Hello! I am Mirela Abild. I am the office manager at Lovejoy. I was born and raised in Bosnia, where I lived until the summer of 2000. Having made the decision to move to the United States, my parents and I settled in Des Moines. Living in the United States has given me the opportunity to grow and develop, both personally and professionally. I am fortunate to have parents who have professed strong cultural and moral ideology that has carried on throughout my life. I am currently pursuing my teaching degree at Drake University with continued support of my family and friends. I am married to my husband Zach, and we have two girls and two boys!
Yazmin Gonzalez Rojas
My name is Yazmin Gonzalez, I was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when I was just 5 years old. I enjoy helping my Spanish speaking community and making a difference one day at a time. On my free time I love being at home with my daughter Camila!
I have taught Reading at Moulton Elementary in school, worked at McKinley Elementary school for 20 + years as a Case Manager /Family Development Specialist, I have worked in several different buildings throughout the Des Moines Schools, Hanawalt, Greenwood, Studebaker and Now Lovejoy!! The families and students that I have met and formed lifelong relationships with mean the world to me..My job is to listen to understand families, students and staff, and strive to remove barriers so that all may be successful!! My passion is to be a voice for those that struggle to find their voice😇
Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns my door is always open!
Amy Joens is the Community School Coordinator at Lovejoy. In this role, she helps support students and families with basic needs, student and family engagement, out of school time programming, and getting community support in our building through volunteers, donations, and shared decision making! Before coming to Lovejoy, Amy was a vegetable farmer and worked in several food-based non-profit organizations, trying to get nourishing, fresh foods to kids and families. She was also a gymnastics and a rock climbing coach! Amy grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but has also lived in Arkansas and Oregon. She attended the University of Northern Iowa and has a BS in Biology and a BA in Spanish (she is bilingual in English and Spanish), and she went on to get her Masters in Public Health at Des Moines University. She now lives on the South side of Des Moines, in the Lovejoy neighborhood! Amy is the oldest of six in her family, and loves working with children. She also enjoys active outdoor activities like running, biking, gardening, and rock climbing. Amy’s favorite part about her job is getting to not only connect with kids, but regularly being out in the community and getting to know families as well, and students’ incredible interests outside of school.
Hi! My name is Jill Paczkowski, but everyone at Lovejoy knows me as “Nurse Jill”. I have been the
School Nurse at Lovejoy since 2011. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bloomsburg
University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and have worked in many different health care settings over
the years, including 2 years as a School Nurse in Indiana. My husband is a Minister, and we have 1
daughter who is married and has 2 little boys in Omaha, Nebraska. My favorite activities are reading,
quilting, playing with my grandsons, and watching movies with my husband in the evenings. I love
being at Lovejoy…our students and staff are like family to me, and I love being available to care for
them when they need me. If you ever have questions or concerns about health (physical, mental, or
emotional), immunizations, or anything else and you do not know who to contact, please feel free to
contact me. I will help you in any way I can or refer you to the person here at Lovejoy that can help
you the most! Be safe and stay healthy!!