St. Anthony Catholic School

Ms. Jennifer Raes

 Greetings everyone, I'm Jennifer Raes, your new Principal.

I was born in Des Moines, raised in Urbandale and am a graduate of St. Pius X School and Dowling Catholic High School. 
I'm very pleased to continue my career in Catholic education here at St. Anthony's.

I have spent my career in Catholic education, gaining 20 years of experience in the classroom and nine years in administration - serving 6 years as the assistant principal at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in West Des Moines, and three years as assistant principal at St. Pius X Catholic School in Urbandale, where I also taught middle school language arts, reading, and math.

I also have experience in a sport as well, having coached two or three soccer teams each spring and fall for 22 years.

I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Ambrose University in Davenport.


Joe Fitzgerald

BOE Chair

I am a parishioner of St. Anthony’s who serves on the Building and Grounds Committee.  I have three children at St. Anthony’s:  Zeb is a 7th grader, Keegan is in 6th and Eden in 2nd - all are in the Spanish Immersion curriculum. I work in construction and recycling.  I am excited to be a member of St. Anthony’s Board of Education!

Ruth Sereg

Hello everyone!

My name is Ruth Anne Sereg, I grew up in Indianola, Iowa, I come from a family of 9. I have been a member of St. Anthony Parish for 10 years; I am going on my 5th year on St. Anthony Board of Ed serving as the Board Secretary.

My daughter graduated from 8th grade at St. Anthony’s May 2019. She will be a Sophomore @ Dowling this year.  She has been part of our Spanish Immersion Program when it first started and am so thankful to be part of this wonderful program that was introduced to me and my family upon our daughter going into kindergarten. We have been truly blessed with such wonderful experiences from this program.  With all our wonderful Teachers, plus given an opportunity to become host family through Faces and Our Culture.  We were able to go to Guatemala and visit, Amber was able to attend school in Guatemala, and meet new friends, and enjoy a wonderful experience. I urge the rest of our community to open their doors to this wonderful opportunity.

Thank you, St. Anthony School and Parish, for being part of our lives.

Ruth Anne Sereg


Greetings all! 

My name is Mary Porter.  I am a Catholic wife and mother to three active children here at St Anthony's. I am an active volunteer here at St Anthony's, as well as the community and work full-time as a project manager. I have been a parishioner of Saint Anthony’s since 2005. 

I graduated from a Catholic high school, Loras (Catholic) College with a Bachelor’s degree and the University of Iowa (Full-time) MBA program. I am passionate about education and lifelong learning as is evident by maintaining multiple professional certifications and volunteering for many educational institutions.  Prior to volunteering at St Anthony's, I had the fortune to demonstrate my passion for education through volunteering as a teen RCIA team teacher and later as an ESL teacher. 

My humble request is for the community to pray for the entire Board of Education as we strive to make St Anthony’s School the best it can be. 
Thank you to all that so generously give of their time, talent and treasure!

Mary Porter

Hello, my name is Harry Reed. I grew up in Long Island, New York. I came to Iowa to attend Des Moines University in the early 90’s to study in the D O Medicine Program. I have two children attending St Anthony’s School and 4 other children attending various schools. My wife and I were married at St Anthony’s Church. We are active members of the Parish. I am a member of Knights of Columbus.

God has blessed me with my Catholic faith and an intimate relationship with Jesus which has been nourished by prayer and a sacramental life within the church. I feel it’s a blessing that children are able to attend a faith based school, that we have financial assistance programs and a parish and educators dedicated to the children. Please keep this school supported through your prayers.

Hello, my name is Lisa Darnell.  My husband Dennis and I have two children, our son Charlie and daughter Frankie.  I am thrilled to be a member of St. Anthony Parish BOE.  I feel it is very important to show our children how to get involved and have a voice.   I work full time as a Real Estate Professional and believe great things can be accomplished through collaboration.

James Sarcone

My name is James Sarcone and I am a lifelong member of Saint Anthony’s Parish. I graduated from Saint Anthony’s in 1994, Dowling High School in 1998, Creighton University in 2002, and am employed by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in the Office of Professional Standards. My daughter, Olive, and 5 nephews and a niece attend St. Anthony’s School.  I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve on this board and welcome any feedback you may have. 


Shelia Thurston

In my professional life I specialize in resolving complex litigation and often use mediation as an effective tool to resolve differences.
My background includes experience with Catholic, Public, Montessori and online Schooling via shared experiences with my daughter and multiple exchange students from Korea, Thailand, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and China. 

I serve on the United Way of Central Iowa Education Cabinet and previously served on a school board in Pennsylvania for several years.  I have a special focus on STEM and hope to help prepare our children for tomorrow's skills. 

Kari Howard
Faculty Representative

Hello! My name is Kari Howard, the 4 Year Old Preschool teacher. This is my 16th year teaching at St. Anthony’s. I taught 8 years of Kindergarten and this is my 8th year of teaching 4 Year Old Preschool. I graduated from University of Northern Iowa with Degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and Special Education.

My husband and I have live in West Des Moines with our three kids (Amelia, Pete and Cordelia).  We are members to Sacred Heart and our children attend school there as well.  I enjoy reading when I get a quiet moment, walking, and attending sports activities for my kids.   
I look forward to working with you this year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me throughout the year if you have questions or concerns.