Mrs. Jamie Adolphson is the Associate Principal. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bradley University and her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from Saint Xavier University. Jamie previously taught for Pekin District 108 as an emotional/behavioral classroom teacher before joining the Pekin High School Staff teaching Special Education Science. The last three years Jamie spent as a Dean of Students at Pekin High School. Jamie is married to her husband Cory, and they have a daughter Kylie and a son Bradley.
Welcome to the MJHS Library Media Center, also known as the LMC.
Hours of operation are Monday - Friday 7:15 AM through 3:15 PM.
LOG IN (https://search.follettsoftware.com/metasearch/ui/7654/widget?type=b) to search for print books, eBooks, Audiobooks and your one stop for research. Students, Please join the LMC Google Classroom to stay up-to-date on all the exciting things happening in the Library world! Class code: gbed7b8
The mission of the Library Media Center at Morton Junior High School is to engage students in authentic learning experiences that encourage critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. By employing the best educational technologies, resources and pedagogies, students will improve academic achievement and develop strong informational and digital literacy for life in the 21st century.
I have been blessed to be teaching 1st grade at Grundy since 2017! I cannot wait for each new school year to begin. Each one is filled with new faces, new learning and great adventures.
In May of 2013, I graduated from Illinois State University with my Bachelor's in Elementary Education. This year, I received my Masters in Elementary Education from the American College of Education.
I was born and raised in Germantown Hills, and I have two loving parents, two older brothers who are both married with children, and a cat named Betty White. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling when I can, reading and shopping.
I am extremely passionate about my career as a teacher, and I especially love 1st grade and all of the growth that it brings for students. I hope to instill a lifelong love for learning and reading in my students, similar to what my own teachers did for me. Let’s have a great year!
"Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?" Whatever the answer is, the Arts are alive and well here in Morton 709.
It is a pleasure to be a part of the team that helps get nearly every arts-related production up and going in the district. Band, Orchestra, Choir, Theater, and Art Shows with promising student resident artists bring many into our community to enjoy the talents of our students.
The Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center is a busy place for budding talent and creative minds. Learn more about the school and community connection at berthafrank.org
Mr. B. began teaching in Morton during the 1993-94 school year. Prior to coming to Morton he taught one year in East Aurora. He is the Morton's head girl's basketball coach, having started in 1998. He is married to Evelyn and they have three energetic kids, Bobby, Josi, and Maddy.
Mr. Becker's Mission
Mr. Becker wants all children to enjoy physical education. Each day he tries to plan activities that are fun and promote action. His goal is to have all of his students moving and having a great time. If each child leaves his class feeling good about themselves and having pink cheeks and sweaty foreheads, his lesson has been successful.
Mrs. Behm graduated from Illinois State University with her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2012 and has been working in Morton CUSD 709 ever since! She currently provides speech therapy services to our Early Childhood Education (ECE) students at Grundy Elementary School. Mrs. Behm resides in Morton with her husband and two daughters. She believes everyone deserves a voice and is excited to help students communicate effectively!
All students come to explore, perform, and enjoy the world of music. Students learn basic music theory, demonstrate their knowledge by playing many kinds of instruments, and perform their talents through a concert format. We strive to have all of our students feel successful in developing not only musical skills but also a lifelong appreciation of music.
I was born in Darien, IL and lived there until I was five years old. At that time my family moved to Central Illinois where I grew up in Tremont, just a few minutes away from Morton. After high school I attended Bradley University where I graduated with a degree in Vocal Music Education in 2009. I started teaching in Morton in 2010. I've been at MJHS since 2012. I graduated with my Master's Degree in Music Education from Illinois State University in 2015.
When I am not in school, I am either with my wonderful wife Melissa and our kids or my barbershop quartet, After Hours. Melissa and I were married in 2009, and we are current Tremont residents. We have two children, Lincoln and Gwendolyn, and they keep us busy! Melissa and I also enjoy serving with our musical abilities at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Groveland, IL. My quartet, After Hours, is the 2010 Illinois State Champion quartet, as well as the 2018 International Champion Quartet. We do quite a bit of touring on the weekends, throughout the country and we have recorded 4 studio albums. I absolutely love coming to work every day, working with students at Grundy. I love watching them grow as young musicians.
I am from a small town in eastern Iowa called Center Point. I graduated from Iowa State University (Iowa’s ISU) in the spring of 2008. There I met my wife, Jenna. After getting married in June of 2009, we moved to Peoria for her career in dietetics. I have spent most of the last four years substitute teaching in District 150 and taking classes at Illinois Central College and Illinois State University (Illinois’ ISU). In May of 2013, I graduated with a degree in History-Social Sciences Education with certification for grades 6-12. I am thrilled to be a part of District 709 and the Morton community. I look forward to teaching American History and getting involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and initiatives throughout the year.
In my free time, I enjoy running, spending time outdoors, traveling, volunteering, attending concerts, and watching the Chicago Bears.
Mission for the Class
The mission for this course is for students to gain an appreciation for history and to make connections between the past and their own lives. Students will also learn the importance of perspective-taking, from both a historical and present sense. The democratic atmosphere of this classroom will allow students to share their opinions and ideas and will also encourage them to acknowledge and appreciate the views of their peers. Students will practice teamwork by working collaboratively in groups on a regular basis. Finally, students will improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that are essential for future success.
Hello! My name is Allie Bohnhoff and I am thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at Jefferson! Before teaching kindergarten, I taught fifth, sixth, and fourth grades. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2011, majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. My endorsements are in Language Arts, Reading, Science, and Spanish. I returned to ISU and earned my master's degree in Reading in 2016.
When not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our little boy, Wyatt. We have two dogs that keep us busy and entertained! I love to read, write, visit with family and friends, and be outside in my spare time.
Mission for the Class
I believe in a classroom where students are excited to share what they are learning and how it connects with their life. I believe in a classroom where students' questions and inquiries guide learning, so much of what we do will have real-world contexts and involve hands-on experiences. Kindergarten is such an exciting time for children and my goal is to foster that excitement throughout the year and in the years to come! Finally, I truly believe that a successful school experience requires collaboration between students, teachers, parents, families, and community members. For this reason, we invite you to join us throughout the year to see the learning we are engaged in for yourself! And we'll be taking the learning out beyond the walls of our classroom, too! It's going to be a great year!
I will be beginning my tenth year as a teacher here at Lettie Brown School. I have taught kindergarten all ten years, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It was a dream of mine since the time I was in junior high to one day become a kindergarten teacher, and I feel like all my dreams have come true. I feel truly blessed to be at such a wonderful school such as Lettie Brown Elementary and to work with a great staff. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2001 with a bachelor^aEURTMs degree in Early Childhood Education. After several years of teaching I continued with my education and received my masters in reading in 2009. My excellent educational opportunities have prepared for my every day teaching experiences!
I grew up in the surrounding areas of Morton as the youngest of eight siblings. Being the youngest helped me to gain lots of life experience as I have watched my siblings make choices in their life. Several of them are teachers and they have taught me many things. I also have twenty-two nieces and nephews! I was fortunate to marry my best friend who I have known since kindergarten! We have been blessed with two children. Connor is going to be a fifth grader this year and my daughter Ella will be two! We stay busy with football, walks, church, traveling, and enjoying all that life brings to us. You can often find us on the side of the mountains of Colorado or having a magical time in Disney World.
