Administrators

Angela Armour Director
217-526-8121 ext. 244
Email angie.armour@midstatespec.org

BIO

I was called to serve students with learning and behavior difficulties, and have been a special educator in central Illinois for over 30 years.  This is my 31st year serving Mid-State Special Education, their member districts, students and families in a variety of positions including teacher, program coordinator, assistant director, and director of special education.  The majority of my formal education took place at Eastern Illinois University (B.S. 1989; M.S. 1992) with additional post-graduate work at the University of Illinois which lead to additional areas of licensure.  However, I take pride in learning every day with my most valuable and beneficial experiences having occurred while working alongside area professionals who also place a high priority on providing quality educational services for all children.  Recruiting, supporting, and leading high-quality teachers, therapists, psychologists, social workers, administrators, and support staff in our rural schools continues to be my passion as I know these professionals who work directly with students have the opportunity to have a profound and positive impact on their lives and the lives of their families. My home is in rural Raymond where my husband, Pat, and I have raised our four (plus) children.  When I’m not working, I enjoy reading, gardening, DIY shows, beach vacations, and spending time with family and friends.


Lyn Becker Assistant Director
217-526-8121 ext. 227
Email lyn.becker@midstatespec.org

BIO

I have worked in the field of special education in Illinois and Arizona for more than 30 years. I joined the MSSE team in 1994 and have served as a teacher, program coordinator and assistant director. I earned my B.S. from Illinois State University, M.S. from Northern Illinois University, and BCBA from Southern Illinois University. I have been fortunate to teach students with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities in every grade level K – 12. My husband and I are raising two children with disabilities and fully understand the challenges parents face every day. This firsthand experience at school and at home has made me a passionate advocate for students, teachers, families and schools.  As a special educator and  board certified behavior analyst, I am dedicated to meeting the unique needs of all students so they can fully access and benefit from what our schools and communities have to offer. My goal is to provide MSSE professional staff, our member districts, students and families with the tools they need to excel at school and in life. Outside of work, I enjoy fitness, hiking, gardening, travel,  family and friends.


 

Behavior Specialists

Emma Reichert
Serving:  All Districts
Email emma.reichert@midstatespec.org

 

Business & Clerical

 


Tammy Burney
Business Clerical
217-526-8121 ext. 224
Email tammy.burney@midstatespec.org

BIO

I have been with Mid-State for over 28 years.  My roles have changed as we have grown and consolidated over the years but thankful to be here.  I worked for Mid-State as a high school senior in 1988, left and returned full time in November 1992.  Currently, my main responsibilities are accounts payable and ordering materials.    My hobbies are relaxing in my spare time, watching or traveling to softball games and being with family.


Liz Holcomb Business Manager
217-556-8121 ext. 221
Email liz.holcomb@midstatespec.org

BIO

Hello, my name is Liz Holcomb and I am the Business Manager at Mid-State Special Education.  I joined the Mid-State team in August 2019.  I worked in County Government for 12 years before making the transition to the wonderful world of Special Education.  I have learned a lot in the time I’ve been here; and, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such kind, caring, and compassionate administrators and staff.  When I’m not at the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, including my three children Cooper, Audrey, and Lucas – who all keep me busy running from one activity to another.  In my spare time you may find me responding to calls with Hillsboro Area Ambulance Service as an EMT.


 


Shera Hunt Student Data
217-526-8121 ext. 232
Email shera.hunt@midstatespec.org

BIO

Hello, I’m Shera Hunt and I began my journey as a Mid-State Special Education employee in November 2017.  After working at Litchfield High School for nearly 14 years, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue to be a part of helping students in a totally different way.  Currently I complete student data entry and enjoy working daily with wonderful teachers and staff for 6 school districts.  I love working in the educational system.  The talents, passions and hobbies of teachers and students alike are infectious.  I am honored to be a part of this process with all I serve.



