Physical Education

The primary goal of the Physical Education department is to provide students a foundational knowledge of their mental and physical health and development so that they are fully prepared to make decisions regarding their lifestyle and overall well being. This includes regular physical activities that meet students’ needs in a developmentally appropriate manner, providing them with opportunities to develop their fitness, strength, speed, endurance, flexibility and teamwork. The department is excited to welcome numerous presenters from our community to speak with students in Classroom Drivers Education and Health on a variety of topics. Unified PE (our special education mentorship program) also enjoyed a recent trip to Washington High School to have a field day with other schools in the Mid-Illini. 

Physical Education Staff

Katelyn Romeo

PE/Driver's Education Teacher

(309) 698-7541

Katelyn Romeo is the lead teacher of the Physical Education department with 13 years of experience at EPCHS. She primarily teaches Classroom Driver’s Education, Health, Unified PE, and Behind the Wheel. She is also the Varsity Head Coach of the Volleyball team and an advisor of the Best Buddies program. Originally from Vernon Hills, Illinois, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology Sports Studies and a minor in Health from Eastern Illinois University. She also has an endorsement in Driver’s Education from Olivet Nazarene University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. She shares, “I really love the community of East Peoria and feel we have family at the High School. We are there for each other as educator's and support one another. As a teacher, I have passion for helping students learn, grow, and succeed academically and personally. I like making a positive impact on their lives, fostering a love of learning, and empowering them to reach their full potential.” Mrs. Romeo has been married for seven years and has two dogs: Finlee (a pitbull/lab mix) and Doug (a great pyrenees/lab mix). Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, hiking, fishing, coaching volleyball, hanging out with friends and family, playing sports, and watching her favorite shows: The Office, Modern Family, and Parks and Recreation.

Phil Johns

Weight Training Teacher

(309) 698-7509

Phil Johns is a veteran member of the Physical Education department with 30 years of experience, all at East Peoria Community High School. He primarily teaches weight training classes and is the Head Coach of the Varsity Boys Wrestling team. Originally from Canton, he attended Canton High School before going to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to wrestle and earn his Bachelor’s degree in Education. Coach Johns shares, “My why is to help the youth of our community become the best version of themselves! It’s to aid them in finding their passions and to utilize the skills they will need to function in the world. Model hard work, and challenge others to follow. The students I get to teach are fine young adults and enjoy weight training and the content of the class. It is a wonderful feeling to see the students achieve and set personal goals for themselves!” He also shared, “I have been in a school building since I was three years old. From preschool to now, I have either been a student or teacher for 52 years now!” From the Manito area, outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, kids, cat Nalla, and two chihuahuas Stevie and Roman.

Brett Gonigam

PE/Driver's Education Teacher

(309) 694-8301

Brett Gonigam is a part of the Physical Education department and brings 16 years of teaching experience to the table, 15 of those being at East Peoria. He primarily teaches Classroom Driver’s Education and Behind the Wheel Driver’s Education; he also enjoys being a bus driver for EPCHS. Originally from Lake Camelot, Illinois, he attended Illini Bluffs High School before earning a degree in Kinesiology from Western Illinois University, a degree in Health from Emporia University, and a degree in Driver’s Education from Millikin University. Mr. Gonigam shared, “I love the relationships with other staff and students.  Since day one I have loved being here and the relationships/friendships I have made while being here.  I love the challenges day in and day out and just having that Raider Pride. I'm a Raider for life and I love everything about EPCHS. My family loves being in East Peoria and I’m excited to watch my children grow up to be Raiders!” Outside of work, Brett enjoys sports, fishing, hiking, swimming, being outdoors, playing with his children, traveling (he also works at Allegiant), and the Chicago Cubs and Bears.

Brad Bouris

PE/Driver's Education Teacher

(309)  698-7519

Brad Bouris is a part of the Physical Education department with 13 years of experience, 8 of those being at EPCHS. He primarily teaches Weight Training and Behind the Wheel classes. He is also the Assistant Coach of the Varsity Softball team and has been a part of the program for 8 years. Originally from El Paso, Illinois, he attended El Paso High School before going to Kishwaukee Junior College, Oklahoma State University, and Illinois State University for his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology and Recreation. He also has an endorsement in Driver’s Education. Coach Bouris shares, “My why is, I love teaching and building relationships with my students. Weight training not only allows me to teach weight lifting, physical fitness and health, but also allows me to promote discipline and self-confidence which is very important for high school students.” He has been married to his wife Kelly for 17 years, and together they have two children; 13 year old Braxton and 12 year old Kenley. Outside of work, he enjoys being with his family, coaching his son’s summer and fall baseball teams, and watching his daughter’s dance recitals and tumbling competitions. He also loves to golf whenever he has the time! 

Brooke Potendyk

PE/Health Teacher

(309)  698-7591

Brooke Potendyk is a part of the Physical Education department and primarily teaches Health and Physical Education courses. She has 11 years of experience and is entering her 3rd year at EPCHS. She is the Head Girls Cross Country Coach and an Assistant Girls Track Coach; she is also the coach of the 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team at Central Junior High School. Originally from East Peoria, Illinois, she is an EPCHS alum and went on to attend Monmouth College to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a Health Endorsement. Brooke lives in Morton with her dog, Kolt (named after former St. Louis Cardinals player Kolten Wong - Go Cards!). She shares, “Physical education provides an opportunity to empower students, build confidence, and improve their overall well-being. I enjoy teaching students valuable life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and resilience, which can benefit them long after they leave school. Teaching PE allows me to combine my love of sports and fitness with my passion for education. I wanted to come back to EPCHS to teach because I had a desire to give back to the community that helped to raise me to become the person I am today.” Outside of work, she likes to run, along with playing basketball and volleyball. She also likes to spend time with her family and friends, and of course, her dog. She loves to take trips, her favorite places being the Lake of the Ozarks, Fort Myers Beach, and Glacier National Park.

Jarrett Brown

Jarrett Brown is a part of the Physical Education department with 22 years of experience and just finished his first year at EPCHS. He primarily teaches PE and Driver’s Education. He is also the Head Coach of the Varsity Boys Basketball team. Originally from Shelbyville, Illinois, he graduated from Shelbyville High School before earning his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Eastern Illinois University as well as Master’s degrees in Athletic Administration and Education Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Coach Brown loves East Peoria and the opportunity he has each day to work with a staff that truly cares about helping students maximize the potential that they have. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family. 

Ryan Thornton

Physical Education Teacher

Ryan Thornton is a part of the Physical Education department and has been a teacher for two years, one of those being at EPCHS. He currently teaches Co-Ed Physical Education classes and is also the Head Coach of Girls Golf and Assistant Coach of Varsity Boys Basketball. Originally from Chillicothe, he graduated from IVC High School before attending University of Illinois-Springfield for his undergraduate degree and Western Illinois University for his master’s degree. Coach Thornton loves getting to know his students and players each day and trying to help them reach their full potential as a student, athlete, and person. Outside of work, he loves to play golf, spend time with his family, grill and take trips.