Mission for the Class
My mission for my class is to provide a positive atmosphere where my students feel comfortable, safe, learn a lot, and most importantly that they have FUN! I want my students to be engaged in learning that is hands on and relevant to their little worlds. My personal goal is to see each student grow in all areas and to make my classroom a multi-level classroom where each activity will meet each student's academic needs. I want their first year of school to be a positive and fun learning experience and a year where we see lots and lots of growth both academically and socially.
About the Teacher
I am married with two wonderful children. My wife, Kerry, works in the music department of Morton High School. I have two children, Kyle and Darby.
Fourth grade is a wonderful transitional year. The students get to come upstairs with the big kids for the first time. With that privilege, come more responsibilities. I expect great things from my students and push them to develop skills and attitudes that will allow them to be succesful students, as well as successful citizens throughout their lifetimes.
Students are encouraged to become much more independent during this year. It becomes their responsibility to turn work in on time and in the right places. Their assignment books should be filled out on a daily basis.
New academic topics include learning about our United States: the regions, states, and capitals. We have units on sound, light, animals, recycling, rocks and minerals, and states of matter in science. Our biggest math goal in 4th grade is long division. Once they figure that one out, they feel like they have really accomplished something.
Learning how to play recorders, preparing for a music program, and going on various fieldtrips are just a few more highlights in 4th grade.
Mrs. Brooks has been teaching at Lincoln since 2002. She taught kindergarten for six years before moving to first grade. She is originally from Morton and was a student at Lincoln Elementary from second through sixth grade. She graduated from Illinois State University in December of 2002 with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. Mrs. Brooks also has her Master's Degree in Reading and loves the energy and enthusiasm of young learners. Mrs. Brooks and her husband live in Morton with their three active children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to all her kids' events, shopping, decorating, walking, and reading.
Mission for the Class
Mrs. Brooks's mission for her class is to establish a safe classroom environment where all students feel comfortable to take risks in their learning. She will also help students to appreciate themselves as individuals while teaching them to work together as a team. Mrs. Brooks teaches using a variety activities so that each students' needs are met to help them feel successful and develop a love of learning.
As the Principal here at Morton Junior High School, it is my privilege to serve the Morton-Groveland community. I have been here at Morton Junior High School since 2006 after spending nine years at Tri-Valley Middle School as a 6th Grade Language Arts, Reading and Social Studies teacher and basketball and track coach.
As a life-long Central Illinois resident, I graduated from Eureka College in 1997 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in elementary education and a middle school endorsement. While I was at EC, I played basketball and was fortunate to be a member of the National Championship team in 1994. I also graduated from Illinois State University in 2006 with a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.
My wife, Stacy, teaches kindergarten at Starke Primary School in Pekin. We have three children: Abby, Ben, and Katy.
We love being part of this wonderful community and enjoy meeting our Junior Potter families. Please stop by the school any time! My door is always open!
Mrs. Chan has been teaching at Lincoln for eight years. After teaching in the Early Childhood during the 2007-2008 school year, Mrs. Chan is returning to the Early Childhood program. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Special Education and Early Childhood at Eastern Illinois University, along with an endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education. Mrs. Chan is currently attending Illinois State University working towards her Master's Degree in Special Education. She loves coaching the Morton Red Wing's Special Olympic basketball team. Mrs. Chan and her husband live in Morton with their two children, Brooklynn and Hudson. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, crafting and spending time with her family
Mission for the Class
Mrs. Chan's goal is to build a nurturing, child-centered classroom with a high-quality educational program. By providing her students with an enriched and hands-on environment, she believes the students will learn to become active learners and develop to their fullest potential..
Jesse Crawford completed his sixth year as Head Baseball Coach at Morton High School by winning the IHSA State Championship in June of 2018. As a result of this accomplishment he was rewarded IHSA Class 3A Coach of the Year by the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association.
Originally from Pekin, Illinois, Crawford played his high school baseball at Pekin High and later his college ball at Illinois Central College and Western Illinois University. Following his career at Western, Crawford moved to Missouri and was hired as an assistant coach at Knox County High School. In short order, Coach Crawford took over as head coach of both the varsity basketball and baseball programs at Knox County. In 2008, the Eagles had outstanding seasons on both the court and the field leading to Crawford being named Class 2A Coach of the Year for both sports. Overall while at Knox County, Crawford was able to take his basketball team to two Sweet 16 appearances while compiling a 68-42 record overall on the hardwood.
Following his success in Missouri, Coach Crawford returned to Illinois taking a teaching position in Morton Community School District 709 and took on coaching roles in football, baseball, and basketball. Crawford made an immediate impact as an assistant basketball coach helping the Potters program advance to its first Elite Eight in program history. A few years later, Crawford took over as Head Varsity Baseball Coach and Head Junior High Baseball Coach.
2012 was Coach Crawford’s first year as Head Junior High Baseball Coach and in that year the Junior Potters went a remarkable 25-0 and captured the IESA State Championship. In his six years heading the Junior Potter program Crawford is 124-31 with two title game appearances and two additional Elite Eight bids.
As a varsity baseball coach between his time at Knox County and Morton, Jesse Crawford is 189-110. He has been part of 11 conference titles in 14 years of coaching. Over the past four seasons his varsity team at Morton High School has averaged 28 wins per season and made an Elite Eight appearance in 2017 backed up by a State Title in 2018. The Potters have also captured multiple Mid-Illini Conference, Regional and Sectional crowns during Crawford’s tenure.
In addition to his role as a baseball and basketball coach at Morton High School and Morton Junior High, Jesse works as a PE Teacher at Morton Junior High School. He has been teaching for 14 years including stints as an elementary classroom teacher in addition to his current job teaching PE at MJHS.
Coach Crawford, his wife Michelle, and two children, Cameron and Finley, reside in Morton. They are active members of the Morton community participating in multiple activities. When Coach Crawford is not on the court or field at Morton High School he can often be found coaching a youth team helping not only his own children but the next generation of Morton athletes.
Responsibilities: User accounts, email, web filter
I started working for Morton 709 in 1994. I have worked as an aide, a third-grade teacher at Jefferson, and retired from teaching as a fourth-grade teacher at Grundy. I am now working as a Resource aide at Grundy and I love working with the students and with my former colleagues. I attended Grundy when it opened its doors in 1961 and all three of my sons attended here. We are Grundy Strong!
Education: BS in Elementary Education, BS in History and MS in Curriculum and Instruction
I have taught in the Computer Lab at Lettie Brown since 2002. When I'm not helping students on the computers at Brown, I enjoy spending time with my family. My three sons all attended Lettie Brown Grade School! In my free time, I enjoy making jewelry, gardening, watching movies, and playing cards and games with my husband and the rest of the family.
Mission for the Class
In the computer lab, we strive to reinforce with technology what is taught in the classroom. Our goal is to help our students to become comfortable with and more knowledgeable about technology to prepare them for the ever-increasing importance of technology in our world.
