Student Support Teachers

Devan Benjamin

Instructional Coach

P: 515-242-8439 | E: devan.benjamin@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello, and welcome to 4th grade! This will be my fifth year of teaching and my second year at Willard. I graduated with my education degree, Spanish minor, and reading endorsement from Luther College. Additionally, I am working hard to graduate in May with my Master's degree in literacy from Drake University. When I am not busy at school, I enjoy biking, swimming, reading, running, and of course, spending time with loved ones.

Katie Clater

Instructional Coach

P: 515-242-8439 | E: katie.clater@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello! My name is Katie Clater and I am the Teaching and Learning Instructional Coach at Willard Elementary. I started my teaching career in 2003, working as a middle school special education teacher at Moulton Extended Learning Center with Des Moines Schools. After teaching special education for three years at Moulton, I left the district and went to work for Carlisle Community School District. While in Carlisle, I taught both special and general education, ranging from fourth through sixth grade. I returned to the Des Moines Public Schools in 2011 and taught fourth grade at Willard Elementary before transitioning to instructional coaching.

I love teaching at Willard because we have the BEST students and teachers in the Des Moines area!!! All students and teachers come to school with a passion to learn!

In my spare time, you will find me enjoying time with my husband and three children. My children keep me very busy with sporting activities and their love for the outdoors! I also love to travel, work in my flower gardens and read.

Tina Fulton

Title Math/Reading

P: 515-242-8439 | E: tina.fulton@dmschools.org

Doug Rucker

Title Reading/Math

P: 515-242-8439 | E: douglas.rucker@dmschools.org

Kelcie Stratton

Title Math/Reading

P: 515-242-8439 | E: kelcie.stratton@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello!  My name is Kelcie Stratton, and I teach third grade.  I live in Dallas Center with my husband, two sons (3 years old and 1 year old), and foster daughter (13 years old).  We also have two crazy dogs and two fish. I love spending time with my family and friends, watching my husband coach wrestling and football, reading, and scrapbooking.  I absolutely love teaching at Willard because of the wonderful students and families as well as amazing staff members!  There is nowhere else I’d rather teach.  I know it will be a great year with great people!

Carolyn Taylor

Gifted & Talented

E: carolyn.taylor@dmschools.org

Hilary Van Erem

K-3 Grant

P: 515-242-8439 | E: hilary.vanerem@dmschools.org

Biography

Hi, I’m Hilary Van Erem! This will be my fourth year at Willard. I have taught kindergarten the last three years so this is my first year in third grade. I am very excited for this new journey! I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I received my BA in Marketing: Sales & Advertising. After working in the business world for a few years I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I went back to school at Iowa State to pursue my true passion, teaching, and received my BS in Elementary Education. I was born and raised in Humboldt, IA and now reside in Ankeny with my husband, Nick, and our daughter, Pearl. She’s a sassy, stubborn, smart, and silly little girl who keeps us laughing and on our toes! We like to read, go to the park, watch movies, spend time with family, and be outside. I love working at Willard for so many reasons, mainly the students and staff. We love what we do and the kids are amazing. I can’t wait to make this the best year yet!