Special Education

Marissa Bennett

Special Education

P: 515-242-8409 | E: marissa.bennett@dmschools.org

Biography

This is my second year as a special education teacher at South Union Elementary.  I grew up in Tama, Iowa and graduated from Simpson College.  In my free time I enjoy dancing, cooking, watching movies, and playing trivia!  My favorite part about my job is working with outstanding teachers and watching children succeed.

Ben Black

Special Needs

E: ben.black@dmschools.org

Biography

Hey! I've been working with people in the educational setting for most of my life as a volunteer or a teacher. My mother is an educator as well as my sister.I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I love to educate and be educated not just in the classroom but the outdoors. Some of my hobbies include fishing, archery, shooting, hiking, biking, and water sports. I love the midwest's four seasons. Each season gives me an opportunity for an outside adventure. Being a classroom teacher is ALWAYS an adventure!

Amanda Fonza

Special Education

P: 515-242-8409 | E: amanda.fonza@dmschools.org

Biography

I've been working with children of all ages in many different settings for the last 20 years. For the last 3 years I've enjoyed working in the self contained room here at South Union, I love my job and the people I work with!  I also love spending time with my 3 beautiful children and adorable grandson.

Kelli Petersen

Special Needs

P: 515-242-8409 | E: kelli.petersen@dmschools.org

Biography

This is my fifth year being a fourth and fifth grade special needs teacher at South Union.  I grew up in Norwalk, IA and  received my education degree from the University of Northern Iowa  - GO PANTHERS!  I currently live in Beaverdale with my husband, Joe, and my pooch, Ozzie.  I love to ride my bike, run, read fiction stories, watch movies, and play racquetball.

You can follow me on Twitter @MrsPetersen221

Brian Phillips

Special Education Teacher

P: 515-242-8409 | E: brian.phillips@dmschools.org

Charissa Thornton

Special Education

P: 515-242-8409 | E: charissa.thornton@dmschools.org

Biography

Hello! My name is Charissa Thornton, and I am a proud Iowan! I graduated from Northwestern College (Iowa) in 2013. This is my third year teaching, and my second year in DMPS. I am excited to be working with students and families at South Union. I have worked with students in different levels of special education and across almost every grade! In my free time, I like to learn new things, travel, dance, and spend time with my nephews. Let's go Rails!