I absolutely love my job, a perfect combination of two of my passions, art and teens! I graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in art and a minor in English. I began my career teaching middle school art near Chicago for a couple years before settling down with family downstate. When my children were little, I stayed home with them and led an after-school art program at the Crossword Cafe, a youth center in Chillicothe, where I live with my husband, two boys, and collie dog. I began teaching art part-time at Morton Junior High in 2015, and was thrilled when it became a full-time position the following year.
In art class, we explore a variety of media including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital art, paper maché, ceramics, and sculpture. We also learn to observe and discuss the work of other artists, contemporary, historical, and multicultural. I believe that with just a little secret principle here and there and a bit of practice at basic skills, everyone can express their passions, opinions, and interests with visual art. Creating can be so much fun! That's not to mention the growing career opportunities in art and design.
My mission for art class is to empower students with skills to create, discuss, and understand art so that they may express their own artistic voice.
I have been teaching health and PE in Morton since 2004, and have taught at many of the buildings in the district. I love teaching PE at Grundy! My husband Kevin and I have two kids, Brady and Aubrey. I also coach the junior high cross country team.
Hi, my name is Mike Finck and I began teaching 5th grade at Lettie Brown in 1994. I have a beautiful wife, Trisha and two awesome children Austin and Alli. I enjoy the outdoors and spending time with my family. You can often find us at a sporting event for one of the kids. Teaching is the greatest profession. I never get tired of the look on a 5th grader's face when they have learned something new and I get to see the "Now I get it expression" for the first time.
Grundy gators love books! We devour them daily. The Grundy Library belongs to all of us. The PTO gives generously to the purchasing of books at Grundy. As parents support the Scholastic book fairs during the year, classrooms and the library, are gifted with even more books.
Students come to library once a week. Students are also encouraged to check out books during school and immediately before and after school if they desire. Students check out books once a week from the library and return them the following week. If they want to renew their book, have them bring them weekly anyway. We will renew their book when they bring it to the library. Ask your child about what they are checking out from the library. And help them keep track of them at your house, so our books can return to their Grundy library home.
The days of card catalogs are long gone. Now each student (and STAFF) has access to looking for books in our library online 24/7 through the DestinyQuest website. Go to Grundy Gators homepage>>Students tab>>Destiny. Or here: http://destiny.morton709.org/. Students sign on with their Accelerated Reader name and password. Students can put books on hold, request them to be sent to Grundy from other Morton Elementary libraries, or just browse for a book.
I am very excited and grateful to be the library aide at Grundy! I look forward each year to sharing my love of reading with all the students. My husband Patrick (who was a Grundy Gator!) and I have been married for 17 years. We have three sons, Jack in 9th grade at Morton High School, Andy in 7th at Morton Junior High, and Sam in 5th at Lettie Brown. Previously I have worked at Lettie Brown as an aide in first grade and early childhood. In addition, I have worked as a substitute aide in each elementary class and the library. In my free time I enjoy reading (of course), watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. We also have two cats that perform tricks like playing fetch and shaking hands.
My mission for our library is to help every child find books they love, in which they can have an adventure, learn about a place they want to visit, get wrapped up in a fantasy or mystery, and just find themselves enthusiastic for the next chapter. When you read, the whole world opens up for you.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick earned her bachelors degree in music education from Bradley University and her masters in music education from Illinois State University. Along with directing the MJHS bands, she is the woodwind instructor for the MHS marching band.
Mission for the Class
To develop and enhance a musical community through independent musicianship, music performance, and music appreciation.
Although I moved around a few times while growing up, I was born in Peoria and came back to the area for middle school and high school. I attended Metamora Township High School and went off to The University of Illinois to receive my teaching degree. I moved back to the area after graduating in 2010 and taught at Edison Junior High School in Pekin the first 8 years of my career. I also received my Master’s Degree in 2015 from Illinois State University. My husband is from Morton, so we settled down in here in town after getting married in 2011. We have two children, Titus and McKenna. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and being active outdoors.
I have been teaching pre-kindergarten since 2011 and in 2018 started teaching early childhood in Morton. I have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education with an endorsement in special education from Illinois State University. I reside in Morton with my husband, Nicholas, and our two children.
Hi, I am Katy Gingerich! I began teaching 5th grade at Lettie Brown in 2012 upon graduating from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Middle Level Education. In 2015, I received a Master's of Science in Teaching and Learning with a specialization in educational technology. I grew up on a farm in rural Tremont with three older brothers. Now, my husband and I live in Morton and have two children, Elyse and Reid.I enjoy running and spending time with my family.
Mission for the Class:
My goal is to educate each student to achieve personal excellence. I want to instill my passion for learning into my students in a supportive, encouraging environment with infectious enthusiasm.
Zach Glisan is the business services associate for Morton 709. He assists with vendor contracts, bid proposals, and related assigned projects. He also helps manage the grant reporting for the district, payroll operations, and other related ISBE reporting.
Mrs. Grant is in her 19th year of teaching. She has been at Grundy School for fifteen years. She taught special education for eleven years and is now in her 7th year of teaching Kindergarten. She graduated from Western Illinois University in May of 1998 and also has a Master's Degree. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, shopping, working out, and spending time with her family and friends at the cabin. She and her husband live in Peoria with their 2 kids, a son and a daughter and one furry friend, Charlie Brown.
My mission in Kindergarten is to provide a safe and encouraging environment where students can explore all aspects of learning. I hope to motivate children by creating a classroom family where hands-on acitivities foster communication, literacy and love of learning.
Mrs. Guetschow is very excited to be teaching third grade at Lincoln this year! She previously taught first grade at Lincoln, second grade for two years in Geneseo, Illinois and one year of fourth grade in Prophetstown, Illinois. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with middle school endorsements in both Social Studies and Language Arts. Mrs. Guetschow lives in East Peoria with her husband, David, and their cat, Maya. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and cheering on her favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals!
Mission for the Class
Mrs. Guetschow's mission for the class is to create a caring, positive learning environment that encourages all students to always try their best to reach their full social, emotional, and academic potentials.
Welcome to an exciting year of 3rd grade! I began teaching third grade at Grundy in 2008. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bradley University, a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Illinois State University, and a second Master’s in Elementary Education.
I love teaching and feel blessed to be working in a district with great students, supportive parents, and an amazing staff! My husband Nick and I live in the Morton/Groveland area. We have two boys and many fur babies including dogs, a cat, and miniature horses. I am very passionate about teaching and learning. It is an honor to have the opportunity to prepare students for not only the next grade level, but for life as well. My goal is to help each student reach their highest potential in a safe, structured environment. I want my students to have fun learning and love coming to school each day!
This is my 12th year teaching English Language Arts at MJHS. I graduated from Bradley University in 2004 with a degree in Elementary Education. While not in the classroom, you can find me coaching and sponsoring multiple extra-curricular activities. I have coached MJHS softball for 11 years. The last 3 years I have been an assistant coach for the Morton Lady Potters Girls’ Basketball team. In addition, I am co-sponsor of the MJHS student council.
Mission for the Class
The mission of my class is to widen a student's outlook on learning and literature through providing a wide range of stories and novels to share. Also, I strive to provide a positive and welcoming environment to all students. Learning in a positive atmosphere is not only a path to success, but also a way to a better educational outlook.
Brenda is our HR Coordinator. She handles dental, vision and health insurance as well as personnel topics ranging from new hires to retirees.
