Our Teachers

Arin carter

Arin Carter


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."


Elizabeth McAlpin

Teacher Leader

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

Although this is my twenty-sixth year teaching, I believe every year is more exciting than the last!  I love the unique opportunity that this program provides to work with students and teachers from the university and three other school districts, as well as individuals from various corporate partnerships.   I most enjoy watching students grow in an environment that embraces their love of STEM courses. This is going to be a wonderful adventure!

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."


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
Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Aurora University

"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."


Kate Richards

Kate Richards

Grade 3-4-5 Teacher

I am very excited to return to the staff of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School as the combined elementary  teacher. This is my 19th 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 have also obtained my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.


Joe Matuch

Joe Matuch

Middle School Teacher

"This is my 3rd year teaching 6th grade STEM and middle school math at JCD STEM. In the past, I taught 6th grade math at Simmons Middle School in East Aurora. This year, I am looking forward to seeing the 6th graders grow as scientists, engineers, programmers, and mathematicians!"


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, Aurora University

I graduated from Aurora University in December 2015 with a degree in K-12 Physical Education and 6-12 Health Education. As an undergraduate on campus I was privileged in getting to collaborate with the school during its inaugural year and now I am very excited to be starting my third year as the physical education/ health teacher here at JCD STEM. I am looking forward to making new connections with the students and continuing to incorporate STEM concepts into the health and physical education curriculum.

Debby Nelson

Deborah Nelson

Science Teacher

BS in Biology, Northern Illinois University
MA in Teaching, National Louis University

I am excited to be able to facilitate and participate in the level of authentic collaboration that comes from teaching within the JCD STEM Partnership School model.  I feel it is a privilege to have the opportunity to join this collaborative movement, which allows students to experience meaningful learning in the context of real-world problem-solving. I also look forward to sharing my experience with others as I learn and grow myself!


Nicole Kitzmiller

4th Grade Teacher

BA  Elementary Education, National Louis University
MA  Science Education, National Louis University
MA  Educational Leadership, National Louis University

"I am very excited to be joining the staff at the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership school.  I have spent the past 17 years teaching in Batavia and I am looking forward to the new challenges and experiences that this environemnt will bring to both the students and myself.  I can't wait to provide authentic and collaborative learning opportunities for the fourth grade students and to see their growth throughout the year."


Rich Vine

Grade 3 Teacher

B.S. in Exercise Physiology, Northern Illinois University
M.A. in Teaching, Aurora University
M.Ed. in Instructional Technology, American College of Education

Whether it is in the classroom or on the athletic field, I have a passion for helping students reach their greatest potential.  This chapter of my educational career is one in which I am looking forward to continuing to establish a collaborative, supportive environment in which children thrive to “Be Great” in one of the most unique learning opportunities currently available.