Meet Our Instructors
- Susan Baller-Shepard is an award winning writer and has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post "On Faith," Spirituality & Health, Writer’s Digest, and other publications. She is a co-founder and editor of SpiritualBookClub.com, blogs for the Huffington Post religion section and is author of Matching Yu. She teaches religion at Heartland Community College in central Illinois, where she lives with her family.
- Ellen Baranowski discovered a Zentangle book at the store and she and a friend started Zentagling weekly in 2012. In 2013 she went to Providence, RI and became a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Ellen and her friend continue to Zentangle on Sundays and teach others in the community.
- Cheryl Belligio received her BS and MS in Business Education from Northern Illinois University. She taught in the Chicago suburbs and overseas in Italy for the Department of Defense. She also helped establish the Secretarial Studies Program at Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education in Australia.
- Beverly Beyer serves as Stevenson Center Associate Director at ISU. A certified Professional Community and Economic Developer, she coordinates the Peace Corps Fellows Program, Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program, and Peace Corps Master’s International Program. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Bulgaria) and has served with AmeriCorps and non-profit organizations. She is currently on the Board of Mid Central Community Action, and she volunteers with the local AmeriCorps Alums chapter and the Ecology Action Center.
- Shelly Beyers has 20 years teaching experience at Saunemin Grade School. She has taught math to 5th through 8th graders, including Algebra, for the past 19 years. She also coaches boys and girls track in the spring and enjoys being outdoors.
- Paul Bihn has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Truman State University and has worked at State Farm as an analyst for almost 24 years. He has created religious Android game applications such as Memory Cathedral, and Book of Revelation. He has also published an Android board game called Tablero. He loves to program and teach programming.
- Diane Boeck is a Certified Teacher of Hatha Yoga through a 200 hour home study course. She currently teaches classes at Heartland Community College and in other locations in Bloomington/Normal. She also teaches Water Aerobics. Diane has found personal benefit in both yoga and water exercise. She enjoys sharing these exercises for the benefit of others. She is also a University of Illinois Master Gardener.
- Kay Bowen has worked with computers for the last 40 years. She worked at State Farm Insurance for 17 years before coming to Heartland Community College.
- Carol Burroughs is a certified Financial Planner® and Principal of Forward Financial Planning, LLC in Normal where she provides guidance in investments, retirement, insurance, education funding, and estate planning for individuals and small businesses.
- Julie F. Callahan lives and works in McLean County. She is a mixed media and mural painter with a distinctive style. She has been teaching art for over 10 years both privately and in the classroom. Her studio in uptown Normal is open by appointment year round and she welcomes visitors and art enthusiasts both young and old.
- Roy & Judy Chaplin are husband and wife business partners that together have over 40 years of experience in the upholstering business. They own Chaplin's Upholstery and Woodworking Center in Normal.
Jonae Cheger is an artist and designer whose business, Jonae Cheger Photography, opened in 2009. Her love of photography began when she was six years old and presented with her first camera. Jonae engages in all types of photography, but specializes in newborns and children. She is known as the Baby Whisperer. Jonae holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Organizational Leadership.
Alicia Clark bakes and decorates cakes and cupcakes for birthdays, holidays, showers, graduations, and all sorts of special occasions. Besides designing and decorating, Alicia is currently working on a business degree at Illinois State University.
- Betty Howell Cleeton has taught French at both the college and high school level. Her M.A. is from Middlebury College's program in Paris. She has lived, studied and worked in France for more than 13 years, most of that time in Provence. She has worked there for college study abroad programs. She is eager to share her interest in the French culture and language with all of her students!
- Josh Colon, Heartland Community College and Illinois State University graduate, brings his successful baseball career back to Heartland as the hitting instructor for Community Education. At Heartland Community College he hit .349 as a freshman and continued his success by hitting .391 as a sophomore. He also led the Hawks with 101 assists and helped turn 17 double plays and gained All- Conference honors. Josh continued his success at ISU where he was a part of the 2010 conference championship team and the 2011 team which set the school record for wins with a record of 35-16. After success as a player, he returned to ISU in 2012 as a volunteer coach who worked with both hitters and infielders. The ISU team had one of the highest batting averages in the nation with .297 team average and one of the highest fielding percentages in the Missouri Valley Conference with a .979 fielding percentage.
