Ms. Amber Warmbier
Ms. Amber Warmbier was born in Florida, but has called Monticello home from a young age. After graduating high school, she went on to Eastern Illinois University, where she obtained a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Amber worked at a couple of preschool centers in Champaign and gained some administrative experience as an assistant director before accepting God’s calling to come to MCA. MCA continues to be a great source of joy for Ms. Amber as she sees the way God is working through the families that are involved with the school. It has been so exciting to see MCA continue to be a source of light in our community. She’s excited to see where God will lead the school this year, and all of the ways that He will use her to further His kingdom.
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes was born in Monticello at Kirby Hospital. Grew up in DeLand, IL.
She attended Parkland where she received an A.A.S. Degree in Child Development.
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes has worked in several day care centers as Head Teacher for the Preschool area. She taught Preschool at Sonshine Christian Academy in DeLand, IL for eight years and worked as the Parent Coordinator/Pre-K Aide for DeLand-Weldon for 12 years. More recently, she worked as a licensed Day Care Provider for the second time (for a total of 10 years).
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes loved her job as Day Care Provider but was feeling led to be back in a preschool classroom, so she asked God for guidance. He answered that prayer by leading her to MCA in 2016! She is now so excited to be back in the classroom and to be a part of the MCA family!
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes has been married to her husband, Steven, for 39 years this past May. Steven is a courier for Carle Physicians Group. The couple has 3 adult children, 3 grandsons, and 1 granddaughter!
Mrs. Bonnie Bayes enjoys reading, writing poetry, cooking, family time and missions work. “This is my second year at MCA and I am confident it was the right choice to answer God’s call. MCA has been such a blessing to me in so many ways.”
Ms. Kelly Thompson
Ms. Kelly grew up in Mahomet IL. Graduating with a basketball scholarship to the University of Illinois in Springfield. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts and has been working with kids since she graduated in 2012. She has been coaching girls basketball for seven years and has worked in many camp settings at the YMCA over the last four years. 2018 is her second year at MCA.
Before working at MCA, she was a full-time substitute teacher at Rantoul high school, where she coached basketball. She heard God’s calling to MCA and didn’t hesitate to apply for the position.
Ms. Kelly’s true passion is coaching basketball. But much like coaching, teaching fills her heart with joy. To see the progress kids make over the years is very rewarding to her. Her mission in life is to help guide young minds towards God and his Will for them, showing them that the world has more to offer them than they may think.
“I have never worked in an environment where the faculty is as supportive as MCA. It’s a great group of people I am very blessed to get to know. I hope God’s plans allow me to get to know them and the kids more over the years”.
Ms. Kelly enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and family, making art, but most of all cuddling with her dog Zadie while watching Disney movies!
Mrs. Elisha Gail Smith
Mrs. Smith was born in Ohio and moved to Iowa as a teenager. She attended Iowa State University, majoring in Teacher Education and then Lincoln Christian College (now Lincoln Christian University), majoring in Early Childhood Education. She worked for Odd Fellows Children’s Home in Lincoln as a teacher for three years and moved on from there to become a Head Teacher at Christian Child Care at Lincoln Christian Church for five years. After she and her husband moved to Monticello in 2000, she worked at Ducky Day Care for fifteen years and then was led to MCA in 2015. She is a member of First Christian Church in Monticello and has had the blessing of going on a mission trip to Taiwan, teaching Sunday School and singing in the worship teams and choir. Their child, Esther Joella, is five and attends MCA.
Mrs. Smith came to MCA because she wants to provide opportunities for children to learn God’s truth and to develop a relationship with Him through the teachings of His Word. She hopes to increase their knowledge of and love for Him, to grow their desire to follow His guidance and to help them learn to accept His grace and mercy. She desires to teach them how to excel as servants in His Kingdom and wants them to experience the joy of following God’s word and living under His grace.
Mrs. Taryn Eickmeier
Mrs. Taryn Eickmeier graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in education. After obtaining her degree, she taught for eight years. She took some time off from teaching to be home with her son. She also worked part-time as a nail technician during this time.
Ms. Taryn looks forward to teaching at MCA because of its small size, the opportunity to partner with families, and the chance to be involved in a Christian environment. She looks forward to working with pre-k children and considers it a great privilege to help prepare her students for kindergarten. She loves to teach sign language and hopes to incorporate that into her teaching at MCA. She also loves to sing silly songs with her students.
