Morton District 709 Providing an education to last a life time.

Contact Numbers:

School Office

Phone: 1.309.266.6989

Fax: 1.309.284.4015

Absence: 1.309.284.4000



The Latest:

2018-2019 Calendar revised



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My ClassSupport Services

Early Childhood Program

Morton Unit School District 709 provides a developmental Early Childhood Program for children who have been identified as having disabilities in the areas of language development, motor, readiness skills or behavior. It is a five-day a week program. The morning session meets from 8:30 - 11:00, and the afternoon session meets from 12:00 - 2:30. In addition to the classroom experience, speech and language, occupational and physical therapies are provided. Currently, the program is located at Lincoln Elementary School.

Early Childhood Screening
Morton Unit School District 709 offers two developmental screenings for children ages, 0-5. One screening is held in the fall and one in the spring. If interested, please call the special education department (263-0522) and make an appointment.

Program Goals
Provide a variety of activities, experiences and choices in a stimulating environment which will help develop the child's WHOLE personality; physically, mentally, and socially Develop and enhance in each child a positive self-image and a respect for self and others Allow each child to develop at his/her own rate and to his/her greatest potential Provide integrated options in natural occurring environments.
Getting Ready
Ways you can help your child get ready for school:
Talk to your child about how glad you are that he/she is going to school.
Talk about:
How he/she will meet new friends
How he/she will play games at school
How going to school means that he/she is getting bigger
How he/she will learn new things
How he/she will get to ride the bus to school
Learn everything you can about your child's school program.
Talk to your child about the classroom, schedule, friends, etc.
Talk to your child about how important it is to sit down at all times in a car or  bus.
Have your child wear his/her seat belt in your car.
Help your child get his/her school supplies ready.
Plan to visit school!

What Your Child Will Do and Learn At School
To get along with others - to be polite and fair
To share with others - toys, games and experiences
To explore - new things and ideas
To express - with words, clay, paint, crayons, music and movement
To listen - to stories, to others and to follow directions
To eat with others - learning to relax and practice good manners
To care for self and belongings - tending to bathroom needs, hanging up clothes and returning toys to their proper places
To make choices - snack time, playtime and friends


Mrs. Chan

E-mail: [email protected]

About the Teacher
Mrs. Chan has been teaching at Lincoln since 2007. 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..

Classroom Support for Early Childhood











Miss Adams                                     Miss Balducci











Mrs. Eichorn


Mrs. Joos

E-mail: [email protected]

About the Teacher




Mission for the Class




Classroom Support for Early Childhood











Mrs. Rider                                        Mrs. Fick   

Mrs. Hutchcraft

Primary, Middle & Intermediate Instructional Program

Morton Unit School District 709 provides a Primary MIddle & Intermediate Instructional Program for students in grade K-6 housed at Lincoln Elementary School. 

The Instructional Program is a full day program for students identified with disabilities whose needs can most appropriately be met with the additional support provided by the Instructional Program teachers and staff.  Students qualify for this program based on their individual learning needs as well as a team decision at the IEP table. 

The program provides academic instruction, functional life skills instruction as well as in-class general education support for students who participate with general education peers. 


Mrs. Callahan

E-mail: [email protected]

About the Teacher

Mrs. Callahan is very excited to be a Lincoln Lion! She began her career as a Special Education Teacher in 2012. She graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and highly qualified status to teach grades K – 9.  Mrs. Callahan currently resides in Bloomington, IL. She enjoys crafting, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Mission For the Class

Mrs. Callahan believes in providing a safe and caring classroom environment where students can reach their highest potential. She believes in educating students so they can be happy, independent, and life-long learners.

Classroom Support in PIP











Mrs.Bair                                               Mrs. Gashaw


Mrs. Vernon


Mrs. Levitt 

E-mail:  [email protected]

About the Teacher

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.


Classroom Support in MIP












Mrs. Cushman                                   Mrs. Hillrich











Mrs. Knapp                                         Ms. Slocum











Mrs. Webb



Mrs. Rickenberg

E-mail:  [email protected]

About the Teacher
Mrs. Rickenberg is a graduate of Illinois State University.  She has a Bachelors degree in Special Education and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Special Education.  Mrs. Rickenberg began teaching at Lincoln Elementary School in the Primary Instructional Program since 2008 and moved to the Intermediate Instructional Program in 2014.  She continues to be actively involved at Lincoln School and also started the Morton Redwings in 2009, a District Wide Special Olympics program.  Outside of school, Mrs. Rickenberg enjoys spending time with her husband, children and bulldog, Duke.

Mission for the Class
It is Mrs. Rickenberg's mission to help the students in her class reach their highest potential by challenging them on a daily basis.  By helping students learn how to be successful members of the classroom and school, she is able to help students become successful members of the community.


Classroom Support in IIP











Mrs. Backhaus                                  Mrs. Beyer











Mrs. Dyche                                        Mrs. Mattson











Mrs. Stieglitz

Special Education Resource

Mrs. Puetz

Email address:  [email protected]

Phone:  309-266-6989

About the Teacher
Mrs. Puetz is married and has two very active children. She has taught both elementary education and junior high education.  She currently teaches the Primary LD Resource and enjoys watching students become successful daily. 

Mission for the Class
Her mission is for the students to reach their fullest individual potential.

