Office of Special Education

The Special Education department of Morton District 709 takes great pride in providing support to students, ages 3-22. Each school is equipped with numerous special education teachers, instructional aides, and a speech therapist. Our school district also provides occupational therapy, physical therapy, social workers, school psychologists, as well as other services. Morton District 709 cares deeply about each student and wants them to be successful.


Office of Special Education

1050 S. Fourth Ave.
Morton, Illinois 61550
Phone: 309-263-0522
Fax: 309-284-8015


At Morton District 709, our goals for the Special Education Department are the same as for the entire school district. Specifically, it is the mission of the Special Education Department to:

  • Ensure all students achieve their highest potential
  • Meet individual student needs based on assessments for learning and provide research-based instruction and interventions
  • Identify the specific needs of each student in order to determine teaching and learning priorities and the effectiveness of instructional methods

Additionally, we recognize the role of inclusion in helping all students develop, and we place students in general education classrooms as appropriate for each individual student.


Annual Medicaid Notification 



Lindsay Franklin

Director of Student Support Services

Amanda Rickenberg

Assistant Director of Student Support Services

Marcia Wallace

Special Education Secretary

Ms. Wallace is the special education secretary for District 709 and she supports the special education staff and director as they meet the goals of the department.

Elizabeth Antonacci

Social Worker, Grundy, Morton Junior High

Ms. Antonacci is the school social worker at Grundy Elementary School and one of the school social workers at Morton Junior High School. She graduated from Illinois State University with her bachelor’s degree in social work and from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with her master’s degree in social work. She has been a school social worker in the Morton 709 School District since 2015.

Amanda Bunting

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Mrs. Bunting attended Illinois Central College and received her associate’s degree in applied science. She started working for Morton District 709 in 2007. Mrs. Bunting services Lincoln, Grundy and the junior high. She feels it is very rewarding when she is able to see how much progress a student makes over time. She lives in East Peoria with her husband and 2 children. Mrs. Bunting works under the supervision of Occupation Therapist Mary Zumwalt of the Tazewell-Mason Counties Special Education Association.

Kristen D'Alfonso

Elementary Rtl Coordinator

Mrs. D’Alfonso serves the four Morton elementary buildings as the Elementary Response to Intervention Coordinator. She completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Illinois Wesleyan University and holds a Master’s degree from Illinois State University. She has taught at both the elementary and junior high levels, having spent 16 years in East Peoria District 86, including 10 years as a Title I reading teacher and school literacy coordinator. She lives in Morton with her husband and two children and enjoys golfing, reading, and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Kerber-Long


Mrs. Kerber-Long came to Morton district 709 in 2015. She serves as the school psychologist at Lincoln Elementary and is a member of the early childhood assessment team. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Truman State University. She also holds a specialist degree in School Psychology from Illinois State University. She has served students in early childhood through 12th grade as a school psychologist at Livingston County Special Services Unit and Tri-County Special Education Association. Mrs. Kerber-Long lives in Normal with her husband and son. She enjoys baking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Peter Klinkner

Social Worker, Morton High School

Mr. Klinkner is the social worker for MHS and Jefferson Elementary. He graduated from Illinois State University with his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in social work at ISU, graduating in 2010. He earned his Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2013. He has worked as a school social worker in the Normal Unit 5 school district as well as El Paso Gridley school district. He is married to Annie Klinkner who stays at home with their daughter, Laila. Mr. Klinkner enjoys working in Morton because of the excellent staff, great kids, and wonderful parent support.

Laura Steiner

Social Worker, Lettie Brown, Morton Junior High

Mrs. Steiner is the school social worker at Lettie Brown Elementary School and one of the school social workers at Morton Junior High 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.

Molly Suellentrop

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Mrs. Suellentrop is the occupational therapy assistant serving Lettie Brown and Jefferson. She works under the supervision of Occupational Therapist Mary Zumwalt of the Tazewell-Mason Counties Special Education Association. In 2013, she received her associates’ degree from Illinois Central College in Applied Science to begin her career in occupational therapy. Mrs. Suellentrop lives in Peoria with her husband and new son. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, and staying active. Mrs. Suellentrop is excited to be working with such a great community and school district.

Katie Zwolinski


Miss Zwolinski is originally from Arlington Heights. After graduating high school, she attended Eastern Illinois University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009 with a major in psychology and a minor in family and consumer sciences. Her love of psychology drew her to the field of school psychology. She continued her education at Eastern Illinois University and earned her Specialist in School Psychology degree in 2012. Katie is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She lives in Bloomington and is thrilled to be working with the wonderful staff, students, and families in Morton.