Administration and Office Staff

Holly Barcus

Dean of Students

P: 242-8409 | E:


My teaching career began as a 5th grade teacher in a small town in Washington state.  Since then I have taught English Language Learners in several schools throughout Des Moines and in the Intensive English Language Center.  I completed my Master’s degree at Viterbo University in Educational Leadership.  My  husband is also a teacher and we have a son in kindergarten and a two-year-old daughter.  I strive to create a learning environment that will tap into the potential of each and every student.

Ashley Lack

Office Manager

P: 515.242.8409 | E:

Rose Richman


P: 242-8409 | E:

Madison Sweet

Mental Health Therapist



Hi there and welcome to South Union! I’m Madison Jackson and this is my second year as South Union’s Mental Health Therapist. In 2013, I graduated from Iowa State University with by Bachelor of Science degree in Adult, Family, and Child Services and went on to receive my Master of Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015. Go Cyclones and Panthers! I currently live in Norwalk with my fiancé, and our dog, Ava!  Outside of school, I enjoy attending football and baseball games, crafting, and spending time with my friends and family. I am so excited to be a part of South Union and I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year!

Bill Szakacs


P: 515-242-8409 | E:


“It is an honor and privilege to serve as Principal at South Union Elementary School, as well as represent DMPS.” Dr. Bill Szakacs is beginning his 28th year serving public education of which 24 of those years devoted to various roles in school administration across the country. Dr. Szakacs attended Western Michigan University (BA); University of Houston – Clearlake (MS), and Cardinal Stritch Univerisity (Ed.D). Dr. Szakacs is a family man. Wife Pam teaches ELL at Cattell, two kids (Sophia and Noah) attend college, and a dog – Ginger keep him on the go. Hobbies include doing fun things with the family (travel), running/biking/hoops, reading, yardwork, pheasant hunting, cookouts, and watching different sports including cheering on his beloved University of Michigan Wolverines. Go Lil-Rails! Go Blue!