Curriculum and Instruction

Student/Alumni Achievements

Congrats to Our Fall 2014 Outstanding Pre-Service Teacher Award Recipients

On December 19, 2014 the Curriculum and Instruction Department honored seven of our top aspiring teachers with our Outstanding Pre-Service Teacher (OPTA) Awards. The C & I Scholarship Committee selects only students who have demonstrated excellence both in their course work and in the student teaching phase of their undergraduate education for this award. Faculty and staff members honored these students at a recognition reception in Horrabin Hall where they were joined by friends and family.  Congratulations to these remarkable teachers!

OPTA Recipients

Fall 2014 OPTA Award Recipients

L-R Back: Aaron Sikorski (Elementary Education), Ashley Wilson (Special Education), Sadie Keefauver (Special Education) and Nikki Parker (Elementary Education).
L-R Front: Corinna Soto (Bilingual/Bicultural Education), Candice Lanhum (Elementary Education) and Christa Lopez (Elementary Education).





Congratulations to our Fall 2014 Department Scholars

as sk

We are proud to announce our Department Scholars for the Fall of 2014.  Aaron Sikorski, our Fall 2014 Elementary Education Scholar, graduated with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude, and is one of our OPTA Award recipients for Outstanding Pre-Service Teacher.  Sadie Keefauver, our Fall 2014 Special Education Scholar, graduated with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude, and is also one of our OPTA Award recipients for Outstanding Pre-Service Teacher.  In addition, Sadie is the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) Scholar for Fall 2014.  Congratulations and the best of luck to Aaron and Sadie!

Aaron Sikorski                                   Sadie Keefauver
C&I Elementary Ed Scholar              C&I Special Ed Scholar

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) hosts WIU's first annual Assistive Technology Conference.

CEC is very grateful to Infinitec and the Illinois School Board of Education for their generous financial support which made hosting this wonderful event possible.

Last Friday, February 13, more than 65 students, faculty, and area educators gathered in Horrabin 1 for the first of what will be an annual conference hosted at WIU. The conference ran from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm with three separate sessions, and most participants attending all three. The first session was "Overview of Assistive Technology," followed by "AAC's and 1,2,3's: An Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Educators," and then "Visual Strategies via Apps." 

CEC was very pleased with this years conference and is extremely excited the event is going to be an annual part of the departments calendar. Look for registration for the 2016 conference this coming fall!


Grad Students in Reading Program Receive Close to $22K Worth of Funding and Materials through Educational Grants.

Ruby Latif Ruby Latif (Springfield, IL)

Judy KellyJudy Kelly (West Burlington, IA)

Kaitlyn LillyKaitlyn Lilly (Bettendorf, IA)

Jessica MooreJessica Moore (Macomb, IL)

Rachel MooreRachel Moore (Coal Valley, IL)

Art RemingtonArt Remington (Macomb, IL)

Michele SmithMichele Smith (Moline, IL)

UntitledMelissa Fredericks  (Davenport, IA)

Graduate students in Professor Sara Simonson's "Leadership in Reading" course (RDG 588) have recently been awarded several grants, valued close to $22,000. According to Simonson, students (some of whom are now Western alumni) enrolled in her Spring 2014 RDG 588 course were instructed to write two grant applications each, and a few were awarded the grants based on their applications.

"A couple of my students, Jessica Moore and Michele Smith, each received both grants they wrote applications for," Simonson added. "I am proud of all of these students' accomplishments and thrilled with the volume of literacy materials and educational tools provided for their classrooms through grants and foundations."