I have been teaching at Morton Junior High School since 2011. I love teaching and getting to interact with a variety of students. I am married and have a daughter named Lila. In my free time I enjoy watching and playing sports, especially football. I also enjoy traveling, playing ultimate Frisbee, and karate. My mission is to encourage and challenge students to reach their full potential through critical thinking skills and high expectations.
Mission for the Class
My mission is to assist students to achieve their highest potential by helping them become problem.
Mr. Todd Herrman is an Assistant Principal and Dean of Students (A-L) at Morton High School.
He earned an undergraduate degree from Illinois State University in Marketing. After a couple years of working in the business sector, Todd decided to pursue a career in education. He worked as a classroom aide in an alternative education classroom and went on to acquire an undergraduate degree in Business Education from Illinois State University.
Mr. Herrmann taught and coached at East Peoria Junior High and High School for six years. He taught both STEM and Business courses, and he coached cross country and track and field. After obtaining his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University, he worked as Dean of Students at Pekin High School for two years.
Mr. Herrmann is married to his wife Nicole, they have two daughters and a son, Adelyn,Olivia, and Zachary.
I live in Peoria with my wonderful husband, who is also an educator. We got married in the summer of 2016 and purchased a house shortly before that keeps us very busy. I grew up in Waukegan, IL. I obtained my Bachelor's Degree from Illinois Wesleyan in 2011 and received a Masters in Reading Education in 2015 from St. Xavier University. I began teaching in Chillicothe, IL where I taught 5th grade for 6 years. I am incredibly excited to start my first year at Lincoln and I look forward to being a part of the Morton Community! Go Lions!
It is my personal mission as a fourth grade teacher to provide all students with the highest quality of education. I promise to do so in a safe learning environment that will continually support the academic, social, emotional, and physical growth of my students. I will strive to teach all students fourth grade curriculum in innovative ways. Not only will I teach and stress the importance of academics, I will also work hard to help students develop the skills they need to be knowledgeable, value-driven, and open-minded members of our community.
Thank you for taking time to visit the Lincoln Elementary School website. I consider it a privilege to serve the students, families and teachers of Lincoln School and the Morton-Groveland community. I grew up in Morton and am a proud graduate of Morton High School. A little background about my professional path that brought me back to Morton…I attended Illinois State University, obtaining undergraduate degrees in Mass Communication and Elementary Education. I taught sixth grade for seven years at Northwest School in Lincoln. While there, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Administration, also from Illinois State. I began my administrative career at Thomas Metcalf School in Normal, working as assistant principal and athletic director for four years. For the next nine years, I worked as principal at Midland Elementary School, a Pre-K to 4th grade school in the rural community of Lacon. I truly consider it such an honor to now serve as your principal, in the community where I was raised and where my family continues to reside. I will strive to maintain open, direct communication with parents and families, create a positive school environment for our teachers and students and provide a welcoming setting for all families and stakeholders who visit our school. I encourage parents and families to become involved in all of the wonderful activities at our school. As parents, you are the key to your child’s success, and I thank you in advance for all that you will do to contribute to your child’s academic and emotional success this year. I know that you will work collaboratively with our teachers and staff members, while I have high expectations for me, our teachers and faculty to provide the best educational experience possible for your child. Please know that I am always available to meet with you, communicate via email or talk with you about any concerns or suggestions you wish to share or discuss. (Well…except on Sundays during football season, when I am watching and cheering on my beloved Green Bay Packers!!
Please stop in to introduce yourself and say hello…my door is always open!
I began working as an aide at Grundy in 2004. I love watching the children grow from grade to grade, and from semester to semester as they learn. I love putting my Elementary Ed. Bachelors degree from ISU to work as the 2nd grade aide.
I am married to Bob, since 1984 at Pumpkin Festival time, and we have 3 children. All were Grundy Gators at one time. Laurel and her husband, Tyler, in Bloomington; Greg, in Denver; and Erika and her husband, Kyle, in Washington state. My husband works at Lighthouse Buick part time, and we enjoy traveling.
When I have a moment I enjoy reading, gardening and cheering for my beloved CUBS!!
Adam Jacob is our District Accountant. He helps with processing payroll and can help you with anything payroll related. Adam also helps manage the district's cash ledger and general ledger by performing monthly reconciliations.
Scott Jones is the Athletic Director. He is a native of Berwyn, IL where he attended Morton West High School and Hinsdale South High School. He holds degrees from Western Illinois University and the American College of Education. Scott taught instrumental music for 19 years and during that time has coached Football, Baseball and Softball. He was awarded the ICA Softball Coach of the Year in 2007 & 2009, and was also awarded the Illinois Principal’s Association (CIV) Assistant Principal of the Year in 2014 while working for Dunlap High School. During his free time Scott enjoys playing Golf, Softball, and traveling with his wife Jeanie, who teaches 3rd Grade for the Brimfield Schools. Scott and Jeanie have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.
Mrs. Christina Kienitz grew up in Lubbock, Texas and Michigan City, Indiana. She attended Ball State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education. During thirteen years as a Social Studies teacher at Pekin Community High School, Mrs. Kienitz also completed a Master of Science at ISU in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master of Science in School Counseling at Bradley. Mrs. Kienitz was a school counselor at PCHS for two years before becoming a school counselor at MHS in 2016. Mrs. Kienitz is thrilled to be a part of the greater Morton Community and to collaboratively serve the students and families of MHS!
I am an interventionist and work with students who may need support academically or socially/emotionally. If a student has a plan with me, I may push them into a classroom to support them or provide more intensive instruction within my classroom. I graduated from Trinity Christian College with my undergrad in Special Education and have my master's from ISU for Special Education and Curriculum Adaptation. I am currently working on my School Counseling master's degree from Arkansas State University.
Carolu is the front desk receptionist and secretary to the District Office. She oversees building rentals, substitutes, crossing guards and school volunteers.
Hello! My name is Elizabeth Knapp and I am the Social Worker at Grundy Elementary School. I have been working in the Morton 709 District since August 2016. I previously worked in the Decatur, IL school district with students in preschool-8th grade. I attended Illinois State University for my Bachelor's degree in Social Work and the University of Illinois for my Master's degree in School Social Work.
I feel very honored to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful district. I look forward to working with all of the students, parents, and staff in the Morton community.
I met my incredible husband, Andy, at Morton High School, and we have been married for 19 years. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagin, we settled in Mahomet where I spent seven years teaching junior high language arts. During that time, I also earned my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois. In 2004, I decided to stay home with our daughters, Aleksi (now a sophomore at MHS), and Ilyse (now a 7th grader at MJHS). In 2005, Andy’s job brought us back to Morton. I volunteered and subbed at Lincoln before deciding to return to teaching in 2014. I have taught 3rd and 4th grades at Lincoln and am excited to be teaching the 6th grade this year! Aside from teaching, I keep busy with traveling, photography, pickle ball, and tennis.
