Mark Twain Elementary

Welcome to Mark Twain Elementary School!

My name is Denise Titus, and I am the principal of Mark Twain Elementary School. As a Charleston native and parent of school-aged children, I could not be prouder to lead this building where it all begins for students.

I am looking forward to a wonderful school year. My goal this year is to lead the building in such a way that all students learn and grow to their greatest potential. The Pre-K and Kindergarten years are pivotal in the realm of child development, and the staff of Mark Twain is committed to providing a strong foundation for your child. As the building principal, I am devoted to not only strengthening the academic skills of children but also their social and emotional skills. Teaching to the whole child is of utmost importance and will drive the programs we provide school-wide.

I look forward to partnering with you as we walk side by side on this journey for the school year. Please feel free to contact me by phone (217) 639-8000 or send me a message below.

Denise Titus

Principal Denise Titus

1021 13th St.
Charleston, IL 61920


(217) 639-8000

(217) 639-8005

Office Hours:
7:00 am - 3:00 pm
*Closed in June through mid-July
*Please call the district office if you need assistance at (217) 639-1000

Secretary: Katie Haughee

Staff Members

Mark Twain Staff

MT Daily Schedule

School Hours

For a full listing of the school's hourly schedule, print the school hours handout. It includes the schedule for:

  • Regular school days

  • 2-hour early dismissals

  • 2-hour delayed starts

  • Half-days

District Calendar

The official District Calendar lists all student attendance days, holidays, early dismissals, teacher institutes, etc. for the entire school year.

The At-A-Glance calendar is a condensed version for convenience.

Meet the Classroom Teachers!


Amanda Gentry

Amanda Gentry ~ Preschool

I have taught preschool in the Charleston School District for over 20 years. I am proud to be an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher at Mark Twain Elementary. I look forward to helping each little learner in my class grow and develop at their own pace, in a positive and nurturing environment. At home, I have 3 children and I love to watch their sporting events! I enjoy lounging in the pool, hanging around a camp fire, listening to music and spending time with my friends and family.

Toni Spainhour

Toni Spainhour ~ Preschool

Welcome! Welcome! I have taught Early Childhood Special Education preschool at Mark Twain since the fall of 2005. It is such a joy to get to know these little learners and watch them grow and develop in a caring, positive, and engaging classroom. I have two grown daughters and a granddaughter who keeps me hopping! She loves to dance and be creative. I enjoy the outdoors, biking, reading, and hanging out with my family & friends.


Brooke Hissong

Brooke Hissong ~ Kindergarten

My name is Brooke Hissong and, over the last five years I have been a classroom volunteer, paraprofessional and substitute teacher all within CUSD #1. I have enjoyed being part of CUSD #1 as a parent and employee so when I went back to school to get my degree in education I knew CUSD #1 was where I wanted to be. This is my 1st year as a classroom teacher and I am excited to be part of your student's 1st year of school.

Amber Dennis

Amber Dennis ~ Kindergarten

My name is Amber Dennis, and I have a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Fine Arts from Eastern Illinois University. This is my 9th year teaching with 4 of them being here at Mark Twain! Kindergarten is such a special year of school, and very exciting to teach! I love getting to be a part of teaching so many new and wonderful skills, like reading. I am very passionate about helping each of my students achieve the most that they can, become leaders, thinkers, and making learning challenging, but fun through hands on learning, games, projects, and STEAM activities.

Abbey Hoedebecke

Abbey Hoedebecke ~ Kindergarten

Welcome to kindergarten! I am Mrs. Hoedebecke and I am so excited to be your teacher this year! This will be my fifth year teaching overall. I have my Masters in Early Childhood Education from UIUC. I am from a suburb northwest of Chicago and I currently live in Charleston. I have 2 dogs named Milo and Mango and I like watching sports, tv, crafting and visiting new places! I can't wait to get to know you this year 😊

Debbie Oakley

Debbie Oakley ~ Kindergarten

Welcome to kindergarten! I am Mrs. Oakley and I so excited to be teaching your child this year.

Veronica Ready

Veronica Ready ~ Kindergarten

Hello! My name is Veronica Ready. I grew up in a small town in Northern Oklahoma until I moved to Charleston. I graduated from Charleston High School and I received my bachelor’s degree from EIU in Elementary Education. In my spare time my family and I enjoy kayaking, playing games and spending times with our family and friends. I also love watching college football and basketball and cheering on the Oklahoma State Cowboys!

Levi Reynolds

Levi Reynolds ~ Kindergarten

My Name Is Levi Reynolds and I am a recent graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. I have always had a passion for teaching, and I look forward to my first year as a classroom teacher. I have worked with children of this age group for four years now whether it was as a classroom teacher at the Charleston Community Early Learning Center or as a swim instructor to preschool and kindergarten aged children at my local YMCA. I enjoy the energy and sense of determination that comes with working with kindergarten aged students, and I am extremely excited to be a part of the Charleston School District at Mark Twain Elementary!

Hannah Wolff

Hannah Wolff ~ Kindergarten

Welcome to kindergarten If you've found your way into my classroom, let the magic begin!

Michelle Zigler

Michelle Zigler ~ Kindergarten

I am a native of Charleston and graduated from CHS in 2003. I went on to graduate from EIU with a B.A. in Psychology. After being a stay-at-home mom to my two boys, I began Substitute Teaching. I spent two years as a Title I Paraprofessional at Mark Twain and then served as a Long-Term Substitute Teacher for two more years in a Kindergarten classroom. During this time, I went back to school to earn my Master's in Elementary Education. I was offered a Kindergarten Teaching position at Mark Twain Elementary and LOVE IT! My goal is to value the individual differences of students and make learning as fun as possible.

Emmalee Sherwood ~ Kindergarten

Jami Goetten

Jami Goetten ~ LBS1

Welcome! I am a Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS1) at Mark Twain Elementary. I have been with the district since 2013. Kindergarten is a year of tremendous growth and I feel lucky getting to experience it year after year. I work in multiple classrooms in the building and enjoy supporting all of our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me! I reside in Charleston and have a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in elementary education with the LBS1 endorsement. I have a daughter that graduated from Charleston and is now studying Molecular Biology at the University of Illinois. Watching her grow and navigate life is definitely my favorite thing to experience. I also enjoy traveling, reading, watching college sports, cooking, and shopping.

Ashley Boonstra

Ashley Boonstra ~ Art

Hello! My name is Ashley Boonstra, "Mrs. B". I am the Art and Library teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School. This is my first year teaching at Mark Twain. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University and completed my teacher certification at EIU. I love spending time with my family, drawing, reading, cooking, and being in nature.

Hannah Evans

Hannah Evans ~ Music

I teach music at Mark Twain Elementary and art and music at Ashmore Elementary.

Mike Stanley

Mike Stanley ~ PE

This is my third year teaching Physical Education at Mark Twain Elementary School. I have greatly enjoyed my time here the last two years and I again look forward to guiding Kindergarten, as they begin to build the knowledge, fitness, motor skills and social skills that they will continue to grow throughout their school years and beyond. My goal is to equip all of Mark Twain students with the tools, skills, and attitude to value and become lifelong learners of health, fitness, and sport. I also serve as the Head Wrestling Coach for Charleston High School. Some activities I enjoy away from teaching include exercising, listening to music and podcasts, and watching baseball.