Individuals who received grants (to be used for Fall 2014 and after) include:

  • Ruby Latif (Springfield, IL), a graduate (2014) of Western's master of science in reading program, received an Elmo TT 12i Interactive Document Camera for her project, "Interactive Learning" via Donors Choose. Latif is a high school English teacher at Southeast High School (Springfield, IL), and she will use the camera for shared reading, students' work, exemplary work and modeling instruction.
  • Judy Kelly (West Burlington, IA), a graduate student in Western's master of science in reading program, received $420.15 from Donors Choose for her project, "Reading and Writing Partners." Kelly is a second-grade teacher at West Central Elementary in Biggsville (IL), and she will use the award to purchase writing genre texts for students to use as a model to improve their writing skills.
  • Kaitlyn Lilly (Bettendorf, IA), a graduate student in Western's master of science in reading program, received $6,991 from the Edward White PTA Foundation for her project "Nonfiction, Author Study, and Genre Study Books for Grades 3-6." Lilly is a fifth-grade teacher in the North Scott School District (Bettendorf, IA). She will use the grant to purchase an array of high-quality literature and informational texts at increasingly higher levels of difficulty. Students will use these materials to make cross-curricular connections, increase knowledge about various topics and interests and strengthen strategic knowledge for both fiction and nonfiction texts during independent reading, literature discussion groups and whole-group reading.
  • Jessica Moore (Macomb, IL), graduate student in Western's master of science in reading program, received $3,500 from ING/American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance for her project, "Promoting Literacy by Engaging Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies." Moore is a fourth-grade teacher in the Galesburg School District, and she will use the grant funds to create a running club, which will incorporate nutritional materials and books related to being fit. Moore also received $492.90 through Donors Choose for her project, "Reading and Writing: Adventures in the Common Core." Moore will use those funds for new nonfiction materials in her school's reading and math centers.
  • Rachel Moore (Coal Valley, IL), a graduate student in Western's master of science in reading program, received $1,416.95 from the Moline Public Schools Foundation for her project, "Raising the Bar in Kindergarten: Making Nonfiction Books Accessible to Our Youngest Readers." Moore is a kindergarten teacher at Benjamin Franklin Elementary (Moline, IL), and she will use the grant to purchase four different multiple copy sets of nonfiction, for a total of 240-leveled readers.
  • Art Remington (Macomb, IL) a graduate (2014) of Western's master of science in reading program, received $1,000 from KHQA-TV's "One Class at a Time" program. Remington is a seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher at West Prairie Middle School (Colchester, IL), and he will use the grant funds to purchase sets of high quality literature as he aligns curriculum to support the common core state standards.
  • Michele Smith (Moline, IL), a graduate (2014) of Western's master of science in reading program, received $987 from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for her project "Upping the Ante for My Striving Readers." Smith is a fourth-grade teacher at Bowlesburg Elementary (East Moline, IL), and she will use the grant funds to purchase trade books for her classroom library. Smith also received $400 from Wal-Mart to purchase educational board games for use with kindergarten and fourth-grade students as they develop social skills of taking turns, listening and good sportsmanship.
  • Melissa Fredericks (Davenport, IA) a graduate student in Western's master of science in reading program, received $6,018.80 from the Edward White PTA Foundation for her project "Guided Reading Book Sets." Fredericks is a first-grade teacher in the North Scott School District (Bettendorf, IA), and she will use the grant to purchase sets of guided reading books, increasing the range of books available in the school's book room.

For more information, contact Dr. Simonson at (309) 298-2510 or via email at



Council for Exceptional Children helps 'Stuff the Bus' for local food pantries

Stuff the Bus student volunteersSince 2008, the Stuff the Bus food drive has collected more than 90,000 pounds of food, which is then distributed to local food pantries. This year's organizations benefitting from the drive included Loaves and Fishes Etc., the RA Council Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner and the Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency. Stuff the Bus is a locally organized campaign hosted by Sodexo Dining Services and Go West Transit in the fall every year. WIU's Council for Exceptional Children helped promote the event and participated in the collection of donations on Macomb's WIU campus. 

Stuff the Bus 2014


CEC members, pictured left to right, Sarah Hays (Stuff the Bus Chairperson), Cari Sheppard and Kristin Heffelfinger helped 'Stuff the Bus'!!

Click here for more information about the Council for Exceptional Children.