- Jennifer Coombs a Planner for Technisource. She has certifications as a Microsoft Office Specialist, a Master Instructor of Microsoft Office, and a certified Technical Trainer.
- Jenny Crones has over 20 years experience working with computers. She is also a local artist. She has a BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and received her MFA at Illinois State University. She will have you laughing and learning at the same time.
- Bonnie Crosier is a minister, medium, spiritual healer and Reiki Master Teacher. After completing seminary she is a Licentiate Minister and serves at the Spiritualist Church in LeRoy, IL. She earned accreditation for Chaplain providing pastoral services to those seeking spiritual support. In 2012 she accepted an invitation as guest lecturer at Rush University Medical Center speaking on Reiki and Integrative Therapies. She is the founder of Reiki Just For You.
- Anuja Deshpande is a Diet Consultant from India and moved to Bloomington in 2003. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Life Science and has been practicing Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) for over a decade. Anuja believes Ikebana is an effective therapy for relieving stress. She is passionate about healthy eating, yoga, creative art, photography and jewelry making.
- Tracy Donath is a fourth grade teacher at Grove Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has taught in the District 87 and Unit 5 school districts for 17 years. Over those years, she has been a Media Specialist (IMC) and taught kindergarten, 4th, and 6th grades.
- Michael Donovan is an Adult Probation Officer with over 20 years experience in the field. He is a lifelong Martial Artist holding a 4th Degree Black Belt in Karate and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has over 25 years teaching experience and specializes in women's self-defense and personal safety.
Lori Elliott worked in fabric stores until deciding to open her own shop in Lincoln, IL, Make It Sew. Lori conducts quilting and long arm trainings as well as repairs sewing machines.
- Monica Estabrook is an artist/photographer and a high school art teacher in Bloomington, Illinois. She studied art history, photography and art education at the University of South Carolina (BA & MAT) and Southern Illinois University (MFA). She has been teaching in public education for 7 years and has just exited the darkroom to take up digital photography.
- Erin Furimsky is a practicing studio artist in Normal, Illinois whose work focuses on the relationship of sculptural form with highly ornamented surfaces. She received a BFA from the Pennsylvania State University (1997) and an MFA from Ohio State University (2002). She has exhibited her work nationally with inclusions of her work in international exhibitions in China and Taiwan. As an educator, she has been a featured presenter at national workshops, as well as serving as a visiting professor at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College.
- Tracy Gallagher has been teaching Pilates in Bloomington-Normal for 10 years. She enjoys teaching others how to strengthen and change their bodies and has been teaching Community Education students these skills for the past two years.
- Dave Gentry has been an active N-scale model railroader for 45 years. He began building NTrak modules in 1991 as part of a Bloomington-Normal NTrak club. He started building T-Trak modules in 2014 and currently has 11 T-Trak modules. Dave retired from Growmark in 2014. Guess how he spends his free time.
- Deborah Gentry has been working in secondary and post-secondary academic institutions for many years. She has been a professor and administrator at Illinois State University as well as coordinator of faculty development at Heartland. Her primary expertise is the relationship between teaching and learning, especially among adult learners. She has been recognized as an outstanding teacher as well as written about and presented topics related to teaching and learning.
- Roger Gudeman is a military veteran and a 45 year, 2.5 million mile truck driver. He also drove and dispatched equipment as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
- Ben Hauck pursued a successful career as an environmental engineer for nearly a decade, then picked up his first brush at a Tucson Parks and Recreation class in the winter of 2002 and immediately discovered his true passion. Ben’s artistic mission is to awaken individuals to their potential, to bring out the best in people, to leave every single person that views his art with a sense of greatness, wonder and excitement about themselves. He brings his mission to his art instruction as well, always helping his students grow both in their art and in their life outside of art. Ben designs his classes to be fun and inspiring and he always guides his students to discover the best in themselves.
- David Haynes has taught music for over 30 years all over the eastern United States. He has a great enthusiasm and love for music.
