Phoenix Academy

Cindy Gibbens

Social Science Teacher

P: 515-242-7589 | E:


I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BS in Secondary Education with Endorsements in Reading (grades 5-12) and all social studies (grades 5-12). Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, and traveling.

Jodine Smith

Business/Technology Teacher

P: 515-242-7589 | E:

Class Description

Course Description:


Tech Seminar

Tech Seminar is a course for all students new to the Scavo Learning Community.  Students will engage in creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop products and processes using technology. Students will work collaboratively using technology to conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions.


Fundamentals of Word Processing

Basic keyboarding is a nine week course designed to assist students who are beginning to develop a personal use level of skill.  Students learn appropriate touch techniques to build speed and accuracy at the keyboard.  They apply skills to format business documents.


Computer Applications

Computer Applications is a nine week course designed to develop skills necessary  for success in their academic, personal and professional lives.   Students will learn Microsoft Office 2010 completing projects using Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.  Students will develop attitudes and knowledge of ethical use of technology.


Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is a nine week class designed to assist students in becoming financially responsible.  Students will learn how to manage money effectively by developing spending plans and selecting appropriate financial instruments to maintain positive cash flow.  Students will identify and evaluate appropriate risk management options.  Students will assess the value, features, and planning processes associated with savings, investing, and apply knowledge to achieve long-tern financial goals.


Word Processing

Word Processing is a course designed for students interested in improving their knowledge and skills in word processing. Students build writing skill needed for success in academic endeavors as well as future careers. The primary software used is Microsoft Word.




Biology/Multimedia is a nine week course designed to earn credit in Biology and a business elective.  Students will learn to develop multimedia presentations using a variety of hardware and software.  They will use the Internet for research and demonstrate an understanding of copyright and fair use practices. Students will demonstrate competency of standards in Multimedia and Biology through projects, assigned activities, and labs.



Jodine Smith is a Career and Technical Education teacher at Scavo High School. She earned a BA from Simpson College in 1998 and a MA from Viterbo University in 2007. She has taught in Des Moines Public Schools since 2003 at Scavo High School. Her endorsement areas are Business Marketing/Management, Business General, and Multioccupations.

Mark Yusten

Science Teacher

P: 515-242-7589 | E:

Class Description

The Academic Support Lab (ASL) consists of many courses that students will complete through an online program called Education 2020 Dynamic Classroom (e2020). Each individual course has its own description and syllabus. The instructor provides students with assistance in completing their coursework by helping students to set goals, monitor their progress and understand course content.

I also teach Astronomy which has prerequisites of Algebra I, and then Earth Science or Conceptual Physics. It is for grades 10-12 and has a Semester course value of 0.5 Credit

Astronomy is a one-semester course devoted to the study of …. Astronomy. Units of study will include: objects that can be observed in the sky with the unaided eye such as the sun, planets, and stars; equipment that is used to further our knowledge of the universe; the relation between the earth and the other objects in the sky; the properties and lives of stars; the origins of our universe and solar system.


My name is Mark Yusten and I have been teaching science since 1987.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology from Briar Cliff College in 1985. I began teaching in 1987 after taking the required coursework for teaching as a minor.  Before I became a DMPS Teacher in 2006 I taught at several school districts in Iowa.  Currently I enjoy my time at home spending time with family, boating and ham radio.  Here at Scavo I sponsor the FTC robotics team and, of course, teach Astronomy, and all sciences as needed in the ASL Lab.




Meagen Wahl

Family Consumer Science and Math Teacher

P: 515-242-7589 | E:

Class Description

Foods and Nutrition 1
Students will learn the essentials to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition, exercise, and cooking techniques will be the focus in classroom projects, labs, and discussions.
PBL- Adult Living
Students will learn about the responsibilities of being a community member. They will use local and community resources to build their knowledge about budgeting, communication, problem-solving, and career choices. Students will work as team members to research, produce, and present a collaborative cross-curricular project.

Students will learn to develop everyday math skills through individual assessment, group discussion, and  hands-on activities.  Students will focus on using mathematical operations, solving multistep equations, and graphing linear equations.


I graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising. I am endorsed in both Family & Consumer Sciences and Mathematics. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and dogs, working on home improvement projects, visiting the DSM farmer’s market, and participating in athletic activities.

Sarah Ball

English Teacher

P: 515-242-7589 | E:


As Scavo’s Instructional Coach (TLC), I am excited to be working with teachers to explore and implement best practices in education. Along with the rest of the district, we will be working on different aspects of Marzano’s Instructional Framework throughout the school year. I look forward to the opportunity to work with each teacher on the staff at Scavo. I love the atmosphere here at Scavo and the interaction between staff and students, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

A native of eastern Iowa, I am a legacy graduate of Iowa State University (B.A. English) and received my M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Grand Canyon University. I’ve been a Language Arts, Speech, and Theatre Arts teacher/coach since 1986 – all in Iowa, except for three years in Minnesota and one wild year teaching ELL in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates).

It’s been a joy and a challenge to shift to this new role here at DMPS. I whistle while I work, I am an avid reader, and I love spending time in laughter with friends and family.