This Year's Scholastic Book Fair Fundraiser a Success Thanks to Council for Exceptional Children

Student Volunteers at 2014 Book FairThe Council for Exceptional Children sponsored their annual Scholastic Book Fair again this year, and it was very successful, doing even better than previous years. By providing high quality books at a reasonable price to students, faculty and staff, they were able to raise funds in the form of Scholastic Bucks which equated to books that could be donated to deserving children.

This year profits in the form of book donations will go to the WIU Infant and Preschool Center and to the Too Little Children Foundation , which benefits children in Kenya who have lost their parents to AIDS. 

The Fair was held for the entire week of Nov. 11 -14 from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm outside Horrabin Hall 42, and was attended by faculty, staff, students and parents. Books were also available for purchase online that were not in the sale stock, including a large assortment of eBooks.

Pictured left to right, WIU Students Lacy Busby, Cari Sheppard, Hilary Okitia and Erin Robb assist with the Scholastic Book Fair fundraiser.

Welcome Fall 2014 Curriculum and Instruction Freshmen!

fall 14 froshAugust 23, 2014:  Greetings and welcome to our new Curriculum and Instruction Freshmen, who posed for a photo on the Macomb Campus during Orientation Day.  Best of luck to you!




Congratulations, Jessica Moore!


June 1, 2014:  Congratulations to Jessica Moore, graduate student in the WIU Reading program and 4th grade teacher in the Galesburg School District. Jessica received $492.90 from Donors Choose for her project, "Reading and Writing:  Adventures in the Common Core."  Jessica will be using this grant to purchase an Informational Text Common Core Kit.  This supplementary material will complement her reading instruction and bridge science and social studies instruction while using engaging and high quality informational text.





Alexandria A.J. Hamm, Spring 2014 College of Education and Human Services Scholar


Alexandria "A.J." Hamm (Macomb, IL) graduates with a BSEd. in Special Education, with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She is also the Special Education Departmental Scholar. Hamm has been active in Western's Student Education Association for four years, serving as the president in 2012-13. She also served on the Illinois Education Association Student Program (IEA-SP) in the executive board position "political activist." In 2011, at the College of Education and Human Services' annual Tech Fest event, Hamm presented a behavior-management program designed specifically for a student with autism, for which she won an Educational Technology Award. She also served as a First Year Experience (FYE) peer mentor, volunteered as a telecounselor for the WIU Admissions Office and served as a conversation partner volunteer for WIU's Center of International Studies. She now works as a special education teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School in East Moline, IL and has future plans to pursue her master's degree in education.


Congratulations, Kelsey Bower!

Kelsey BowerJan. 29, 2014: Congratulations to Kelsey Bower, graduate student in the WIU reading program and 1st grade teacher in North Scott School District. Kelsey received $40,000.00 from Scott County Regional Authority (SCRA) plus a matching gift of $30,000.00 from her school district for a grand total of $70,000 for her project, "Classroom Libraries." Kelsey will be using this grant to purchase a variety of engaging and high interest books for libraries in all K-6 classrooms in the North Scott Community School District.





David M. Coupland, Fall 2013 College of Education and Human Services Scholar

David Coupland, SPED

David M. Coupland (Bushnell, IL) graduates with a B.S.Ed. in Special Education with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. He is also the Special Education Departmental Scholar. In 2004, Coupland earned his B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western and returned to study Special Education in 2009. He is a recipient of the Patricia A. Wood Memorial Scholarship in Special Education, as well as of the Dean's Non-Traditional Student Scholarship. He has served as a volunteer for Special Olympics; as a t-ball coach for the Bushnell Park District; and as a GED tutor at Spoon River College.

Congratulations, Candy Berquam!

Candy BerquamCandy Berquam, graduate student in the WIU reading program and Pre-K teacher in the Hamilton School District, received $500 from Wal-Mart for her project, "Integrating Literacy Through Technology." With the grant money, Candy is purchasing an iPad bundle for the reading resource teacher. Congratulations, Candy!




Congratulations, Sarah Brauhn!