“You can do more than you think you can” became my classroom mantra in 2014, and I can sincerely say that it is incredibly fulfilling to watch children embrace this notion. It has always been my philosophy that children should feel loved, valued, and respected academically as well as emotionally before any learning will occur. I run a “silly but strict” classroom. Your children can probably describe this better than I can. Basically, I love to laugh and to see your children laugh. However, my expectations for work ethic and respect for one another are high. I have no tolerance for bullying or misbehavior in a safety situation. Even though you can expect me to push your child to do his/her best, I consider myself pretty laid back. Additionally, I sincerely believe that your child’s education has to be a partnership between home and school. It takes all of us to ensure your child’s success!
I love third grade!! I love it so much that I have been in third grade since 1991. My husband, Brian, and children Tyler and Samantha and I live in the Peoria area. We enjoy playing sports together especially baseball and softball. We also enjoy being outdoors and swimming in our pool.
Mission for the Class
In my classroom, I hope to create a positive atmosphere where as students feel that they can take a risk without fear of making mistakes. I also promote independence and responsibility to prepare the children for future grades.
Lisa Kowalski graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University in 1996, and a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University in 2001. She has worked in the legal field, marketing, and business management. In 2017, she received her Chief School Business Official Endorsement from Illinois State University and is licensed with the State of Illinois.
Lisa was the business manager at the Illinois State University Laboratory Schools before joining Morton CUSD 709 in 2019, where she is currently serving as Chief Financial Officer.
I am thrilled to be working here at Jefferson as the crossing guard and recess aide. Jefferson was home to my three children. It is a great school and I am looking forward to a great year as a part of the Jefferson staff.
Mrs. Levitt joins the Lincoln family after teaching at Morton High School for 8 years. She is excited to join the team and to work with younger students in the Middle Instructional Program. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Special and Elementary Education from Greenville College, and her Master's Degree in Special Education from Illinois State University. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher. Mrs. Levitt lives in Morton with her husband, Rob, and their two daughters. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning new things, and reading.
I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1990. I have been teaching orchestra in Morton for 22 years. I have 4 daughters who have all played in the orchestra. I also coach the girls' tennis team at the high school and spend my free time running/working out and hanging with my family!
To provide students with the opportunity of artistic achievement and enrichment through the study and performance of high quality and stylistically diverse orchestral music.To create an atmosphere of musical and personal growth through commitment to high standards, respect and cooperation for members of the ensemble, instructors, facilities, music materials, and the rehearsal process. To enjoy the process of learning and have fun making music!!!
About the Teacher
Mrs. McKee began teaching at Lincoln in 2003. She is originally from Morton and was a student at Jefferson Elementary from kindergarten through 6th grade. She graduated from Eureka College in December of 2002 with a Bachelor^aEURTMs of Science in Elementary Education and a Math Minor. Mrs. McKee also has her Master's Degree in Technology Integration and loves to integrate technology whenever she can. Mrs. McKee and her husband live in Morton with their two sons. In her spare time, she enjoys running, digital scrap booking and spending time with her family.
Mission for the Class
Mrs. McKee's mission is to establish positive relationships with students by getting to know each child as an individual. She will also help students realize they can do anything they put their minds to. In her classroom several different approaches to learning will be used so every student is able to achieve success and connect to the material, allowing the students to develop the same joy of learning that she has.
I am the lunch cashier here at Jefferson. I have worked at all the Morton schools, but Jefferson is my favorite. Our Jefferson family is the best!
I enjoy doing pilates, jogging, and eating chocolate ice cream.
Welcome! I am very excited about this school year working as the RtI teacher for the Junior Potters! I am originally from a small town west of Chicago and graduated from Bradley University in 2008. I have recently completed my master’s degree from Benedictine University, earning a Reading Specialist Certificate.
I look forward to working as the Rti teacher at MJHS, it is my goal to help students feel more successful and prepared for their core classes.
I live in Morton with my husband and two young children, we love to go on walks, bike rides, and explore the community.
I look forward to working with the teachers, students, and families at MJHS this year!
My mission as the RtI Teacher is to provide MJHS students with additional and appropriate instruction to ensure academic success in their core classes.
Mrs. Miller started teaching at Lincoln in 2011. She grew up on a farm outside of Mackinaw and graduated from Deer Creek Mackinaw High School. She attended Illinois Central College and transferred to Illinois State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Miller also has her Master’s Degree in Reading from Illinois State University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, working out, grabbing a good cup of coffee, and being outdoors. She enjoys cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Illinois State University Men’s Basketball team.
Miss Schwarting’s mission for the class is to create a positive learning environment filled with engaging lessons and activities where all of the different learning styles present in the classroom can be met. Her goal is to spark her students’ interest and build the foundation to create lifelong learners.
As an Alumni of the Morton School District, it is my pleasure to be back in the district as an educator. My experiences have been varied. (Special Education K-2 in East Peoria, Il and Scottsdale, AZ. General education 3rd grade in Phoenix, AZ and 5th grade in Morton, IL., 4 years at Morton Academy). Currently, now in my 24th year of teaching, I enjoy working in ECE at Grundy.
It is my mission to teach in such a way that the each student can change knowledge into understanding through high yet reachable goals. I hope to do this through an engaging, friendly, and safe environment. I like a quote from Ben Franklin which roughly states, “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out for that is when you really learn.”
Teaching is a wonderful profession. Teachers have the absolute best job in the world! A Everyday is a new discovery for me as well as for my students.
This is my 21st year teaching in the Morton School District. I have taught at three of the elementary buildings and have taught sixth, first, second, and third grades. I attended Illinois Central College and Bradley University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in May 1995. I also graduated with a Master's Degree in Teaching and Leadership from St. Xavier University in May 2002.
My husband's name is Paul. We make our home in Morton. We have two grown children. Brandon lives in St. Peters, Missouri and teaches high school History. Emily is married and and and RN at Methodist Hospital. She and her husband Josh live in Deer Creek. They also have Kallon, just born June 3rd.
Mission for the Class
I hope that as a team we can work together to create a caring, honest, and friendly classroom. I expect my students to try his or her best and never give up, knowing that they can be a success.
My favorite quote: "They might forget what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel."
I grew up in Washington, IL. It is there where I attended grade school and high school. During high school I was involved with baseball, band, musicals, art club, and national honor society. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2010. While at ISU, I was also in the BRMM (Big Red Marching Machine) which played at the sporting events on campus. I did my student teaching at Morton High School. My first teaching job was at Triopia, a school in the Jacksonville, IL area. In 2011, I was at Morton High School teaching Freshman Biology and Sophomore Chemistry. I was also a freshman sponsor, national honor society advisor, and assistant freshman baseball coach. I got married over the summer of 2012 and my wife and I are currently living in Morton. I started the 2012 at Morton junior high and have been here ever since. In 2014, I became the 7th grade baseball coach. In 2016, I created the tabletop time club with Ms. Jester as an after school activity. In 2015, my wife and I welcomed our first son, Blake. In 2017, we had our second son, Kyle.
Mission for the Class
My mission as a 7th grade science teacher is to allow the students a chance to explore the world of science and experience the vast world around them from the classroom.
Hello! I am very excited to be a part of the wonderful community that is Morton Junior High School. After graduating from Truman State University in 2019, I attended Bradley University to attain my master's in Professional School Counseling. I completed my internship here at MJHS, as well as Morton High School, and I am so grateful that I was offered a permanent job at the junior high. I graduated from Bradley in 2022 and I could not be happier to start my professional career as a junior potter! My goal is to provide students with the resources they need to thrive and help them prepare for high school and beyond. I also hope that each student knows that they have several supports here at the junior high and that help is always available to them if they would ever need it. Go Potters!
