ISU and District 15

February 23, 2018

Illinois State University and District 15

  • November 2014

    'What it's really going to be like'

    Yearlong internships in District 15 schools prepare ISU students for their chosen careers as educators, but they aren't the only ones benefitting for the experience.

    This fall, District 15 welcomed its fourth -- and so far its largest -- class of college students who are serving as interns through the Illinois State University (ISU) College of Education's Professional Development School (PDS) in District 15.

    "The ISU PDS program provides an invaluable professional development opportunity for these interns because it allows them to 'live the life of a teacher' all year," said Mary Zarr, Ed.D., the District's PDS site coordinator and a liaison between the District and ISU's Department of Curriculum and Instruction. "At the same time, our students and teachers benefit greatly from the contributions that these interns make throughout our classrooms and schools over the course of a full school year."

    Illinois State University and District 15 partnered to establish the PDS program in District 15 in the fall of 2011. The program's aim is to assist in the professional development of teachers and the training of educators while simultaneously improving schools and teacher education.

    The PDS program offers ISU's senior education students a yearlong internship in a public school rather than just a 16-week student teaching experience.

    "They meet students on the first day of school. They go to conferences, make lesson plans, and attend institute days," said Dr. Zarr. "They experience what it's really going to be like as a teacher while providing actual instructional support for District 15 students."

    ISU PDS Program During their first semester in the PDS program, these interns split their time, working in their assigned schools the first three days of each week, and then meeting with their ISU professors at the Joseph M. Kiszka Educational Service Center to complete their college coursework on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The interns complete the elementary portions of their internships during the first half of the semester. They begin serving the junior high portion of their internships in mid October, then return to their elementary assignments the week before winter break to reconnect with their classes and prepare to start their full-time student teaching experiences in the second semester of the program.

    This year, 20 ISU students are serving as interns in the District. So far, 23 students have committed to participate in the program next year, as the program just continues to grow. (District 15 provided seven ISU students with internships in the program's first year, 15 in its second year, and 18 last year).

    The District has hired a total of 15 of the interns that have completed the program in the District, and most the rest -- if not all of them -- have secured jobs in surrounding districts.


    December 2013

    ISU Professional Development School continues to grow in District 15

    The Illinois State University (ISU) College of Education's Professional Development School (PDS) in District 15 is providing its third—and so far its largest—class of college students with an invaluable professional development opportunity.

    The two institutions—ISU and District 15—entered into an agreement to establish the PDS program in District 15 in the fall of 2011. The partnership's aim is to assist in the professional development of teachers and the training of educators while simultaneously improving schools and teacher education.

    The PDS program offers ISU's senior education students a yearlong internship in a public school rather than just a 16-week student teaching experience. The program allows the interns to "live the life of a teacher" all year. They meet students on the first day of school. They go to conferences, make lesson plans, and attend institute days. They experience what it's really going to be like as a teacher while providing actual instructional support for District 15 students.

    In the first year of this partnership, District 15 provided seven ISU students with internships. Since then, the program has grown significantly. In its second year, it provided 15 internships. This year, 18 ISU students are serving as interns in the District, and next year, 21 students have already committed to participate in the program. 


    The District has hired a total of seven of the interns that have completed the program in the District, and most—if not all—of the rest have secured jobs in surrounding districts. 

    ISU StudentsMembers of this year's class of ISU interns are: (front row, left to right) Shawn FanTori SarantakisStephanie RahnKayla LeMieux, and Katie Meters; (middle row, left to right) Michelle ShermanBrittany MartiErin Reynolds,Sam CarlinKatie BrownAmy Abdnor, and Kelsey Drahos; (back row, left to right) Michelle WasilewskiMeagan Hoffman, Ellie Tixier, Miranda FlemingJanelle Reichardt, and Jessica Hennelly.

    They are under the supervision of Ann Bokor, who serves as the District's PDS site coordinator and a liaison between the District and ISU's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

    During their first semester in the PDS program, these interns have split their time, working in their assigned schools the first three days of each week, and then meeting with ISU professors at the Joseph M. Kiszka Educational Service Center to complete their college coursework on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The interns completed the elementary portions of their internships during the first half of the semester. They began serving the junior high portion of their internships in mid October. They returned to their elementary assignments the week before winter break to reconnect with their classes and prepare to start their full-time student teaching experiences in the second semester of the program.


