The Southeast Polk Community School District is proud to announce three new elementary principals for the 2021-2022 school year! These principals will assume the positions that will be left open by our 3 retiring elementary principals.
Morgan Miller will succeed Steve Stotts who will be retiring at the end of the school year after serving with the Southeast Polk School District since 2002. Miller comes to us from North Polk Community School District where he has been the Central Elementary Principal for the past 6 years.
Prior to that assignment, Miller was the elementary principal at A-H-S-T (now known as A-H-S-T-W) for 6 years. In addition, he has 7 years of experience teaching fourth and fifth grades at West Central Valley Community Schools and Waukee Community Schools. He also brings with him years of significant leadership experience including Director of Special Education, designing and facilitating a variety of professional development opportunities, and School Improvement Advisory Committee Chair.
Miller shared, “I feel very fortunate to join Southeast Polk Schools, a system with a proven track record of always putting students first. I look forward to building strong relationships with students, families, and staff.”
Miller earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education, Elementary Education with a Social Studies/Social Science Endorsement from Mount St. Clare College (now known as Ashford University). He earned his Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Specialist in Education with a Superintendent Licensure from Drake University.
Miller currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa and enjoys family time and time spent with his two dogs! On the weekends you can find them eating out at restaurants or at the dog park. They follow the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Chicago Cubs and Bears.
Chelsea Clark will assume Kevin Walker’s principal position when he retires at the end of the school year, after serving the Southeast Polk School District since 1997. Chelsea is currently the Spring Creek 6th Grade Center School Administration Manager.
Prior to coming to Southeast Polk in 2019, Clark was with the Des Moines Public School District as an Instructional Coach at Jackson Elementary for 2 years and a 5th-grade teacher at Brubaker Elementary for 4 years. She started her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher at Greene Elementary in the North Butler CSD.
“I am beyond excited and blessed to begin serving as principal at Delaware Elementary this coming school year! What an honor it will be to lead a school with persevering students, dedicated staff, and a supportive community. I look forward to building relationships with those that call Delaware Elementary home, and learning more about the individuals that make the school great! I am a firm believer that all students are able to achieve at high levels with supportive adults that know their potential, with teachers that work collaboratively to provide rigorous and engaging learning experiences, and with families that are actively involved in their children’s education. I am confident that, together, we will see high levels of success as those at Delaware Elementary achieve their goals and more! Thank you for the opportunity to be able to serve and lead at Delaware Elementary School! ”
Clark earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Wartburg College and her Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Drake University.
When not at school, you will find Chelsea spending time with her family: husband, Jimmy, a teacher and coach here at Southeast Polk and 2 ½-year-old son Maverick who will be a big brother to another little Clark joining their family in early May! They enjoy cheering on the Rams at sporting events throughout the year and also love being outdoors while going on adventures together as a family. In her free time, she likes to read, both personally and professionally, bike the many trails in surrounding areas, cheer on the Hawks and the Chiefs, and spend quality time with family and friends.
Tamera Steenhoek will be filling Randy Mohning’s principal position as he too is retiring at the end of this school year after serving the district since 2009. Tamera has been with SEP since 2007, most recently serving as the Southeast Polk PK-12 District Language Arts Coordinator since 2012.
Steenhoek, pronounced Steen-hook, was a second and third-grade teacher at Runnells and Clay Elementary schools from 2007-2012. During this same time, she was also a Simpson College Education Department Adjunct Instructor. She started her teaching career as a third-grade teacher at Davis Elementary in the Grinnell-Newburg School District then moved to Westwood Elementary with the Ankeny CSD, again teaching third grade. Steenhoek has extensive district professional learning leadership experience including serving as the substitute principal at Centennial and Willowbrook elementary schools. She also has relationships across the district working with our Special Education, Preschool, English Learning and TAG Coordinators.
“It is a privilege to serve Four Mile Elementary’s students, families, and staff! My experience at Southeast Polk has provided me many opportunities to develop relationships with the hardworking staff and I look forward to closely connecting with the greater Four Mile community. I am eager to learn more about Four Mile’s positive reputation and commitment to growth and learning. I look forward to reinforcing that high level of success and supporting everyone in accomplishing our future goals.”
Steenhoek earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Reading and Early Childhood Endorsements from Simpson College. She earned her Masters in Elementary Education from Viterbo University and her Advanced Studies Degree in Education Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
Steenhoek lives in Prairie City with her husband Kevin, son Gabe, two daughters Paige and Addi, and two dogs. As a family, they enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling, and attending sporting events. Steenhoek is a voracious reader and enjoys exercising. She serves as a middle school youth leader, youth softball coach, and community and church volunteer.
The new principals will work with the current administrators in the coming months to allow for smooth transitions. The contracts for all three were unanimously approved by the Southeast Polk School Board at their February 18th meeting. They will each officially begin their new positions on July 1st.
Dr. Dirk Halupnik, Superintendent, shares, “I am very excited for the students, families, and staff at these buildings. These three will be excellent leaders for our schools. We are fortunate to be able to capture the best of both worlds – recognizing and retaining great leaders within our system along with bringing in proven leadership from outside.”
Look for more information in the upcoming months about our incoming principals as well as a look back to honor our 3 retiring principals and their decades of service to the Southeast Polk Community.