Sarah BraunSarah Brauhn, graduate student in WIU reading program and literacy coach at Black Hawk Middle School in the Madison Metropolitan School District (WI) received $4,000.00 from the Lodewick Partner School Network Grant for her project, "Middle School Literacy Collaboration, Common Core, and School Improvement." This grant will fund their attendance to the Wisconsin State Reading Conference, allowing literacy leaders from the east side middle schools to come together for three days of professional learning and collaboration.




Congratulations, Maggie Hyde!

Maggie HydeMaggie Hyde, graduate student in the WIU reading program & Title 1 reading teacher in the Alwood School District, received a $1,000 SCORE grant for Family Reading Nights. The grant was from the Illinois Education Association in partnership with the National Education Association. She is planning two Reading Nights, one in November and one in March, to promote parent involvement and literacy at her school. She and her colleagues will have a variety of literacy events at their themed Reading Nights, celebrating literacy.




A ceremony was held in their honor on December 13th in Horrabin Hall.

Winners pictured below:
Back row, left to right: Valerie Oakey, David Coupland, Shawna Alexander.

Front row, left to right: Tabitha Seidel, Joseph (J.T.) Baginski, Dana Sarallo.

Winners not pictured: Abigail Stevenson, Amber Terry Hall.

Fall 2013 OPTA Award Winners

WIU - Quad Cities 1st Annual Research and Scholarship Symposium

The WIU - Quad Cities 1st Annual Research and Scholarship Symposium took place in the 60th Street campus building on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. The aim of the QCRSS network is to help faculty and students at the Western Illinois University - Quad Cities campus connect with colleagues to develop research partnerships, to gain support, and to share research expertise and accomplishments. C&I alumni presenters included:

Shannan Retter, WIU-QC Alumnus, Special Education Master’s degree

            iPad Use for Accelerating Gains in Reading skills of Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities

This action research project explored the use of the iPad 2 in a special education classroom with high school students who were considered struggling readers to determine if an academic gain in reading comprehension, reading fluency, and vocabulary implementing the intervention of an iPad and four specific applications (apps). The high school students used a combination of apps for at least 30 minutes a day with the remedial reading program, Second Chance Reading. A statistical comparison of data from first semester without the iPad to data collected the second semester with the iPad resulted in a significant gain in reading comprehension and a statistically significant gain in vocabulary on the Stanford Reading Diagnostic Test.

Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2013 C&I T-shirt design contest!

Congratulations to students Jonathan Deshasier, BS, and Brittany Havrilla, BS, winners of the C&I departmental t-shirt design contest. The t-shirts will debut for homecoming 2013. Proceeds will benefit future C&I student projects.  Light gray is the chosen color and four sizes (S-XL) are available. Please support the cause.  For orders contact the C&I office at (309) 298-1961.

C&I T-shirt 2013

Front design: Jonathan Deshasier

C&I T-shirt 2013 Back

 Back design: Brittany Havrilla



Announcing the CEC Conference on Professional Interviewing Skills

Friday, November 1, 2013
9:00-12: noon
Sponsored By: Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The Council for Exceptional Children will present a half-day conference on professional interview skills. The main speakers are Dr. Mark Twomey, Superintendent of Macomb Public Schools, and a panel of first-year teachers who will present their interview suggestions, experiences, and tips. There will be time for mock interviews where students can volunteer to be interviewed and receive tips from the professionals.

Tentative Schedule:

8:30 - 9:00 Registration and coffee time
9:00 - Welcome from CEC and Dr. Anne Gregory, Chair, Curriculum and Instruction
9:10 - Dr. Twomey, Interviewing Skills for Success
9:50 – Mrs. Richmond, Dressing for Success
10:15 - New Teacher Panel Presentation, Personal Interview Success Stories
          Stephanie Reiher – Macomb School District
          Lisa Davison – Macomb School District
          Lorree Kerr – West Prairie School District
          Shawna McLaughlin – Fulton County / Cuba School District
11:00 - Mock Interviews: Practice your interview skills!
12:00 - Certificates of attendance will be presented

There are a limited number of seats available. The first 75 registrations received will be confirmed for attendance at the conference.

