin Blank Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ns. Snyder is an Advanced Placement exam reader and previously taught IB history courses. She received her Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Iowa and a Master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in curriculum writing, from Drake University. She has been teaching for 21 years.
College AP US history,
College History of the Middle East & Islam
College History of Latin America