- Cathy Hempstead has taught various Ballroom, Latin, and Nightclub styles of social partnership dancing since 1996. She owns her own dance studio, Dance Partners, where she teaches intermediate and advanced dance classes.
- Gina Henry, owner of Go Global Inc., teaches travel classes in over 86 cities nationwide, has traveled to over 80 countries and 40 states, and is the author of many travel publications, books, DVDs & CDs.
- Jason Hoffman received his BFA in Sculpture from Illinois State University in 2006. He is active with the Lincoln Art Institute and has exhibited his work around the Midwest and East Coast. Jason created two Lincoln community sculptures, Constellation and Cow in the Corn.
- Trisha Horner grew up in Northern Minnesota in a large family. After graduating high school, she went on to attend design school, tailoring school, and then tech school for biomedical engineering. She started her career in New York, designing women’s lingerie for five years. After that, she worked in a hospital for biomedical engineering for 15 years. After having two children, she decided that fibers were her true passion, so she returned to them. In 1993, she and seven other individuals founded Fibers of Love, which seeks to sew for the community, county, country and the world.
- Eric C. Hoss has been studying ways to improve interviewing skills for over 25 years and in a tough employment market has coached thousands of students on how to remove doubt and get the job they want. Eric is the author of Removing Doubt in an Interview a book that is an innovative and successful approach to job interviewing that shows how to remove doubt in the eyes of the interviewer. Eric is currently in management at State Farm Insurance and has a master’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University.
- Cindy Houser has a M.S.W. degree from the University of Illinois and is a licensed clinical social worker. She completed her yoga teacher training through Feel Your Best Yoga and is registered as a yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance at the 200 hr. level.
- Kathryn Johnson is the Assistant Director at PATH, Inc. She received her MA in Gerontology from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a certified trainer for the “Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well, Be Well” also known nationally as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. She currently manages PATH’s Senior Services program and coordinates the Caregiver Advisory Services for DeWitt, Livingston and McLean counties.
- Zac Johnson played 3rd base at both Heartland Community College and Illinois State University. His ISU batting average was .320 with 29 doubles and 13 homeruns. He was also an All-MWAC selection at 3rd base at HCC and a first team 3rd base All Missouri Valley Conference Selection at ISU. Zac is currently a biology major at ISU with plans to attend medical school.
- Ian Jorgensen is a New York trained Yoga instructor and brings with him over 15 years of experience helping people improve their strength and flexibility. Ian was originally trained as a dancer, receiving his MFA in modern dance at the University of Utah. However, it was in New York where he immersed himself into the Yoga and Pilates communities. Ian has studied with and taught for a number of the best studios in bustling Manhattan, bringing to Heartland a passion for “heart-centered teaching”.
- Greg Joyce is a professional magician who has been instructing youth magic programs and performing stage magic and close-up magic for over 15 years. He has developed a very creative and enjoyable magic course which has been enjoyed by hundreds of students over the years, giving them the knowledge and confidence to be their own magical entertainer.
- Denise Kozell has been a Master Dog Groomer for 10 years. She is also a Licensed Investigator for Illinois Department of Agriculture. Denise is a true animal lover and uses her background in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement and Animal Sciences to keep animals well cared for and safe.
- Geoff Ladd earned a BS from Western Illinois University in Psychology and Communications. He is a Project Administrator for Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and works as a marketing, photography, and internet consultant. Geoff was instrumental in bringing to Lincoln the World’s Largest Covered Wagon as an Abraham Lincoln/Route 66 attraction and in saving The Mill. He is also an amateur paranormal investigator.
- Lisa Lockenvitz has over 22 years sales experience at Coldwell Banker Heart of America Realtors as a real estate agent in the Bloomington-Normal area. She has a 10 year financial background including mortgage lending. In addition to sales and lending, Lisa has experience in instruction of real estate pre-licensing courses and agent training. She holds a MBA from Illinois State University. Lisa enjoys helping people realize their dreams of homeownership!
- Kim McHale has taught math at Heartland Community College for 12 years. She loves teaching and learning and working with students. Her PhD is in Applied Mathematics from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She teaches in many formats including hybrid and online. Kim is also a certified yoga instructor.
- Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation. MEEA fosters market penetration of new and existing energy-efficient technologies, products and best practices.
- Ron Maier is a licensed counselor with over 30 years experience in universities, a community behavioral health center, and private practice.
- Maggie McCormick earned a B.A. in Education and a M.A. in Counseling from Louisiana Tech University, and holds credentials as a licensed counselor and Master Career Counselor. She has twenty years of experience in career development - in a university setting, in career services for a major corporation, and currently as an independent career practitioner. Maggie believes career management is an essential skill to living one's best life, during working years as well as in retirement.
- Rebecca Mentzer, MS, LCPC is a Professional Development Trainer and Career Counselor in private practice. She customizes training workshops for various organizations on topics such as stress and resiliency, work-life balance and managing expectations. With years of experience utilizing the Myers-Briggs personality indicator, Becky uses it with individuals and groups to help others with communication, teamwork, and career congruence. Becky’s career began after completing her M.S. and B.S. from the department of Psychology at Illinois State University as a nontraditional student. She worked as an Addictions Therapist and Trainer for Chestnut Health Systems, a Career Counselor for Illinois Wesleyan University and was an instructor, advisor and workshop presenter at Illinois State University’s Honors Program until retiring in 2014. Becky is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She is active in the community and her church, and enjoys traveling with her husband, reading, knitting, spending time with her three adult children and their families, and is especially proud of her eight grandchildren.
- Dana Mollohan currently works as a senior business analyst and as a part-time tax accountant. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from Eastern Illinois University and her MBA from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a registered CPA and has over 15 years of financial and business analysis experience. Dana also has a love of dance and performing. She has studied various forms of middle eastern (belly dance) under various Central Illinois instuctors for the last 7 years and currently performs with Troupe Zahava.
- Deborah Niemann-Boehle In 2002, Deborah dragged her professor-husband and three kids from the Chicago suburbs to a 32-acre homestead on a creek in the middle of nowhere. As clueless city slickers, they made a lot of mistakes, learned a little, and had a lot of fun. Among the many homemade foods she produces, Deborah has been making cheese for ten years using milk from her own herd of Nigerian dwarf dairy goats. In addition, she has authored two books Homegrown and Handmade and EcoFrugal, both endorsed by Mother Earth News magazine as part of their Wiser Living Series.
- Laura Olshak has been in front of classrooms of one sort or another for over thirty years. Currently she builds websites with WordPress for clients across the US and around the world. She holds an MA in English Literature from SUNY Cortland. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, and picking up really heavy things.
- Paul Peacock is a teacher at Lexington High School in computer education courses including computer applications, yearbook design and programming. He holds a master's degree in Applied Computer Science from Illinois State University.
- Greg Peterson has taught computer classes at Heartland Community Education for over 15 years. He is employed as a Training Analyst at State Farm Insurance and has earned the CIT (Certified Instructional Technologist) designation. Greg previously owned a computer training company.
- Raegan Rinchiuso is the Marketing and Public Information Specialist at Heartland Community College and has five years experience in non-profit marketing. She has an advertising degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is pursuing her MBA at Illinois State University.
- Doug Rosenbaum has been officiating football for over 30 years and is starting his 13th year as a Side Judge with the NFL. He has officiated on the high school level, Division 3 college level, the Big Ten conference, the Canadian Football League, the NFL Europe League and the Arena Indoor League during his career.
- Carol Schweigert has a bachelor's degree in business education from Southeast Missouri University. She has been involved in community education for over 40 years and involved with Community Education at Heartland back to the days when it was run out of Bloomington High School. Carol has taught classes including Microsoft Office and Windows, Internet, email and iPhone.
- Kent Simpson is a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience providing portrait, wedding, corporate and school photography services primarily in Central Illinois. Kent and his family moved to Illinois from Hawaii in 1987 and established Photography by Kent which they continue to own and operate in Normal, IL. His interest in photography began at a very young age and spans more than 40 years. In that time Kent has worked with nearly all formats of film cameras, developed and printed color and B&W film and now incorporates today’s state of the art digital technology into his career. His love of travel and the outdoors continues to broaden both his photography experience and extensive collection of images. Kent has been an Instructor at Heartland Community College for 10 years. He has worked with the Adult, Corporate and Youth Enrichment Programs during this time.