Shay Jones
Student Data
217-526-8121 ext. 225
Email shay.jones@midstatespec.org

BIO

I joined Mid-State Special Education December 2017.  I complete student data collections for 13 member districts.  I work closely with our district staff members and Program Coordinators to maintain reports to ensure that all student data is accurate.  I also work with our 13 member districts to coordinate Early Intervention services.  My husband Matthew and I live in Hillsboro and we have two daughters Kiera and Karsyn.


Vickie Throne Executive Secretary
217-526-8121 ext. 230
Email Vickie.throne@midstatespec.org

BIO

I became a Mid-State Special Education staff member on July 23, 2003. I am the Executive Secretary and I serve as the Mid-State Special Education Governing and Executive Committee Board Secretary. I am responsible for completing student claims for 13-member districts, maintaining multiple databases for staff and students, and tracking information that is important to help complete MOE and IDEA.

My husband Tony and I live in Litchfield and we are the proud parents of two daughters Lexi and Madi. In my time away from the office, I enjoy relaxing, spending time with my family, watching Hallmark movies, and traveling to watch our oldest daughter participate with UIS track and cross country team.


 

Program Coordinators

 

Brandy Buske
Serving: Hillsboro
Email brandy.buske@midstatespec.org

BIO

Growing up with a sibling who had Battens disease led me to the field of special education. I wanted nothing more than to ensure student’s time learning in school was a joyful experience and to work closely with their families to provide as much support as possible. I am so grateful for all the students, families, and educational communities I have been blessed to serve. Throughout my many years in the field of special education I have worked as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, a behavioral specialist, and as a special education administrator. I earned my B.S. in 1998, a M.S. in 2007, and participated in additional post graduate courses that have led to additional areas of licensure. I continue to enjoy participating in course work, professional development activities, and reading special education journals and books.  All these years later I still firmly believe all students should be educated in the least restrictive environment, learning should be a joyful experience, and when all members of the students educational team work together great things happen for students. My home is in a small rural community where my husband, Gary, and I have enjoyed watching our son, Noah, grow up. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, and crafting.


 

Bobbi Fisher
Serving: Brownstown, Mulberry Grove, Ramsey, St. Elmo
Email bobbi.fisher@midstatespec.org

BIO

Hello, I am Bobbi Fisher and I proudly serve Mulberry Grove, Ramsey, St. Elmo, and Brownstown school districts as their Program Coordinator. I have been working in the field of special education for more than 14 years. My grandma inspired my career path by being an exceptional special education teacher for many years. After graduating from Staunton High School, I attended SIUE and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Special Education. I happily taught special education in the Hillsboro school district for 10 years. Teaching is a truly rewarding profession and every single student I ever taught was most definitely one of ‘my kids’. I taught 2nd through 5th grade at the elementary school and I also taught 9-12th graders at the high school. Both age groups brought their own rewards and challenges. I am grateful for the teaching experience I gained prior to being as Program Coordinator. After earning my Master’s Degree in School Administration, I left teaching and started my career as a Program Coordinator. It was definitely difficult for me to leave my students and take this leap, as my students will always have my heart. My favorite part of my job is helping teachers and visiting students in their classrooms. I don’t smile at work like I do when I get to interact with students. I enjoy being able to be part of these wonderful school districts that are making students the priority and developing plans to make them successful. My husband and I are raising our boys in Hillsboro. I have three boys: Chase, Bryce, and Johnny. Between our 3 boys and our three dogs, I am always happily busy. In my free time, I greatly enjoy traveling, camping, spending time with family, and reading.


 

Brenda Patrick
Serving: Panhandle
Email bpatrick@midstatespec.org

BIO

I began my teaching career with Mid-State Special Education in 1984.  I completed my B.S. and M.S. at Eastern Illinois University.  I worked as a teacher, program coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director for the organization.  I had the opportunity to spend my entire career with Mid-State Special Education and have worked with students of all ages.  I am fortunate to have served the students and their amazing families along with wonderful staff in all member districts.  I officially retired in 2017 and am honored to have returned this year to serve as a program coordinator for the Panhandle School District.  I am excited to be working with students, parents, and staff to provide special education services.  I live in Taylorville with my husband Greg.  We have three children and one grandson. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family, revitalizing old furniture, and serving as a Stephen Minister.


