I am Ryan Pirtle, the associate principal at Garton Elementary. I am excited to begin my first year at Garton Elementary and to work alongside our students, families, and staff. I began my formal career in education in 2008 as a family and consumer sciences teacher in Des Moines Public Schools and most recently served as an instructional coach at East High School. I am an Iowa State graduate with degrees in horticulture, family and consumer sciences education, and educational leadership. My wife and I have two daughters, aged 7 and 9. Outside of work I enjoy traveling, gardening, cooking, and continuing my education.
My name is Andrea Safina and I am the principal at Garton Elementary. I look forward to serving your child and family in a school community that works together to build a safe, positive learning environment that promotes educational excellence. I started my teaching career with Des Moines Public Schools in 2000 at Adams Elementary as a special education teacher. I have served as an instructional coach and dean of students over the years at Monroe, Greenwood, River Woods, and Carver elementary schools. I started my role as a principal in July 2017 and could not be more excited to serve the Garton Elementary community. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education and my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Literacy Education, both from the University of Northern Iowa. I also have an advanced certificate in both PK-12 Principal Leadership and Special Education. Go Wildcats!