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.


Shelia Thurston
BOE Chair

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. 

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

Joel Westrom
Vice Chair

Hello my name is Joel Westrum. My family and I have been parishioners of St. Anthonys since 2015. Our three daughters, Helena, Rose and Dorothy, attend St. Anthony School.

I attended the University of Iowa and went to Inter American Optometry School in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have an Optometry practice in Des Moines and use the Spanish that I learned in Puerto Rico everyday. I am also the ambassador for CTO.

I look forward to helping make St. Anthony School the best it can be.

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.

My name is Jaime Leiva, I am a St. Anthony’s Parishioner since 2013.  I grew up on the south side of Des Moines where I attended Lincoln High School. I continued my education at Iowa Central Community College (AS in Criminal Justice), and AIB College of Business (BS in Business Administration and Accounting.)

I am currently an insurance advisor helping families and businesses with their insurance needs. I am also the founder and director of United Futbol Academy, a non-profit youth soccer program here in Des Moines. 

My wife Jessica and I have 3 kids and live on the south side of Des Moines. I have a passion for helping the next generation achieve their goals, and hope to help St. Anthony’s School continue their mission of providing quality education infused with religion and good values.

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.

Tom Buckmiller

I am Tom Buckmiller and our family lives in Waukee.  Our three children attend St. Anthony School (Spanish Immersion Program).  I am a full professor at Drake University in the School of Education where I am the director of the LEAD program. My research has focussed on Native American education and standards-based grading and assessment.  My BA is from Mount Marty College (Benedictine), my MA is from Iowa State, and my PhD is from Penn State University.

I am a former 5th grade teacher and high school golf and football coach (Hampton-Dumont, IA) and a former Catholic School Principal (Sacred Heart Elementary/Middle, Yankton, SD). My wife teaches Spanish at St. Francis in West Des Moines. 

Joe Barsetti

Hello. My name is Joe Barsetti. I grew up in Des Moines. I am a graduate of Saint Anthony School and Dowling Catholic High School.  Following high school, I received my bachelor’s degree from Creighton University. I graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry. I completed a residency, specializing in pediatric dentistry at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I returned to Des Moines, where I practiced pediatric dentistry for 39 years. I have retired from private practice and currently I teach part time in the pediatric clinic at Creighton University School of Dentistry.

My wife, Rita, and I have three grown children who live and work in the Des Moines area. I am excited to join Saint Anthony Board of Education. I look forward to continuing to support the Catholic values that Saint Anthony teaches which is the central pillar that the students will build on for a successful and faith filled lives.
Joe Barsetti