Judy Riedl
Serving: Carlinville
Email riedlj@cusd1.com

Dawn Theivagt
Serving: Litchfield
Email dawn.theivagt@midstatespec.org

BIO

Hi! My name is Dawn Theivagt. I am a Program Coordinator, serving the Litchfield School District. I began my career with Mid-State Special Education as a team member in July of 2019 after serving 12 years in another district. I am passionate about my work and enjoy seeing kids learn new things and make improvements.  My husband and I have four daughters, who we enjoy spending time with. We refer to ourselves as “fixer-uppers.” We seem to always have a project in the works. We also enjoy doing things outside. Our favorite things to do are traveling, camping, boating and side-by-side riding.


Randi Riemann 1Randi Riemann
Serving: Edinburg, Morrisonville, South Fork
Email randi.riemann@midstatespec.org

BIO

Randi Riemann began working with Mid-State Special Education in June 2011 as a Transition Specialist. Formerly an Agriculture Teacher and Career and Technical Education Grant Coordinator, the world of Special Education was brand new, but many aspects of the Transition Specialist position were not. After spending 8 years as Transition Specialist, Mrs. Riemann took on another role within Mid-State and began as the Program Coordinator and Transition Specialist for Edinburg, Morrisonville, and South Fork School Districts. Mrs. Riemann earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership/Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She resides in rural Raymond with her husband and two sons where they farm and enjoying raising and showing cattle.


 

School Psychologists

 

Lucas Altenberger
Serving: Litchfield
Email laltenberger@litchfieldpanthers.org

BIO

I am a new school psychologist serving the Litchfield school district. I attended SIUE for my bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees. While obtaining my specialist degree, I completed my internship in the Hillsboro school district (my home town!) under the guidance of fellow psychologist Amanda Cunningham. I feel very blessed to have stayed with Mid-State across my internship and going into my career. It has certainly made the transition from student to professional much smoother! It was very eye-opening to graduate in the midst of a pandemic and start my career that way too! Most recently, I obtained my national certification (NCSP). In my free time, I enjoy sketching/drawing, watching TV series, working out, and playing video games. It may interest you to know that I am a dual citizen of both the United States and Brazil (where my mom and her side of the family is from). We typically go there as a family every few years. I love spending Christmas and New Year’s on the beach! My favorite aspect of being a school psychologist is being able to share with parents their student’s strengths and capitalizing on those strengths. Because we typically assess students who often are achieving lower academically, it is always heartening to be able to share one or two areas where the student is making great strides- even if it is not academically!


Kassandra Charles
Serving: Edinburg, Morrisonville, Panhandle, South Fork
Email kcharles@panhandleschools.com

BIO

Hello, my name is Kassandra Charles, and I am a third-year school psychologist in the Panhandle, South-Fork, Edinburg, and Morrisonville school districts. I am proud to be with the Mid-State team as our members are dedicated, kind, and knowledgeable. I grew up in and currently live in Pawnee where my husband teaches history. I earned my bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees at Eastern Illinois University. In the last year, I have become a mother to my son, Brecken, which is my favorite role in life. He is a joy, and it has been wonderful watching him grow and learn. My favorite aspects of being a school psychologist are getting to know and work with the students and serving as a child advocate. I am blessed to work in the tight-knit communities that I do.