Ms. Taryn wanted you to know that she has five sisters she is very close to – they talk every day! She’s been married to her husband for three years and they have a son, Henry. Her favorite thing to do is be his mom. She loves winter, goats, sweet desserts, and morning time – because she gets to drink coffee.
Mrs. Kathryn Weber
Mrs. Weber graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She taught for 11 1/2 years before having her first child, and then became a full-time mom until her son entered school. She then began teaching Kindergarten here at MCA in 2003.
Mrs. Weber enjoys spending time with her family. Her husband and her enjoy planting the flower gardens together and taking walks with their dog, Lady. She also loves spending time with her extended family; especially her great nieces and nephews and making memories with them whenever she can.
Teaching is an absolute passion of Mrs. Weber. It is her mission to instill a love for learning in her students and most importantly, a love for the Lord. She considers it a joy and an honor to teach her students about God and to help them become “little disciples” for the Lord.
Mrs. Jean Ellen Steele
Mrs. Steele was born in Watseka, IL, raised in Winter Haven, FL, and has been living back here in Central Illinois for the past twenty years. She graduated from Winter Haven High School, then went on to Polk State College in Winter Haven, FL and obtained her Associate Arts Degree in Art. From there she moved to Orlando, FL and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from the University of Central Florida. Mrs. Steele has worked for several in-house creative and marketing departments of large companies, eventually becoming a Stay-At-Home Mom to her son, Gavin. She also acquired experience as a Substitute Teacher for the Monticello School District, grades K-12. Mrs. Steele heard God’s calling to MCA in August of 2015. She truly loves teaching the children of MCA about God’s love, and how He is at the center of everything we do.
Mrs. Steele enjoys cooking, reading her Daily Bread booklet, women’s Bible studies, and basically doing anything artsy and creative.
Mrs. Jean Ann Foltz
Mrs. Jean Ann Foltz, aka Sra. Foltz, graduated from Monticello High School and later from Parkland College with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She began teaching Spanish in 2002, the year that MCA opened its doors. Sra. Foltz is excited to begin her 17th year at MCA this fall!
Mrs. Foltz has been married to husband, John, for the last 33 years. John recently retired from his law practice and enjoys spending his time volunteering at Carle Hospital, taking classes at OLLI, exercising, reading & traveling. John & Jean Ann have 2 married daughters. Kristin & Scott Ritter reside in Ottawa, IL and are both employed by the 3rd District Appellate Court Research Dept. Lauren & Jonathan Clinger reside in Houston, TX. Lauren is beginning her 7th year teaching Language Arts, and Jonathan recently earned his PhD in Biochemistry. In her free time, Mrs. Foltz enjoys traveling, nature walks, yard work, spending time with friends & family, solving Kakuro puzzles & watching “Wheel of Fortune”!! J
“Serving the Lord at MCA has been one of life’s greatest blessings for me! I absolutely love my job, my students, and the opportunity to teach them a 2nd language! I am beyond excited about the future direction of our school & can not wait to see what God has in store for us!”
Mrs. Rachel LeJeune
After Care Coordinator
Rachel LeJeune is our After Care Coordinator at Monticello Christian Academy. She grew up in Shelbyville, Illinois. After graduating high school, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She later attended Eastern Illinois University and obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. Rachel and her husband, Michael, have two teenage girls and are happy to have called Monticello their home for over seven years now. They are passionate about doing their part to serve our community and help make it stronger. Their whole family has served extensively with Willow Tree Missions, where Rachel is currently a full-time employee.
“I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing and loving MCA family! Working in domestic violence is so tough and some days are just simply crazy. I absolutely love it that I get to end every work day by walking through these doors and hearing children shout ‘Miss Rachel’ as they run to give me hugs. It helps keep me grounded in the lighter side of life and these kids give me such great hope for our future! I am privileged to be a part of this team and helping MCA serve the families in our community every day.”
Mr. Taylor Buchanan
Mr. Taylor Buchanan was born in Independence, MO but spent most of his youth in Ozark, MO which is where he graduated from high school. In 2015 he started college at Parkland College to obtain a general associates degree. He will be transferring to Millikin University in the fall, where he’ll be working towards a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health. Mr. Taylor has been married to his wife for 4 years this year and they are expecting their first child this year!
“I love working with kids and pushing them to become the best that they can be. I find being healthy and staying active is very important and if kids learn that at a young age then they can carry that with them as they get older. MCA is a truly amazing place to be and I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to work here and change lives.”