English Language Learners

Julie Vitek

ELL (K-2)

P: 515-242-8439 | E: julie.vitek@dmschools.org


My name is Julie Vitek and I have been a teacher at Willard Elementary since 2012.  I have been teaching for Des Moines Public Schools since 1991.  I graduated from Upper Iowa University and earned my master’s degree from Viterbo University.  I have a reading endorsement as well as an ELL endorsement.  Before coming to Willard I taught second, third, fourth grades, title reading, and reading recovery. I have a passion for beginning readers!  I enjoy laying the foundation to help ALL students succeed and watch them grow from being a non-reader to a reader! My husband and I live in Altoona with our two children, Connor and Jenna, and our dog Ella.

Denise Weston

ELL (3-5)

P: 515-242-8439 | E: denise.weston@dmschools.org


Welcome to room 310! My name is Denise Weston. This is my 6th year teaching English language learners (ELL) at Willard Elementary! I graduated with my BA in Education at Upper Iowa University in 2012, with endorsements in ELL, Reading, and English/Language Arts. I am currently working on my Masters at Drake University, and a special education endorsement.

My passion is teaching and learning! I teach my students that it is important to maintain their native language and customs, while learning English and learning about new customs. Speaking multiple languages will help them maintain ties to family members, and provide many opportunities for them in their future. I love teaching, and learning, from students who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

My husband and I live in Altoona. We have four beautiful daughters, three amazing son-in-laws, and four adorable grandchildren under the age of four. I love bike riding, swimming, walking, traveling, and spending time with my family.