 


Amanda Cunningham
Serving: Hillsboro
Email acunningham@hillsboroschools.net

Kristy Haston
Serving: Bond County
Email khaston@bccu2.org

Tricia Kelley
Serving: Carlinville
Email kelleyt@cusd1.com

Meg Marquardt
Serving: Vandalia
Email mmarquardt@vandals203.org

BIO

I have been working as a school psychologist with Mid-State Special Education for almost 30 years.  I received my bachelor’s degree from Millikin University and my master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University.  I have had the opportunity to serve several school districts in my earlier years, but the bulk of my career has been serving in my hometown of Vandalia, IL.   I have enjoyed working with a variety of knowledgeable and caring professionals while working with students between the ages of three to twenty-one.  It has been rewarding as a professional to be a part of the evaluation and decision process for determining the appropriate educational services to meet the needs of the children we serve.  In addition to being a school psychologist, I enjoyed coaching the girl’s junior high and high school basketball teams for almost 20 years.  Outside of the school setting, I reside in Vandalia with my husband Todd and have two children.  In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, boating, and sports activities.


Lisa Murfee
Serving: Brownstown, Ramsey, St. Elmo, South Fork
Email lmurfee@ramseycusd.org

 

School Social Workers

 

Karen Bennett
Serving: Vandalia
Email kbennett@vandals203.org

Lisa Cacciatori
Serving: Morrisonville, Panhandle, South Fork
Email lisa.cacciatori@midstatespec.org

 

Rick Cina
Serving: Hillsboro
Email rcina@hillsboroschools.net

BIO

I have been working as a school social worker for 25+ years in the Hillsboro School District. I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work from Taylor University (1993) and Washington University (1995), respectively. In addition to providing individual and group counseling to K-12 students, completing behavioral rating scales and interviewing parents for Social Developmental Studies, I provide bi-monthly social skills lessons in all Pre-K to 2nd grade classrooms. I have incorporated ventriloquism in these lessons for the last 12 years. Since 2008 my wife and I have adopted 4 foster children in addition to our 3 natural children. My interests include woodworking (antique furniture), home restoration, and watching the Green Bay Packers.


Michelle Dothager
Serving: Bond County
Email mdothager@bccu2.org

 

Patricia Redpath
Serving: Edinburg
Email pattie.redpath@midstatespec.org

Nancy Roasio
Serving: Litchfield
Email nroasio@litchfieldpanthers.org

 

Jessica Ryan
Serving: Carlinville
Email ryanj@cusd1.com

Scarlett Vanzo
Serving: Brownstown, Ramsey, St. Elmo, South Fork
Email sjameson@ramseycusd.org

 

Speech-Language Pathologists

 

Velvet Balmer
Serving: Morrisonville and Litchfield
Email vbalmer@ga.mohawks.net

Kelly Behme
Serving: Litchfield
Email kbehme@litchfieldpanthers.org

Ali Beyers
Serving: Hillsboro
Email abeyers@hillsboroschools.net

Kacy Dunham
Serving: Carlinville
Email dunham@cusd1.com


Mickey Emerson
Serving: Edinburg, South Fork
Email mickey.emerson@midstatespec.org

Lorinda Jennings
Serving: Hillsboro
Email ljennings@hillsboroschools.net

Lynette Milner
Serving: Litchfield
Email lmilner@litchfieldpanthers.org

BIO

Lynnette Milner M.S., CCC/SLP-L 

 

Teaching students to communicate has been my passion for the last 30 plus years.  I have worked with Pre-Schoolers through 5th grade during my school career.  I ALWAYS learn something new from “my kids” every year!  I am currently a Speech Language Pathologist in Litchfield, IL at the Russell and Colt Elementary Schools. 

My husband and I enjoy spending time with our families, especially with our two grandchildren. We are avid St. Louis Cardinal and Illini fans and love to travel to watch games.


