Des Moines Christian’s teachers live out our mission as role models for students, as they work alongside one another and as they serve the DMC community. Teachers are invited to nominate a peer who is a dynamic classroom teacher, a passionate apprentice of Christ, a lifelong learner, an active partner with parents and committed to positively cultivating community.
The recipients of the third annual DMC Teacher of the Year awards are:
Amy Kelleher, Early Education Two-Year-Old Lead Teacher
Kelsey Steen, Elementary School Counselor
Andrew Hamer, Middle School Science Teacher
Annie Pettit, High School Math Teacher
Amy Kelleher is in her fourth year at DMC as lead teacher in the two-year-old “purple” room. She has been having fun and working with children since she was a teenager, now with more than 20 years of experience. Amy exudes joy and loves “her kids” and her co-workers well. She shares encouraging notes and sends out challenges to members of her team to help them grow together. She genuinely loves and thrives on seeking new knowledge and regularly attends conferences and leadership events to expand her faith. Amy partners with parents to give positive feedback, friendly encouragement or gentle reminders with our youngest group of learners.
God has blessed Amy with an abundance of love and patience. Working with DMC’s youngest group of children is her sweet spot. “My favorite thing about Des Moines Christian is the freedom to be myself, which includes expressing my faith. I can take moments throughout the day to add value and spiritual truths during teaching moments with our precious little ones. I truly enjoy every day at Des Moines Christian,” Amy says.
Kelsey Steen is finishing up her second year serving as DMC’s Elementary School Counselor. It is evident that she loves Jesus and is a passionate apprentice of Christ as she leads in chapel and teaches lessons in the classroom. She is an integral part of the emotional and social development for children at DMC. She positively cultivates community and helps kids discern their actions using Biblical truth. She sees all students as individuals who are wonderfully and perfectly made. Kelsey is a lifelong learner, always seeking best practices to meet students' needs.
Kelsey has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa, with a major in family services and a minor in leisure, youth, and human services. Her Masters of Science in Education - School Counseling degree is from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Kelsey says, “It's an incredible blessing to come to a job where I can work alongside colleagues that inspire me daily and feel like family, while also making a difference in the lives of students. I truly feel as if God uses me to be his hands, feet, and voice to nurture students' hearts and equip them to impact the world for Him. What an honor to be able to live out my deep hope of students recognizing they are unconditionally loved by God while supporting them socially, emotionally, and academically.”
Andrew Hamer teaches 6th and 7th grade science and also serves as the head high school cross country coach at DMC. His colleagues say he is a gifted instructor, but that is only the beginning. What is most remarkable about Andrew is his ability to connect with his students. He nurtures their hearts in the relationships and rapport he builds with them. He spurs students on to love and serve the Lord by his godly, caring, servant-hearted example. Each student seems to enjoy time with Mr. Hamer.
Andrew received his BA in biochemistry at Central College and his teaching certificate through the University of Iowa. He recently received his Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership through Dordt University.
Andrew says, “DMC families create a strong sense of community within the school. I love teaching at DMC because the mission statement is lived out by empowering students as leaders, rooted with a foundation of Christian principles that permeates all areas of their educational experience.”
Annie Pettit teaches dual credit calculus and dual credit statistics at DMC. She has taught math at DMC for six years and is a dynamic instructional leader. Her students are well-prepared for college math when they graduate. She helps students recognize their own strengths and needs. Annie equips minds well by explaining di??cult concepts clearly and holding students responsible. She nurtures hearts in how she lives out her own faith, through mentorship, and through her wholehearted support of the DMC community. She is an avid Lion fan and is also the cross country assistant coach.
Annie has 15 years of teaching experience and has been at DMC for the past six year. She received her BS in Integrated Mathematics Education from Miami University, and MS in Mathematics Education from Iowa State.
Annie says, “I love interacting with the students and helping them grow in their relationship with Christ, their relationships with one another, and their mathematical understanding. It is rewarding watching them live out their faith and share their passions with the school community, the Des Moines metro, and beyond.”