Nicole Ackers

Nicole Ackers ~ ELA

I have been teaching at Jefferson Elementary School since 2015. I love teaching English Language Arts in 4th grade! I am switch teachers with my best friend, Mrs. Niemerg. I grew up in Chicago, IL. I attended Eastern Illinois University and fell in love with Charleston, and decided to make it home. I'm a huge Chicago Cubs fan and love watching baseball games. After school, I love to read and hang out with my dog.

Kyla Ballinger

Kyla Ballinger ~ Math, Science, Social Studies

Hello, my name is Mrs. Ballinger. I am a fourth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. I've been a teacher since 2003 and have taught second, third and fourth grade. Some fun things about me are, that I love teaching about history and science. I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

Megan Buescher

Megan Buescher ~ ELA

Hello! I am Mrs. Buescher! I am a fourth grade teacher at Jefferson. I grew up in Charleston and loved it so much that I decided to stick around! I went through all of our schools and graduated from CHS in 2018. I knew from kindergarten that I wanted to be a teacher, so I went to Lake Land for two years and then finished my degree at EIU in 2022 in Elementary Education. This is my second year at JES, but my first year in fourth grade! I teach reading, writing, and word study. My teaching partner, Katie Kousma, will teach math, science, and social studies. I can't wait to make this another amazing year for your child!

Theresa Ehr

Theresa Ehr ~ ELA

I grew up in Charleston, graduating from CHS in 2004. I then attended EIU for elementary education where I graduated in 2008. I began my teaching career in Windsor where I got to teach kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 5th grade. I always wanted to come home to Charleston to teach and so in 2018 began teaching 4th grade at Jefferson. Fourth grade has been my favorite to teach and I'm so happy to be teaching in my home town! My very good friend Kyla Ballinger joined me at Jefferson for the 2021-2022 school year and we now co-teach together. I teach reading, writing and word study, while Mrs. Ballinger teaches math, science and social studies. We have SO much fun teaching together. We're excited to have another great year in 4th grade! When I'm not teaching, I love spending time with my family. I live here in Charleston with my husband Brian and our 3 children. We love to spend time at home, camp, and have movie nights together!

Katie Kousma

Katie Kousma ~ Math, Science, Social Studies

I teach 4th grade math, science and social studies at Jefferson Elementary.

Katie Niemerg

Katie Niemerg ~ Math, Science, Social Studies

I teach 4th grade math, science, and social studies. I have been teaching since 2002 and love it here in Charleston. My husband and I live in Teutopolis where we are raising our 5 children. I love spending time at the ballpark watching my kids play ball. I also love the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.

Tia Sawyer

Tia Sawyer ~ ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies

Miss Sawyer is from the Charleston area, having attended Charleston schools from fourth grade through high school! She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Elementary Education. After that, she earned a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Eastern Illinois University. She has taught fourth grade for six years and counting!

Jodi Cline

Jodi Cline ~ Gifted & Talented Education

Mrs. Cline has been a teacher for the Charleston Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program since 2014. Prior to this, she taught as a substitute for six years in Charleston and Mattoon. She earned her first B.S. in Management at Purdue University in 1990 and later, a second B.S. in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University. Between earning those two degrees, she stayed at home to care for her 3 children as her husband was in the Navy. Her family moved states 7 times in their 11 years in the Navy. Mrs. Cline's family moved to Charleston in 2004 and all of her children have graduated from Charleston High School. Her oldest daughter is now a nurse in North Carolina. Her youngest daughter is a marketing accounts manager and lives in Georgia. Her youngest son is a tax accountant in Chicago. In her free time, Mrs. Cline likes to travel and eat (taking food-on-foot tours is one of her favorite vacation activities.) She loves reading (especially historical fiction) and singing and is a member of a few choral groups and barbershop quartets. Mrs. Cline enjoys working with students in robotics and sharing logic puzzles and especially enjoys teaching Math.

Lindsay Babcock

Lindsay Babcock ~ LBS1

Mrs. Babcock grew up in Vandalia, Illinois and then moved to Charleston to attend Eastern Illinois University. While at EIU, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She later earned her teacher's certification in Special Education through the Golden Apple Accelerators program. In her free time, Mrs. Babcock enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dog Daisy. She also enjoys camping, reading, listening to music, riding her bike, and hiking in the woods.

Becky Hayes

Becky Hayes ~ LBS1

My name is Becky Hayes and I have had the privilege of being part of the Jefferson Elementary community since the 2017-2018 school year, after spending 15 years at alternative schools. Jefferson Elementary has given me the opportunity to expand my skills and grow right along with the students. I have 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren. I love helping and watching my students learn and grow into young adults. Thank you for sharing your child with me.

Michelle King

Michelle King ~ LBS1

Hello! My name is Michelle King, and this is my 2nd year as a LBS 1 teacher at Jefferson Elementary. I have received my bachelor's degree and master's from EIU. This year will be my 12th year teaching special education and my 2nd year in the Charleston school district. I am looking forward to this new school year adventure and to continue to be able to work with some amazing staff and students.

Kim Shambo

Kim Shambo ~ LBS1

Hello! Mrs. Shambo has been teaching Special Education at Jefferson Elementary School since 2016! She was born in Shelbyville IL, lived in Ashmore IL and has lived in Charleston since 2nd grade. Mrs. Shambo earned her bachelor's degree in early childhood and Standard Special Education in 2015. Mrs. Shambo lives in Charleston with her husband, and they have 2 children, Brayden- 26 and Madison-21. She enjoys spending time with friends, gardening, traveling and coffee! Feel free to contact Mrs. Shambo anytime!