I am excited to be a Lincoln Lion! I am a native Texan. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, I spent seven years in the elementary classroom. I then pursued my Masters in Educational Administration at Bradley University.I spent the last two years as assistant principal at Pepper Ridge and Fox Creek Elementary schools in McLean County Unit 5 school district in Bloomington/Normal.
I live in Morton with my husband and two beautiful daughters. I also have a 90-pound Labrador named Lily. I love to travel back home to Texas to visit friends and family as much as possible. In my spare time, I love to take walks with my family. I have a soft spot for dogs and have trained three dogs to work as service dogs through Paws Giving Independence.
My office door is always open! Please stop by and introduce yourself. You will find I have a strong passion for educating children and always have a smile on my face. I am thrilled to be the first assistant principal at Lincoln and am proud to be a lion!
I am the Principal’s Administrative Assistant at MJHS. It is a pleasure to come to work every day! We have a wonderful and dedicated staff. Our office’s main goal is to be helpful to the students, parents and staff. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or come in to see us. I am available from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Josh Prichard is an Assistant Principal/Dean for students whose last names begin with M-Z. He grew up in Morton and graduated from Morton High School in 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree from Luther College in 2009 and his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Aurora University in 2014. Prior to becoming an Assistant Principal at Morton High School, Josh taught PE and Health for Morton District 709 for 6 years and served as the head wrestling coach for Morton High School for 8 years. He currently lives in Morton and enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel and their two girls Anna and Paisley.
Welcome to Geography! We are so excited to have you on the Green Team this year! I grew up in Tremont and received my Bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2005. After teaching for 4 years in Dwight, IL I welcomed the opportunity to come closer to home and teach at MJHS. One of the things I love about teaching geography is the opportunity to look at cultures and people all over the world. I have had the opportunity to travel to a few places like Australia, Romania, and South Africa and I love seeing how people in other parts of the world live. I’m excited to bring that experience to our classroom at MJHS. When I’m not teaching I enjoy being outside, exercising, and spending time with my family. My husband Justin and I were married in 2012 and now have two beautiful girls, Elsie and Evelyn. We recently moved to Morton and love being a part of this great community! I look forward to getting to know the new green team students this year!
My mission for geography is not only to help the students gain a better understanding for cultures and climates of other parts of the world but also to better understand how those cultures have influenced where we are today. I hope that the students will leave my classroom with a passion for learning and an understanding of people and places all over the world.
I am honored and excited to be able to tell people that I am a teacher at Grundy Elementary School!! After completing 13 years in this profession, I can honestly say that I can't picture myself ever doing anything else! Teaching is my passion!
I graduated from ISU in May 2006 with a degree in Elementary Education. I graduated in May of 2012 with a Master’s in Reading from ISU as well. I recently received a Master’s in Elementary Education too. I hope to continue teaching second grade for many years. I love all of the qualities that second graders possess, and I truly enjoy watching them grow both socially and academically throughout the year!
I have lived in Morton for the majority of my life, and I truly love the community! When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our children, Sydney (5) and Jude (almost 2). I also enjoy reading, shopping, and exercising.
Mrs. Deidre Ripka is the Principal at Morton High School. She spent her formative years as a Lady Pretzel at Freeport High School in Freeport, Illinois. She attended Western Illinois University as an elementary education major, Golden Apple Scholar, and a member of the women’s basketball team. She taught 8th grade Language Arts at Central Junior High in Kewanee, Illinois, and was also a girls basketball coach at Kewanee High School. While teaching, Mrs. Ripka earned her MS in School Counseling at WIU. In 2005, she moved into the Counseling Office at Morton High School and became the Director of Counseling in 2007. She earned her Educational Leadership certificate from Bradley University in May 2013 and was an assistant principal and dean for three years.
Mrs. Ripka and her husband live in Morton with their children, Izzy and Anderson. In her free time she enjoys watching her kids play sports, cooking, and being active outdoors.
Mrs. Robinson began her career as a speech-language pathologist in 2000. She earned her master's degree from Illinois State University. She has 2 children, Skyler and Heleyna. They live in Morton. Ms. Robinson enjoys going to movies, music and theater, and spending time with her family.
Mission for the Class
Ms. Robinson strives to create an enjoyable environment in which students with various speech and language delays can improve their communication skills.
Mr. Rocke teaches general music at Lincoln Elementary School and Morton Academy. He also directs the Morton Elementary Chorus, which is made up of 5th and 6th grade students from all over the district. He spends a great deal of time in the world of music both at work and at play. He lives in Eureka with his wife, Meg, and children, Gabe, Elias and Cadence. In his spare time he golfs and works on his Masterss degree as a student at Illinois State University.
He also, apparently, enjoys talking about himself in the third person.
Dr. Sander, Ed. D.
Hello! My name is Ashley Sarver and I am very excited to be teaching third grade at Jefferson Elementary School. I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. I am very happy to be working with such great individuals in Morton. In my free time I enjoy traveling and have spent four months studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I also enjoy running and spending time with my family and friends. It is a great privilege to work with such an amazing student body and my hope is that when students leave my class, they have developed important character traits, such a respectfulness and responsibility, and have met the high academic standards that are set for them- and had fun while doing so!
I was born and raised in Fort Madison, Iowa. I graduated from Aquinas High School in 1986 and began my post-secondary education at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. After two years, I transferred to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education in 1991. Trina and I were married that summer and moved to the Quad-Cities. I taught 5th grade in Bettendorf, Iowa for one year and 4th grade in Clinton, Iowa for six years. I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Master's Degree in educational administration in 1997. I served as the principal of Jefferson Elementary School in Harvard, Illinois from 1998-2002 before coming to Grundy.
In 2016, I completed the Superintendent Endorsement Program at Illinois State University. The 2022-2023 school year marks my 32nd year in public education, 7 years as a teacher and 25 years as a principal.
Beyond the world of education, we are actively involved at Cornerstone Baptist Church, enjoy attending our kids' activities, and love spending time with family and friends. Trina and I have been blessed with four beautiful children. Our daughter Katie and her husband Jacob live in Normal, IL where she works as a labor and delivery nurse at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and he works as an accountant at State Farm Insurance Company. They have a one-year-old son named Eli. Our daughter Rachel is a junior at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ studying exercise science. Our son Caleb is a sophomore at Morton High School and participates in soccer and track. And our son Joshua is a 7th grader at Morton Junior High School and participates in cross country and band. We love Grundy School and are very proud to call the Morton School District our home!
Responsibilities: AirWatch, Apple Profile Manager, Copiers
After teaching in East Peoria, Illinois for 3 years, I came to MJHS in 2010. I have lived in Morton my entire life and had the privilege of going to school in this wonderful district. After graduating from Morton High School, I went to Illinois Central College and then on to Illinois State University to complete my math degree. I am very excited to be “home” and teach at MJHS and I look forward to a great year with students, parents, faculty, and administration.
Mission for the Class
My mission for the classroom is to create a learning environment where all students can be successful. I will challenge every student to reach their potential by using various instructional methods and involving the students in the learning process.
