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. Email: Ms. Amber Warmbier
Ms. Barbie Blalock
Ms. Barbie was born in Kankakee, Illinois but grew up in Streator, Illinois. She now makes her home in Mahomet, Illinois. Ms. Barbie attended Parkland College and obtained a A.A. in Psychology. She then went on to the University of Illinois where she obtained a B.A. in Communication. She enjoys all areas of communication, including, fundraising, writing, and working with all age groups and personalities. Previously, before joining the MCA family, Ms. Barbie worked as a Detention Officer at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center, with the age range of ten to seventeen. Ms. Barbie really enjoyed giving the juveniles guidance in making better choices and showing them that there is hope in their future. Ms. Barbie moved into a Teaching Assistant’s role working with an Autistic student in the special education department at Thomasboro Grade School.
When given the opportunity to become part of the MCA family, Ms. Barbie is so excited to be able to grow in her walk with God and to be a part of providing a foundation for kids to be excited to learn about school and the Lord. She is also very excited to work alongside of the staff at MCA and the wonderful families that make up this amazing school.
Ms. Barbie attends CU Church in Champaign and is excited to dig deeper into her relationship with God. She enjoys taking walks, riding her bike and going to movies.
Ms. Barbie is really looking forward to seeing how God is blessing her through her work here at MCA.
Ms. Katie Gambrill
Mrs. Gambrill was born in Lincoln, IL. She grew up in Decatur, IL, and she moved to Cisco, IL in 2016. She studied Early Childhood Education at Richland Community College. She is continuing her education, and starting the Early Childhood Education program at Liberty University Online this fall.
Before accepting the call to MCA, Mrs. Gambrill worked at Faith Christian School. She attends Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Decatur, IL. She is happily married to Shawne, who works for ADM in Decatur, IL. They have two children, Hannah (12) and Daniel (6). Mrs. Gambrill has a passion for teaching and couldn’t be more excited to be working at MCA! Mrs. Gambrill enjoys being with family, going to plays, reading, crocheting, snuggling her two dogs, and drinking coffee!
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 Monticello 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, attends first grade at Lincoln School.
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
Teacher’s Aide and Art Teacher
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 two 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. April Manint
Preschool Aide and Office Manager
Mrs. April Manint (Shumard) grew up and graduated from Bement Illinois. She went on to travel around Illinois until she settled in Urbana, Illinois in 2008. Mrs. Manint attended Parkland College and received her Associates in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education in 2014. She is currently working towards her B.S. in Child Psychology.
Mrs. Manint worked with the Urbana school district for four years. The ages varied from six months to Seniors in High School. Her main area of focus was with the Special Needs departments within the school district.
March of 2019, Mrs. Manint and her family moved from Urbana to Monticello so her children could flourish in a smaller community. Fortunately, she was able to answer the need at MCA on April 2019. She is excited to follow the amazing leadership at MCA and the path God is leading her on.
Mrs. Manint is stretching her arms to the community and families as the Office Manager and Preschool Aide for MCA. Email: Mrs. April Manint
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.”