Kathryn (Lucy) McCormick
I came up through Des Moines Public Schools, through King, Perkins, Callanan, Roosevelt and Central, while swimming and coaching for the North Side Otters all the way. After graduating I went to Grinnell College where I majored in political science. My first teaching job was at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa, which is one of the most unique and holistic schools I’ve ever seen. My teaching is also informed and inspired by some of the places I’ve had the opportunity to travel to, such as India, Zambia, Greece and Bangladesh. I hold two masters degrees, one from Teachers College at Columbia University and the other from Drake University. These places have helped me understand the global issues I teach about on a different level. I’m amazed and please to say this is my 11th year teaching; my 6th with DMPS.
David (Dave) O’Connor
This is my 22nd and final year of teaching here at Merrill. Mrs. O’Connor (P.E. teacher at Merrill) and I will be retiring from teaching at the end of this school year. Prior to Merrill, I taught speech and debate for 10 years at West High School in Iowa City.. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs and all University of Iowa sports, where I attended school. I’m a musician (guitar) and enjoy playing in bands. I’m looking forward to a fun final year here at Merrill.
Early American History is the 8th grade social studies course for students in the Des Moines Public School system. It is a survey course that begins with the arrival of the first human beings into what is today known as North America and ends with the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. In between all of that, we study European Colonization of the America’s, the American Revolution and Founding, the creation of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and our representative form of government, Westward Expansion and the Civil War itself.