Miss Schmitt is teaching physical education at Lincoln. She also coaches 8th Grade Girls Basketball and 7th Grade Girls Volleyball at MJHS. She is excited about the opportunities to teach, encourage, and inspire students.
Miss Schmitt graduated Magna Cum Laude in May of 2017 from Greenville College, and received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Physical Education and Social Studies. While in college she was also a 4-year starter on the women's basketball team as a point guard. She was also chosen as the MVP of the NCCAA National Tournament her senior year. Miss Schmitt enjoys sports, photography, playing music as well as spending time with her family and friends!
Mr. Schoon has been with Morton 709 since 1994. As Director of Maintenance K-8, he stays busy with the upkeep of four grade schools and Morton Jr. High. When something isn't working, Mr. Schoon is on the job. Much of maintenance involves being proactive before there is a problem. He works closely with building custodians daily. He is a familiar face in all of the K-8 buildings. When Mr. Schoon walks in the door, something is going to get fixed.
Mr. Schuck has been with Morton 709 since 1986. He started as part-time help, which led to full time in 1990. As Director of Operations, he is responsible for the care of the Morton 709 school buildings and grounds across the district. From the oldest buildings steeped in history and tradition to the newest structures like the transportation office and the new gymnasiums, Mr. Schuck knows the buildings inside and out. He makes sure the Morton 709 schools and grounds are well kept, safe and ready for student learning and extracurricular activities.
I spent the early part of my childhood in Morton before my family moved to Geneseo where I graduated from Geneseo High School in 2009. Following that, I attended the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse where I earned a degree in Broad Field Social Studies Education in 2014. Prior to returning to Morton in 2017, I taught for 3 years in Ellsworth, WI. I am excited to be at MJHS and back in the Morton Community!
Mission for the Class
My goal is to create a safe, positive class environment that is conducive to student learning and where all students can be successful. Students will be challenged through a variety of instructional methods and materials in order to enhance critical thinking and analysis skills.
Each Grundy Gator comes to the computer lab at least once every week. During that class time, students work on projects or use educational software programs to reinforce topics taught in the classroom. Second through sixth grade students also use computer lab time to practice their keyboarding skills. This helps them to work toward achieving the district sixth grade exit goal of 20 wpm with 90% accuracy.
While in the lab, students will gain a working knowledge of computers and applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Excel. Other software programs available to students in our lab include Type to Learn 3, Raz-Kids, Timeliner, IXL Math and many others. We will also learn the proper use of the Internet.
In our lab students have an opportunity to learn how to use hardware including printers, scanners, digital cameras, digital video recorders and so on. We have a lot of fun in computer lab, while also learning skills that are becoming more important everyday in our lives!
Outside of school I have been married to my husband, Michael, for 19 years. We both grew up in Northeast Ohio and have also lived in Ann Arbor, MI before settling in Morton. We have 3 children who attend Morton schools.
In my free time I enjoy watching my children play sports and rooting for the beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and all Cleveland sports teams.
I grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and then attended Bradley University, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education. After graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2016, I lived in the Chicago suburbs for two years and taught 7th grade English at Coal City Middle School. I’m very happy to be part of the Morton community and continue living out my lifelong dream of being a teacher! When I’m not teaching, some of my favorite things to do are spend time with friends and family, read, and travel. I've been to Paris many times, and I feel like I am a Parisian at heart! I look forward to much more world traveling in the future. I also enjoy presenting at state and national English teaching conventions each year and learning about new teaching ideas I can bring back to my students. I’m so excited to get to know the new Green Team students at MJHS and get started on a great school year!
Mission for the Class:
My goal is to make English class exciting and relevant to my students. I have high expectations for all students, and I will challenge and support them as much as possible so that they can succeed in a positive environment where they feel appreciated, cared for, and confident. I strive to help students realize their passions in life and help them develop a love for reading, writing, and learning as they pursue their goals.
Mr. Shumaker is the Morton 709 Custodial Supervisor. He joined Morton 709 in 2016. He knows the value of excellence in a custodial staff. He values working with a team of people who care about their buildings, the staff and the students. Mr. Shumaker knows the custodial team does so many little things that go beyond their job descriptions. Their helpful hands that serve, generous smiles and attention to detail make them vital not just to the buildings, but to the students and staff. Mr. Shumaker always enters the building with a smile and a willing set of hands to help.
Mr. Smith grew up on a farm near Blandinsville, IL, with five brothers and sisters. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Illinois University and taught sixth grade in Canton for 8 years. This is his fifth year at Lincoln. He also coaches the freshmen football team and Morton High School. He enjoys watching the Cubs and Bears and spending time with his wife, Sheryl, and children, Lilli and Hank.
Mission for the Class
Mr. Smith's mission for his class is for all of his students to grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
I am so grateful to be a part of Morton 709. My heart has always loved school and being in schools. I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with degrees in Communications and Psychology.
My professional life has been a mix of both communications and social services. From Youth Services at the Human Service Center to pioneering Student Assistance Programs in District 150 (Richwoods & PAHS), and providing social services at St. Jude, I have seen the power of education, choices, and community.
My husband and I have raised our sons here, worshiped here, and somewhere along the way... Morton became our home. Our oldest son married the amazing girl he walked with in high school graduation. Our youngest son walked into graduation with a special friend from diapers to diplomas. They both have chosen to live here as adults. This community is special. Look for the good and you find it. I've kept a gratitude journal since January 2013 to remind me of the littlest gifts in each day.
After 13 years as a parent volunteer at Lincoln, I joined the team at Morton Jr. High in 2012 where every day was "a great day to be a Jr. Potter". Today, I am grateful to serve our hardworking and amazing Board of Education and Dr. Smock as their Administrative Assistant.
Dr. Smock, Ed. D.
Dr. Craig Smock has served as the assistant superintendent of Morton Schools for 15 years prior to becoming the superintendent in 2022. In his former role, he was responsible for district operations and human resources. Before his employment with Morton Schools, Dr. Smock spent the first 17 years of his career as a teacher and high school principal.
1990-1998 Mathematics Teacher and Tennis Coach, Ottawa Township High School
1998-2000 High School Principal, Bradford High School
2000-2005 High School Principal, Peoria Heights High School
2005-2007 High School Principal, Pekin Community High School
2007-2022 Assistant Superintendent, Morton C.U.S.D. 709
2022-Present Superintendent, Morton C.U.S.D. 709
Dr. Smock graduated from Tremont High School in 1986 and married his high school sweetheart, Peggy, in 1990. They raised all three of their children in the Morton community, and they all attended the Morton school system. Cassie graduated in 2013; Ryan graduated in 2015; and, Kayla graduated in 2016. Both of their daughters, Cassie and Kayla, graduated from Olivet University and became teachers. Their son, Ryan, graduated from Bradley University as an electrical engineer.
The Smocks credit Morton’s outstanding community, their church, and our exceptional school system for their children’s solid foundation, passion for learning, and academic success. Dr. Smock and his wife are avid pickleball players and enjoy playing as much as they can. When they are not on the court, they love traveling and spending quality time with their family and friends. Their faith and their church are very important in their lives, and they enjoy investing in their community. Dr. Smock considers it an honor and a privilege to be entrusted by the Board of Education to lead Morton C.U.S.D. 709 into the next chapter of educational excellence.