- Jaime Skaggs is a technology enthusiast and has a specific interest in sharing and managing digital photographs to ensure they are preserved for future generations. Jaime has a degree in Information Technology from Bradley University and is a technical analyst at State Farm.
- Shirley Splittstoesser has co-authored a cookbook and written several magazine stories about chefs and their recipes. She and her husband, Walter, wrote and published their memoirs as a gift to their three children.
- Lisa Summers is a certified personal trainer through the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM). She loves to help people find their way to a healthy way of life. Lisa owns a health and wellness business "Live Centered" that offers personal training and wellness coaching. The goal is to help educate people on ways to incorporate healthy habits a little at a time to create and follow a healthy lifestyle! She has a BS in Education from ISU and loves teaching people about health in the classroom along with the gym!
- Danny Tanner is a Certified Teacher in Unit 5 Schools where he teaches Digital Media to 6th-8th graders. He enjoys learning from his students as much as he enjoys teaching them.
- Claudia Terrance began folk dancing at the University of California at Berkeley during her college years and she has continued to dance ever since. She is excited to share the folk traditions with others through her International Folk Dancing classes. For over 30 years she has been a member of several dance groups including two international groups and one grouping focusing on Greek dances.
- Dee Thompson majored in Fashion Merchandising at Western Illinois University. Dee is a costumer for Bloomington High School's Drama department, and has worked with Normal Parks and Recreation’s Summer Theater program, the Peoria Opera, for CATS, and for MOVIN' ON during their Bloomington performances.
- Libby Torbeck is a certified WERQ Dance Fitness instructor who discovered her love of group fitness just a few years ago when she started to attend a local gym as a way to combat winter doldrums. When she’s not grooving to pop & hip hop music, Libby is a creative artist and doodler. And when she’s not doodling, she's working at her full-time day job as a Flight Director & Science Educator at Heartland’s own Challenger Learning Center.
- Kerry Urquizo is an ESL Specialist at Heartland Community College. She teaches a variety of ESL courses such as ESL Survival Workplace Skills, Academic ESL, ESL Parenting, and American Pronunciation and Business ESL.
- Cathy Walker-Bilow is a landscape specialist at Grieder Sod and Landscaping. She is also President of Kid Conscious Lawn Care, a local company dedicated to the development of sustainable lawn care products and practices. She has a BS and MS from the University of Illinois.
- Mandy Webster is a media manager at Illinois State University. She blogs, writes novels and offers consulting services to small business websites in her spare time. Mandy earned a master of arts in English with a concentration in professional writing/creative writing track from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI in 2013. She earned a bachelor of science in business administration (2006) and a master of science in business management (2009) from Cardinal Stritch University, also in Milwaukee. Her writing blog won the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society Individual Blog Award in 2013.
- Ricardo Williams has more than 8 years experience in the photography field. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Engineering, Ricardo’s interest in photography began as a hobby and quickly turned into a fulfilling passion. He uses his understanding of different cultures, traveling experiences and interpersonal skills as a way to share his knowledge and mentor others in this field. A successful photographer who has been awarded a number of online photography honors, Ricardo is now dedicating most of his time to portrait photography.
- Bernie Wrezinski is the Director of Midwest Operations for the Foundation for Financial Education (F3E). He attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, as well as the United States Military Academy at West Point. Bernie is a proud veteran of the Vietnam War. Following his academic and military service, Bernie turned his attention to the financial services industry in 1977, and has been educating people in this field ever since. He is committed to helping retirees stay on top of the options available to them to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.
Jim Zoerb received his MS from St. Louis University in 1967 and started fly fishing in 1968. He has tied over 10,000 flies and caught 29 species of fish in Illinois on flyrod. Jim has been offering fly tying and fly fishing classes since 2002 with students ranging in age from 5 to 75. The last four years he has been the President of Prairieland Anglers Association.