My name is Jill Burke and I am honored to be the principal of South Union Elementary. Here at South Union we are committed to create and foster an environment, where all children feel safe and have access to high quality instruction, so they can cultivate positive change for our school and community. At South Union the staff builds meaningful relationships with students to ensure an amazing elementary experience for ALL. Students will see many staff members in classrooms, hallways, on the playground and in the lunchroom getting to know your children throughout the year.
Prior to South Union, I was the principal at Howe Elementary, just down the road. I have also been a Dean of Students at Monroe Elementary and Assistant Principal in Arizona. I hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Iowa State University and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. I began teaching in 2002, in a rural community outside of Des Moines. I have worked as an elementary school teacher, instructional coach and assistant principal in Buckeye, AZ, before arriving at DMPS.
I live in Urbandale, Iowa with my family, Jon (husband), Tyler (7th grader), Mya (5th grader), Landon (3rd Grader), and Emery (Pre-School).
Hi! My name is Kelly Ruden and I am honored and excited to be Associate Principal at South Union. This is my 15th year teaching and leading in Des Moines. Before coming to South Union, I taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and served as an Instructional Coach and Dean of Students at Monroe and Madison Elementary Schools. I love being a school leader because it means I get to work with every classroom and get to know every single student. It’s so fun to watch kids as they grow from kindergarten to 5th grade!
When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, my three sons,James (10), Logan (8), and Grayson (18 months), and my dog, Dasher.