Our Mission... to stimulate a desire for life-long learning, to graduate productive individuals, and to challenge everyone to achieve their highest potential.
My husband Matt and I were blessed to move from Peoria (where we were both born and raised) to Morton two years ago. We have found Morton to be a friendly, clean, family-oriented community and we love it here! We have been married over thirty years, have a daughter Megan, and two grandchildren, Abby and Nathan.
I have worked off and on in the education field and find working at Grundy in first grade to be a real joy. I look forward to coming to school every day.
My hobbies include reading and cooking. Matt and I also enjoy taking day trips on the weekends.
Welcome to Morton Junior High School! I am Beth Spaniol, the guidance counselor for all 7th and 8th graders. I am available to help every student have a successful school year. As a school counselor, I work with students, parents, teachers, and administrators in many ways through a variety of services. Students may visit me by appointment during their study hall and/or lunch periods. I am also available both before and after school. If parents have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime during school hours at 266-6522.
It’s a Great Day to be a Junior Potter!
My goal is to help every student succeed educationally, socially, and personally at Morton Junior High School.
Mrs. Spinder truly loves being an administrative assistant for Lincoln School. Everyone is so encouraging and helpful. She cannot think of anywhere else that she would rather be than here with the staff and students! The children of this school are so very special to her. She loves seeing the smiles on their faces as they walk down the hall. It is truly a pleasure to listen to what they have to say when we are just chatting.
Mrs. Spinder's family has been a part of the Lincoln Lions since 1992 when her children first started school here. She and her husband, John, have 3 great kids who have made that walk across the street to school over the years. Having been in the halls of Lincoln since her first child was in kindergarten(1992) she has stayed here longer than any of her children! Her son, Elliott attends Knox College in Galesburg. Her daughters are both out of college and enjoying life in their own ways. In her free time she enjoys reading mystery novels and playing with her cats. Her newest pasttime(don't laugh) is showing purebred Maine Coon Cats at cat shows throughout the midwest region. She truly enjoys the whole process of showing her furry friends.
Mrs. Steiner is the school social worker at Lettie Brown Elementary School. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s of science degree in special education. Prior to graduating with a Master’s in social work from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in May 2017, Mrs. Steiner was a special education teacher and has taught in the Rock Island/Milan 41 District, Sherrard Unit 200 District, and River bend District. Mrs. Steiner is excited to be a part of the Morton 709 district and community. She is married to her husband, Andrew, and they have one daughter, Charlotte. In her free time, Mrs. Steiner loves spending time with her family, playing sports, drinking coffee, and reading a good book.
I feel very honored to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful district. I look forward to working with all of the students, parents, and staff in the Morton community.
Mrs. Stephens started working at Lincoln in 2003. She is originally from Washington, Illinois. She attended Illinois State University and graduated in December of 2002 with a Bachelors Degree in Special Education. In June of 2006, she received her Masters Degree from Olivet Nazarene University in Curriculum and Instruction. She lives in Morton with her husband, Tyler, daughter, Lily, and son, Hunter. In her free time, she loves playing with her children, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Mission for the Class
Her mission for the class is to help her students work to the best of their abilities and succeed in the regular education classroom.
My name is Anita Stidman and I am a Kindergarten aide. I began working at Grundy in 2010. I have worked as a classroom aide, reading aide, and reading RTI aide. Previously, before children, I taught Kindergarten at Peoria Christian School. I enjoy spending time with my husband, Scott, and our two children, Luke and Alison, who are former Grundy Gators.
Mr Svendsen Jr
Welcome to social studies! Throughout the year we will take a look at both the physical and cultural geography of North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and more. Our class goal is a better cultural awareness by developing an understanding of the diverse beliefs and customs of the people of our planet. During the year I will also be coaching Girls' Basketball and Track as well as being the white team leader. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have either in person, through e-mail or by phone. I look forward to another great year of working with the best students in the world.
Dr. Teater, Ed. D.
Dr. Teater graduated from Bradley University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, with an emphasis in secondary education. After graduating, he began teaching math, chemistry and physics at Woodruff high school in Peoria, IL. He also coached football and ran an afterschool remediation program for math.
In 1994, Dr. Teater began teaching physics at Morton High School, where he taught for nine years. During that time he coached football, softball, WYSE and served as the junior class sponsor and Science Department chair. He also earned his Master of Science in Educational Administration from Illinois State University in 1997.
His first administrative position was at Morton High school as an assistant principal in 2003. While serving as the assistant principal, he earned his Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University in 2004. In 2006, he moved to the central office at Morton and is currently serving as the Director of Curriculum and Technology.
Dr. Teater has been married to his wife, Linda, for over 20 years and they have lived in Morton for most of that time. Their three children, Lillian, Elaina and Clinton, all attend the Morton schools.
I was born and raised in Morton and still live here today with my husband, Drew, and our yellow lab, Griffin. We enjoy biking, traveling, and spending time with our families. We are proud to call Morton home and love being part of the Grundy community!
Welcome to Resource!
The Primary Resource is a special education program for K-4th grade. The program offers direct instruction and collaboration instruction at the student’s individual learning need. Instruction may be given at an individual level, as a small group, or within the general education classroom.
I began my teaching career in 2000. I have taught in the Morton schools since 2004. I earned my bachelor's degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from SIUC. I also earned my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Special Education.
It is my mission for my students to become lifelong learners and use the tools to be the best they can be!
I started teaching at MJHS in 2003. For the first 4 years I taught 7th grade Earth & Life sciences, but in 2007 I moved to 8th grade to teach Chemistry & Physics. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bradley University (Peoria) in 2002 and later a Master’s degree in Teaching & Leadership from the University of Illinois (Springfield). I have also spent the better part of 10 years (high school, college, and post-college) working as an organic chemistry lab technician for the USDA - National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research (or "Ag Lab" for short). My extracurricular activities have included 5 years as the MJHS Dance Team coach, 3 years sponsoring student council, 2 years as a Team leader, and science department head since 2007. I also married my high school sweetheart, Zac, and have a beautiful daughter, Genevieve, who was born in 2013 and a handsome son, Zac Jr (or ZZ), born in 2016. I love being a wife and mother and watching our children learn and grow every day!
Striving to be a livelong learner, I continuously look for ways to expand my science knowledge and expertise...this usually encompasses much of my summer months. I have spent my summers working at the Ag Lab, teaching College for Kids at Illinois Central College, and working as a teacher intern at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. Fermilab is a famous physics laboratory that houses the Tevatron, a 4-mile particle collider. CERN, located in Geneva, Switzerland, houses the world's biggest collider, the LHC, at closer to 17 miles in circumference. My project at Fermilab dealt primarily with upgrades to the CMS detector, one of the two biggest detectors at CERN. I look forward to integrating my lab experiences into my curriculum at MJHS.
I am also involved with the American Chemical Society where I have assisted with hands-on science demonstrations during National Chemistry Week every October. Through ACS, I have also organized and facilitated several workshops for teachers to integrate science across the curriculum. Still want to know more? Because of my time spent doing research at the USDA and Fermilab, I have been lucky enough to earn two publications! Click here if you are interested in learning more about them: USDA chemistry; Fermilab physics