Classroom Support Aides











Mr. Dibler                                         Mrs. Kampa-Thompson












Mrs. Miller                                       Ms. Zbinden


Mrs. Stephens

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  309-266-6989

About the Teacher
Mrs. Stephens started working at Lincoln in 2003.  She is originally from Washington, IL.  She attended Illinois State University and graduated in December 2002 with a bachelors degree in Special Education.  In June 2006 she received her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University.  Mrs. Stepens is also the cheerleading coach at Morton High School.  She lives in Morton with her husband, Tyler, and two adorable children.  In her free time she loves playing with her kids, 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.

Classroom Support Aides











Mrs. Moza                                        Mrs. Skaggs











Ms. Zbinden


Developmental reading is a program striving to meet the needs of every student in the classroom.  Kindergarten through third grade students benefit from this program.  Through collaboration with the classroom teacher, formal and informal assessments needs are determined and instruction is planned.

Instruction may be given to an individual, small group or whole classroom.

 Reading Recovery is a program for first grade students who have difficulty in learning to read and write. It is a highly effective, short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for 12-20 weeks with a specially trained teacher.  As soon as students can read within the average range of their class and can demonstrate that they can continue to achieve, their lesson are discontinued.  Reading Recovery was developed by Dr. Marie Clay of New Zealand and was first implemented in North America 20 years ago.  It incorporates the five essential elements of a good reading program.  These elements are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.  Morton District 709 began training teachers and implementing the program during the school year 1992-93.

 The goal of the program is to enable students to become fluent and independent readers of various types of literature. It is the hopes that the students become lifelong readers!  Our teacher's motto is: READ, READ, READ!


 Mrs. Szetela-Reading Aide 

E-Mail:  [email protected]


Classroom Support Aides











 Ms. Phillips-K Hoelscher                 Mrs. Friend-K Snyder











Mrs. Ronin-1 Brooks & Vastine        Mrs. Miller-1 Essert











Mrs. Litwiller-2 Lagomarcino &        Mrs. Greene-2 Todd & 3 Friedrich












Mrs. LaGrow-3 Guetschow & Knoblauch

School-Based Speech-Language

Speech-Language Pathology Services encompass such activities as:

*  Screening, diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech and language impairments;

*  Identification of children with speech and/or language impairments;

*  Referral and follow-up for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech and language impairments;

*  Planning and developing interventions and programs for children or youth with speech and language impairments;

*  Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.


Mrs. Behm 

Email address:  [email protected]

In Speech Class we do a variety of activities that will help everyone become the best communicators possible!  And, in the process we usually have a lot of fun.  Each student receives small homework assignments that when returned with a parent's signature will earn a sticker.  Seven stickers will earn a prize from the PRIZE BOX.  A variety of games are incorporated into sessions in the Speech Room as well as the Regular Classroom that help students to learn about sounds, words, good listening skills, problem solving, and other areas of communication.  Even reading materials for sound practice can be creative, such as joke and riddle books.  We also use drill practice, which helps at various stages to develop skills.  I truly look forward to working with you.



Ms. Robinson

E-mail: [email protected]

About the Teacher
Ms. Robinson began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2000.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Illinois State University.  She has two awesome children, Skyler and Heleyna.  They live in Morton with a very spunky Morkie named Tootsie.  In her spare time, Ms. Robinson loves to spend time 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. 


Challenge Program

Challenge is our districts elementary program for academically talented and gifted students in grades 3-6.  Students will develop critical thinking skills in a motivating and productive environment.  Students will work cooperatively to develop problem solving skills, as well as enhancing their reading and math skills.  Students who scored at or above the 90th percentile on at least 2 out of 3 MAP tests last school year are considered for Challenge on a space available basis.

During the first semester, we offer Challenge reading for 3rd & 4th grade students and Challenge math for 5th & 6th grade students.  During the second semester Challenge reading is offered for 5th & 6th grade students and Challenge math is offered for the 3rd & 4th grade students.


Mrs. Schreiner - Challenge Reading 

Email:  [email protected]









Mrs. Higus - Challenge Math             

Email:  [email protected]

Social Work

School social workers help students:

  • Achieve maximum benefit from their educational opportunities
  • Understand themselves and others
  • Improve their self-concepts
  • Cope with stress
  • Develop decision-making skills

School social workers help parents:

  • Participate effectively in their children's education
  • Understand and meet their children's social and emotional needs
  • Understand programs available to students with special needs
  • Utilize school and community resources effectively

School social workers help schools:

  • Understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familiar, health, etc.) that affect student's abilities to make maximum use of their social experience
  • Utilize their resources in meeting the education, social and emotional needs of students



Mrs. Pratt

Email: [email protected]

About the Teacher
Mrs. Pratt received her Master’s Degree in School Social Work from the University of Illinois Spring 2012. She is very excited to be spending her time in the Morton School District. 

Mission for the Class

As part of the educational team, the School Social Worker support student social and emotional learning in order to create a more positive learning environment that facilitates opportunities for success.



School Psychologist

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. School psychologists tailor their services to the particular needs of each child and each situation. School psychologists use many different approaches, but most provide consultation to: 

Give healthy and effective alternatives to teachers, parents, and administrators about problems in learning and behavior.

Help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior.
Strengthen working relationships between educators, parents and community services.

School psychologists also assess academic skills, learning aptitudes, personality and emotional development, social skills, learning environments and school climate and eligibility for special education.


Mrs. Kerber-Long 

Email:  [email protected]


Ms. Julie Albers, Principal




Mrs. Michelle Peterson, Assistant Principal



Mrs. Sueann Spinder, Secretary




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