Our Teachers



Arin carter

Arin Carter

Director

BA in Elementary Education, Aurora University
MA in Curriculum and Instruction, Aurora University
MS in Educational Leadership, American College of Education

I am excited to work with students in a collaborative environment. We have a lot of exciting resources and partners to work with and I look forward to introducing these resources into our class. Our students will have so many opportunities and I cannot wait to see our students prosper."


Kathleen Bradley

Allison Kapitanoff

Teacher Leader

BA in English Literature and Rhetoric, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
MEd with LBS1 Certification, National Lewis University

"I am excited about teaching at the STEM school because it will give me an opportunity to work with truly invested and inspirational students. It will be interesting to discover together how literature and history can be beneficially applied to STEM problems and fields of learning. I am excited to watch my students solve problems in new and unique ways!"

Candace Pierce

Candace Pierce

Grades 3-4, Math and STEM

BA in Elementary Education, Aurora University
MAT in Curriculum and Instruction, Aurora University

"I am excited to be a leader in education! With the support of four school districts, the university and corporate sponsors, teachers will be able to help provide unique learning experiences for all of the students. These unique opportunities will allow students to be actively engaged in their thinking and learning. We are dissecting a frog in fourth grade- who would not be excited about that?!"


Linda Ball

Linda Ball

Grades 3-8, STEM Art

BA in Art History, Northwestern University
MSEd in Art Education, Northern Illinois University

“I enjoy helping students learn new skills and discover ways to integrate art and creativity into their STEM education and their daily lives. Our school offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with instructors and the community. It is very exciting to create art in this beautiful building and to support the STEM partnership."

McAlpin

Elizabeth McAlpin

Grade 4 Teacher

BA Elementary Education, The University of Iowa (Go Hawks!!)
MA Curriculum and Instruction, Benedictine University

"Although this is my twenty-fourth year teaching, I think this might be the most exciting one yet! I am looking forward to this unique opportunity to work with students and teachers from the university and three other school districts, as well as individuals from various corporate partnerships. I am most excited to watch students grow in an environment that embraces their love of STEM courses. This is going to be a wonderful adventure!"

Natalie Soelke

Natalie Soelke

Grade 6 Teacher

BA in English, The University of Illinois at Chicago
MEd in Education Instructional Leadership, The University of Illinois at Chicago

"I'm so grateful to be given the opportunity to work with students in such a dynamic and exciting environment and to explore all the amazing resources available at the STEM school! I look forward to learning along with my students as we find new ways to use ELA skills to support STEM education."

Jamie Cali

Jamie Cali

Learning Behavior Specialist I

BA-Special Education, Northern Illinois University
MA-Curriculum and Instruction, North Central College

"After working in public schools for 8 years, I am looking forward to engaging students in learning, helping them see and reach their potential, and in giving students a new look at what school can be in an amazing and inspiring school with inspiring staff."

Kate Richards

Kate Richards

Grade 3 Teacher

"I am very excited to join the staff of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School as a third grade teacher. This is my 17th year teaching in Aurora. I have spent my career teaching in the West Aurora School District. I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. I then obtained my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University."

Joe Matuch

Joe Matuch

Middle School Teacher

I earned my B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010, where I received the award for Most Outstanding Major in Teaching of Mathematics. The next year, I earned my M.Ed. in Urban Education from National-Louis University. I taught math at C. F. Simmons Middle School for five years, where I was one of the Rookies of the Year for East Aurora School District 131 in 2015. During the summers, I work with aspiring teachers through the Golden Apple Foundation. "I'm excited to teach STEM because of its relevant applications to everyday life, the experiments my students will be able to do, and the connections among STEM fields my students will be able to make."

Nancy Hebert

Nancy Hebert

Grade 5 Teacher

BA Elementary Education, North Central College
MSEd Curriculum and Instruction, Northern Illinois University
K-12 Reading Specialist Certification, Northern Illinois University
"I am very happy to begin my 18th year of teaching as part of this collaborative environment. I look forward to working with the students, business partners, and my peers to implement STEM curriculum. I have a feeling this will be one of the most exciting chapters in my career!"


Elizabeth Kaleta

Elizabeth Kaleta

Grades 6-8, Math and STEM

BA in Education, Illinois State University
MEd, Nova Southeastern University
Administrative Type 75 Certificate, Lewis University

"I am most excited about collaborating with other educators and STEM partners to design authentic and challenging learning experiences that engage students in critical thought and exploration as well as prepare them for our ever-changing world."

Meg Papadolias

Meg Papadolias

Music Teacher
BA Fine Arts, Music Education, Vocal Emphasis Northern Illinois University 
MA Music Education Northern Illinois University
I feel strongly that every person should have the ability and the right to appreciate and create music.
Jenna Parham

Jenna Parham 

PE Teacher
BA in Physical Education, School Health Education 
Aurora University
As a recent Aurora University graduate, I am so excited to be back on campus teaching physical education and health at JCD STEM. During my undergraduate experience I was privileged in getting to collaborate with the school on a number of occasions and I am so honored to be back as the school's P.E. and health teacher. I am looking forward to diving into the world of STEM and finding interesting and creative ways to incorporate STEM concepts into physical education.