 

Debbie Musgrave
Serving: Hillsboro, Mulberry Grove
Email dmusgrave@hillsboroschools.net

Crystal Schmidt
Serving: Carlinville
Email schmidt@cusd1.com

Lynette Sproull
Serving: Litchfield
Email lsproull@litchfieldpanthers.org

Kelli Stewart
Serving: Panhandle
Email kstewart@panhandleschools.com

Madi Whittington
Serving: Litchfield
Email mwhittington@litchfieldpanthers.org

 

Teachers

Michaela Pattie
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher
Serving: All Districts
Email Michaela.pattie@midstatespec.org

BIO

Hello! My name is Michaela Hartley, and I am the Hearing Itinerant for all 13 Mid-State districts. I love working with D/deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students and their unique needs. You will see me pop into schools to work on specialty skills such as auditory therapy, listening, self-advocacy, language, vocabulary, critical thinking, speechreading, signing, and setting up or troubleshooting hearing technology. No two days are the same! I started with Mid-State Special Education in 2019. Before that, I taught with Peoria School District 150, Sangamon Area Special Education District (SASED), and The Moog Center for Deaf Education. Currently I am working toward my Masters from Illinois State University in Early Intervention for Sensory Disabilities. I live with my husband, Andy, and our puppy-dog, Artemis, in Pawnee, Illinois. In my spare time, I enjoy home improvement projects, baking, and spending time with family.


Lisa Isaak
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Serving: Edinburg, Coffeen
Email lisaak@therakids.org

April Wilson
Visually Impaired
Serving: All Districts
Email awilson@smasesschoold.org

 

 

 

 

Therapist-Occupational & Physical Therapists

 

Amy Ashmore PTA
Serving: Carlinville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, Panhandle
Email amy.ashmore@midstatespec.org

Kathy Wassink, TheraKids OTR
Serving: all districts
Email therakids@hotmail.com

Kelli Evans PTR
Serving: Ramsey, St. Elmo, Brownstown, Mulberry Grove, Hillsboro, Coffeen, Greenville, Bond County, Vandalia
Email kevans@therakids.org

Jane Goeken PTR
Serving: South Fork, Edinburg
Email jgoeken@therakids.org

Deanne Perry PTR
Serving: Farmersville, Raymond, Morrisonville, Litchfield, Carlinville
Email dperry@therakids.org

Lauren Hirner PTA
Serving: Brownstown, Mulberry Grove, Vandalia
Email lhirner@therakids.org

Crystal Tarin PTA
Serving: Greenville, Pocahontas, Sorento
Email ctarin@therakids.org

Amber Wade PTA
Serving: Vandalia, Mulberry Grove, Brownstown, St. Elmo
Email awade@therakids.org

Brittany Field OTR
Serving: Ramsey, St. Elmo, Brownstown, Mulberry Grove, Hillsboro, Coffeen, Greenville, Bond County
Email bfield@therakids.org

Katie Larson OTR
Serving: Farmersville, Raymond, Morrisonville
Email klarson@therakids.org

Jennifer McDonald OTR
Serving: Litchfield, Carlinville
Email jmcdonald@therakids.org

Maria Dodge OTA
Serving: Litchfield, Carlinville
Email mdodge@therakids.org

Joy Ferry OTA
Serving: South Fork, Edinburg
Email jferry@therakids.org

Carol Grapperhaus OTR
Serving: Vandalia
Email cgrapperhaus@therakids.org

Beth Hunter OTA
Serving: Mulberry Grove, Ramsey, St. Elmo, Brownstown, Greenville
Email bhunter@therakids.org

Amy Jones OTA
Serving: Hillsboro, Coffeen
Email ajones@therakids.org

Diana Patterson OTA
Serving: Greenville/Bond
Email dpatterson@therakids.org

Amy Paul OTA
Serving: Hillsboro, Coffeen, Vandalia
Email apaul@therakids.org

Amber Schulze OTA
Serving: Ramsey, St. Elmo
Email aschulze@therakids.org

Amanda Settles OTA
Serving: Farmersville, Raymond, Morrisonville, Litchfield, Carlinville
Email asettles@therakids.org

 

 

Transition Specialists

 


Randi Riemann
Serving: Edinburg, Morrisonville, South Fork

Joan Saatkamp
Serving: Bond, Brownstown, Mulberry Grove, Ramsey, St. Elmo, Vandalia
Email joan.saatkamp@midstatespec.org

Laura Snyder
Serving: Carlinville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, Panhandle
Email laura.snyder@midstatespec.org