College of Education & Human Services

Educator Preparation

Alumni & Current Student Profiles

Jake RedeniusJake Redenius

Jake Redenius is a 2017 graduate of the science education program at WIU where he majored in physics and became certified in 6-12 science and math. He met the Superintendent of Williamsfield Schools at the Teacher Education Career Fair and was hired shortly thereafter. Currently, he is in his third year of teaching at Williamsfield, a small district that serves around 300 total students in Pre-K - 12. Jake teaches high school chemistry, physics, and engineering, as well as four middle school engineering courses, and 5th grade math.

Along with his teaching duties, he serves as the physical science/engineering Pathway Lead, advising students on course enrollment, college visits, and real-world learning opportunities. He also coaches two robotics teams for middle and high school and was excited to take his high school team, Bionic Bombers 7417, to the national competition in 2018. In 2019, he started his Master's of Education in Science and Math Education at University of Nebraska-Kearney. His current research interests are in flipped education and standards-based assessment. He is in his first year teaching a flipped physics class and is in the process of converting his school's chemistry curriculum to a standards-based model that follows the NGSS framework.

Andrea KliffmillerAndrea Kliffmiller

Junior art education major Andrea Kliffmiller of Rushville, IL was selected by her instructors to paint a winter-themed picture for the annual WIU Foundation holiday card. The finished product is an original watercolor painting of a snowy campus scene with Sherman Hall in the background.

Click here to view the full story

Bryan SchullianBryan Schullian

Schullian’s work as a teacher and FFA adviser has not gone unnoticed, as he has received the Outstanding Early Career Award from the National Association of Agriculture Educators, during the group’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Click here to view the full story

Kaylyn DavenportKaylyn Davenport

Kaylyn is a 2014 WIU Ag Ed graduate, who is teaching at Atwater FFA Chapter in California. Kaylyn grew up in California, but decided to come to WIU to earn her Ag Ed degree. She was also a California State FFA Officer. Kaylyn did her student teaching at Monmouth-Roseville with Mr. Jason Kilburn, who is also a WIU graduate.

Click here to view the story about how she has turned her classroom into a floral shop business.

Jordan DeWildeJordan DeWilde

Jordan DeWilde, a 2009 graduate, with degrees in broadcasting and art, began teaching at Oregon (IL) Elementary School in 2012. He currently teaches grades 3-6, but has taught various grades since he was hired. DeWilde received his master's degree and teaching certification in art education from Illinois State University.

"At Oregon Elementary, I wrote a brand-new curriculum for grades 4-6 and focused on multicultural education and inclusive curriculum of diverse backgrounds," said DeWilde. "In 2012, the fine arts department received the Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Awards Program Award of Excellence. A few years later, in 2016, I received the Award of Excellence for Early Career Educator."

Read the entire story here.

Sarah NelsonSarah Nelson

Current Student

Sarah Nelson is a very passionate sophomore majoring in Agriculture Education. While balancing her academics, she has become very involved in the National PAS Organization (Professional Agriculture Students) where she previously held a state office and is now representing Western Illinois University as the National PAS Vice President. Sarahs future goal is to become a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. To help her gain more experience in the field, she has had the privilege to take advantage of the GAST internship that WIU has to offer to their agriculture education students. With this, she has had the opportunity to intern with two local high school agriculture programs that have helped her gain experience and insight into agriculture education.

Ben GreenBenjamin Green

Benjamin Green started teaching in Fall 2016 at West Prairie High School and is currently teaching at Monmouth-Roseville High School. While at West Prairie, he created a science curriculum that was aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and vertically aligned with the middle school science program where one previously did not exist. In keeping with the Next Generation Science Standards and current understanding of the teaching/learning dynamic, he created a hands-on, interactive, and engaging curriculum where students were encouraged to ask questions, do literature reviews, develop and implement experiments, and analyze data, all in an effort to help students develop deep conceptual understandings of scientific phenomenon. He is now expanding those efforts at Monmouth-Roseville where he teaches biology, botany, and microbiology. For example, in his microbiology course, he developed a lesson focused on natural food preservation, specifically the phenomenon of apples and bananas turning brown to prevent microbial growth. Students make observations, read in the literature, and share data in an attempt to explain this complex phenomenon. This is only one example of how Mr. Green engages his students to help them develop both a deep conceptual understanding of scientific phenomenon and the processes by which scientists make discoveries. He was given the 2018 Outstanding New Teacher Award by the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Jodi ScottJodi Scott

Jodi L. Scott, Regional Superintendent of Schools for Henderson, Knox, Mercer and Warren County Regional Office of Education 33, Scott obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education (’92) and master’s degree in early childhood education and administration (’99) from Western Illinois University. She also earned the superintendent’s endorsement from WIU. Scott was recently named the 2018 Superintendent of Distinction by her colleagues in the Western Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.
Other successes in the ROE 33 district during her tenure include:

  • In her role in the consolidated region of ROE 33, she covers more than 2,000 square miles and serves 94,000 community members, 13,000 students and 2,000 educators.
  • Seeks program opportunities that benefit all children in her region.
  • Oversees 11 programs under her leadership, which include 21st century community learning centers, prenatal to three parent educators, preschool for all classrooms, adult education and literacy, and regional alternative education services.
  • Serves on state level councils, including the Early Learning Council, The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, and was appointed by the governor to the School Funding Commission. “These unique individuals in the field of Illinois public education are providing exceptional leadership and are industrious in developing creative contributions that elevate the success of students in their districts and support solutions to growing demands. These Superintendents of Distinction were selected by their peers in their regions because of the dedication, commitment and leadership they have demonstrated,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark.

She is also an active member of the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Riley HintzscheRiley Hintzsche

Riley Hintzsche, Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor, was hired at Streator Township High School in the fall of 2014. Upon his hire, 82 students were enrolled in the program and today, 132 students are registered for the 2018-2019 school year. Hintzsche implemented 100% FFA membership among the program to allow students access to all events, contests, and conferences. The FFA Chapter has been name National Chapter Award National Finalist for the last 3 years. Finally, the chapter has received national recognition through This Week In Agribusiness FFA Chapter Salute with Orion Samuelson and will be recognized in May by the National Teach Ag Campaign.

In the fall 2016, Hintzsche started the Think OINK Project with the partnership of Brockman Farms. Students Artificially Inseminate a female pig in the fall and the sow gives birth to her piglets at STHS in the spring. Students care for the pigs until weaning where students can purchase them for Supervised Agricultural Experiences.

Hintzsche is a Certified CASE Instructor and Lead Teacher for the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education. He spends his summer traveling and educating Agricultural Educators the CASE curriculum.

Hintzsche was named the Outstanding Beginner Educator through the Illinois Association of Collegiate Teacher Educators for Western Illinois University in 2016. He has also been recognized for the following awards:

  • Section 7 FFA Excellence in Teaching-2017
  • Lasalle County Soil & Water District Conservation Teacher of The Year-2016
  • 40 Under 40 Leadership Award-Lasalle Valley Small Business Development Center-2015
  • Excellence In Education Award-Lasalle County Regional Office of Education-2015