    December 2012

    District 15, ISU continue partnership to produce tomorrow's teachers 

    The Illinois State University (ISU) College of Education's Professional Development School (PDS) in District 15 is providing another class of college students with an invaluable professional development opportunity.

    The two institutions—ISU and District 15—entered into an agreement to establish the program in District 15 last fall. The partnership's aim is to assist in the professional development of teachers and the training of educators while simultaneously improving schools and teacher education.

    The PDS program offers ISU's senior education students a yearlong internship in a public school rather than just a 16-week student teaching experience. The program allows the interns to "live the life of a teacher" all year. They meet students on the first day of school. They go to conferences, make lesson plans, and attend institute days. They experience what it's really going to be like as a teacher while providing actual instructional support for District 15 students.

    In the first year of this partnership, District 15 provided seven ISU students with internships, and all seven of them now have jobs in public education—two of them right here in District 15. This year, the District is providing 15 ISU students with internships, and next year the program will continue to grow, as 18 ISU students have already committed to serve as interns in the District.

    2012-13 ISU Interns

    Members of this year's class of ISU interns are (front row, left to right) Nicole KennedySarah HuetteLeslie SchuettAnna RobinsonKelly BrewCourtney Cameron, and Julie Huvaere; and (back row, left to right) Madeline La LondeKaitlyn HighlandLaura MagrowskiHeather RappBrittany CastellanoCourtney WalochaKatie Shannon, and Kayla Berta. They are under the supervision of Ann Bokor, who serves as the District's PDS site coordinator and a liaison between the District and ISU's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

    During their first semester in the PDS program, these interns are splitting their time, working in their assigned schools the first three days of each week, and then meeting with ISU professors at the Joseph M. Kiszka Educational Service Center to complete their college coursework on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The interns have already completed the elementary portions of their internships at Winston Campus Elementary and Jane AddamsCentral RoadStuart R. Paddock, and Gray M. Sanborn Schools. In mid-October, they began serving the junior high portion of their internships at Winston Campus and Plum Grove Junior Highs. They returned to their elementary assignments the week before winter break to reconnect with their classes and prepare to start their full-time student teaching experiences in the second semester of the program.


    December 2011

    District 15 is the home of the Illinois State University (ISU) College of Education’s newest Professional Development School (PDS).

    The two institutions entered into an agreement to establish the program in District 15 earlier this year. The partnership’s aim is to assist in the professional development of teachers and the training of educators while simultaneously improving schools and teacher education.

    The PDS program offers ISU’s senior education students a yearlong internship in a public school rather than just a 16-week student teaching experience. The program allows the interns to “live the life of a teacher” all year. They meet students on the first day of school. They go to conferences, make lesson plans, and attend institute days. They experience what it’s really going to be like as a teacher while providing instructional support for our students.

    ISU entered into its first PDS partnership in 1995 with Community Consolidated School District 21 in Wheeling, and, because the program has proven to be mutually beneficial for all involved, its number of partner school districts has continued to grow, and PDS opportunities are now available throughout the state.

    In the first year of this partnership, District 15 has provided seven ISU students with internships: Sarah BettiKatie KunzweilerBridget LenahanGina GaglianoTracie WidmaierMelissa Brand, and Jennifer Schmitt. They are under the supervision of Ann Bokor, who serves as the District’s PDS site coordinator and a liaison between the District and ISU’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

    During their first semester in the PDS program, these interns are splitting their time, working in their assigned elementary schools the first three days of each week, and then joining District 21’s interns to complete their college coursework on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The interns have already completed the elementary portions of their internships at Winston Campus Elementary and Jane Addams, Stuart R. Paddock, and Gray M. Sanborn Schools. In mid-October, they began serving the junior high portion of their internships at Winston Campus Junior High. They returned to their elementary assignments the week before winter break to reconnect with their classes and prepare to start their full-time student teaching experiences in the second semester of the program.

    Illinois State University students

    District 15 has provided seven students from ISU’s College of Education with internships: (from left to right) Melissa Brand, Jennifer Schmitt, Katie Kunzweiler, Sarah Betti, Gina Gagliano, Tracie Widmaier, and (not pictured) Bridget Lenahan.