Handouts of Interview information will be provided.

Certificates of attendance will be passed out at the end of the program.

Congratulations to Diana Cremer!

Ms. Cremer was presented with the Donald L. Troyer Award on May 10, 2013, given to honor an outstanding mentor teacher. Mentor teachers serve an essential role in our teacher education programs, hosting student teachers in their classrooms and providing support and feedback during the students' field experiences. Congratulations, Diana, and thank you for your hard work and dedication!


A ceremony was held in their honor on May 10th in Horrabin Hall.

The winners are pictured below:
Back row, left to right: Rachel Behm, Jennifer Rinehart, Renee Gentry, Bryan Dickinson, Shawna Meaker.

Front row, left to right: Mary Kiritsy, Dena Shaw, Ellen Rush, Lisa Welker.

 OPTA Award Recipients Spring 2013

Congratulations to Ellen Rush!

Ellen Rush (Elementary Education) was honored with the Department Scholar Award for Spring 2013. Ellen graduated Summa Cum Laude on May 11, 2013, and she proudly represented the C&I Department at Honors Convocation. Congratulations Ellen, and we wish you all the best!

Brooke Schafer recognized for exemplary work!


Over 150 students and faculty from  WIU  participated as volunteers for Special Olympics in Monmouth on  May 4, 2013. Brooke Schafer, dual  Special Education  and  Elementary Education major, was the volunteer coordinator. Brooke's time and effort to organize the volunteers resulted in WIU having the largest group of volunteers at Special Olympics. The PA announcer,  Dr. Don Healy, retired professor   from WIU, gave many public acknowledgements to the big group of volunteers from WIU. Special Olympics was not only an inspiring volunteer experience, it was great publicity for Western.



Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

cec group

The  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)  received the Outstanding Small Student Organization Award at the Office of Student Activities Leadership Awards ceremony on  April 24, 2013. The  CEC  organization has completed a variety of service and professional development activities including but not limited to the  Eliminate the R Word  campaign, an iPad eBook writing project with students at West Prairie Middle School, a presentation at the Illinois State CEC Conference, Tech Fest presentations, a field trip to two special education schools in the Quad City area, campus-wide guest speaker programs, and multiple fundraisers. Officers of the group include  Brooke Schafer, Ashley Vargas, Lacey Busby, Leah Newton,  and  Katelyn Blair.  Dr. Mary Jensen, C&I,  is the advisor.


Dana Sarallo wins First Place Research Award!

Congratulations to Dana Sarallo, senior ELED major, who won the first place research award for ELED in the C&I department! Further details provided by Dr. Steward below:

Poster Presentation
The Report of Teachers' Percepetion and Influential Diversity Factors
Dana R. Sarallo
Faculty Mentor: Frances A. Steward, Ph.D.
Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this report is to identify factors that impact teachers' perceptions of working with parent diversity in school settings. The significance of the diversity study is to explore the successful learning connections of teacher, parents, and students. Culturally responsive teachers who strategically build children’s self-worth and appreciation of positive identities may experientially enhance the learning of all students (Coleman, 2013). Scholarship was integral in learning about the research process, interviews’ data collection, data analysis, findings, results interpretation, and conclusions. Creativity included the design of the 6 content items questionnaire and the findings and results charts. John D. Creswell (2002) purported the significance of relevance in the literature review of the proposed study as to the following: topic, individual, site, problem, and accessibility. In qualitative studies, a-priori theme categories clarify research data and assist in visualizing the concepts. The diversified, categorical components derived from the literature review were as follows: (1.) Communicating, (2.) Planning, (3.) Provisions, and (4.) Home-school links. The interview with the questionnaire (4 categories and 6 content items) was conducted with 6 teachers in an area elementary school. The results and conclusions will determine the teachers’ instructional connections, preparations, and resources used to expand the meeting of parents’ and students’ diverse needs in a school setting.

Pictured below: WIU President Jack Thomas; Dana Sarallo; and Provost and Academic VP, Kenneth Hawkinson.
Dana Sarallo receives first place research award for ELED.

Early Childhood majors attend the Illinois State Reading Conference

On March 14-16, 2013, Early Childhood majors attended the Illinois State Reading Conference in Springfield, IL with Dr. Kathy Barclay.

Students in attendance are pictured below:
From left to right: Ashley Behymer, Elizabeth Williams, Michelle McCormick, Kendra Shelts, Jessica Davison, Dr. Kathy Barclay, Brittney Edwards, and Emily Kilman.

ECH IL State Reading Conference March 2013


Congratulations to Karen Nudd!

Karen was presented with the Spring 2011 Troyer Award. This award honors an outstanding mentor teacher.

Congratulations to Kenny Crosby!

Kenny was awarded the Spring 2011 Department Scholar Award.



A ceremony was held in their honor on May 13th in Horrabin Hall.

The winners in alphabetical order:


  • Carol Beardsley
  • Eboney Chambers
  • Rebecca Curl
  • Kenny Crosby
  • Kaitlyn Dyche
  • Justine Hoeftmann
  • Laura Hofer
  • Carrie Hollenback
  • Beckie Laye
  • Courtney Knobloch
  • Mark Gregory
  • Casie Markum
  • Ashley Waterstreet
  • Abbie White


Fall 2010 Department Scholars: Rachel Harvey and Nicole DeRenzy!

Rachel (Elementary Education) and Nicole(Special Education) received the honor of being chosen for Department Scholar! The faculty are proud to have them represent our department at Honors Convocation. Congratulations to both Rachel and Nicole!

Congratulations Sindy DeRousse!!

Sindy wrote and received the Leaning Enhancement Grant in the amount of $1, 035.00. The money will be used to purchase 3 new listening centers including wireless headphones, cassette player, and CD player for kindergarten classrooms.

Congratulations Sara Johnson!!

Sara wrote and received a grant from in the amount of $294.32. Two Iowa residents and Build A Bear Workshop donated the money that enabled Sara to purchase new whiteboards, markers and erasers to use in her classroom.


A ceremony will be held in their honor on December 17th in Horrabin Hall.

The winners in alphabetical order:

  • Aubrey Becker
  • Michelle Detrick
  • Rachel Harvey
  • Luke Howerter
  • Nina Nuesken
  • Erin Schatz
  • Leigh Terstriep


Congratulation to Amy Nelson!

Amy Nelson, current Reading Specialist candidate, has received a grant from Cambridge Academic Foundation in the amount of $882.55 to purchase picture books and novel units to be used across the curriculum at the middle and secondary level.

Congratulation to Lori Kennedy!

Lori Kennedy, a recent Reading Specialist graduate, received a $2,000 grant from the Morrison Area Community Foundation. This grant is providing the monies for her school district to purchase at least one smart board, a color scanner, and some software.

Congratulations to Charlotte Lindsey!

Charlotte, a recent Reading Specialist graduate, received a $500 grant from the Galesburg Community Foundation to purchase leveled books for small group instruction as part of a level 2 RtI intervention.

Congratulations to Christy VanEtten!

Christy received almost $3,000 in grant money from Dollar General to purchase books for Reading Recovery.

Congratulations to Jodi Sierra!

Jodi received $2,420 in grant money from Dollar General to purchase the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System.

Congratulations to Pam Rotherham!

Pam received $250.00 in grant money from the Credit Union in Springfield, IL to purchase sets of novels for her 6th grade literature groups!

Congratulations to Michelle Franzoni!

Michelle received $1,000.00 in foundation money to buy materials for a literacy center for kindergarten children

Congratulations to Allison Guidish!

Allison also received $1,000.00 in grant money. As a result of Allison's senior year community service project, DOT Foods awarded this grant for hearing impaired and deaf students