English

The English curriculum at EPCHS proudly supports critical and creative thinking. The department emphasizes real-world application by developing written and verbal communication, digital literacy, and reading skills. The focus of the English curriculum includes: strengthening reading comprehension and writing skills, facilitating student learning toward college and career readiness, examining and analyzing fiction, nonfiction, and historical texts, and offering collaborative and project-based learning. Our English teachers encourage student growth through the most current research-based teaching strategies. English teachers utilize differentiated instruction to engage all learners.

English Staff

Belinda Anderson - 309-698-7579 - banderson@ep309.org

Belinda Anderson was born in Peoria, Illinois, graduated from Woodruff High School, and is currently living in Normal, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Northern Illinois University and her certification to teach 6-12 Language Arts from Illinois State University. Before coming to East Peoria Community High School, Belinda taught Sophomore, Junior, and Senior English at Woodland High School in Streator Illinois, and was a paraprofessional at Kinglsey Junior High School in Normal, Illinois. She is currently teaching Freshman Reading and Writing Strategies and Senior English here at EPCHS.


Kayla Bone - 309-698-7543 - kbone@ep309.org

Kayla graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor's degree in English. She has held several jobs in the education field including a short stint teaching 6th grade and working in a grade school library- both in the Pekin area. In her free time she likes to hang out with her family and their pets, read all the books, watch cheesy reality tv-shows, make Pinterest style crafts, and travel whenever she can.


Jill Dawson - 309-698-7582 - jdawson@ep309.org

I am an avid reader, music lover, loving wife and mother, dancing fool, self-proclaimed most unathletic person you’ll ever meet, and I teach English! I have always loved reading and writing, so majoring in English was a no-brainer. English Education has been my professional life since 1998. I obtained a teaching certificate in English and speech in 1997 from Eastern Illinois University. Straight out of college, I began my teaching career at Delavan High School in Delavan, Illinois. In 2007, I obtained my Masters Degree in Reading from Illinois State University. I am also a certified Reading Specialist. After teaching English and speech in Delavan for ten years, I took an English position here at EPCHS in 2008. Currently, I teach Enriched Sophomore English, Yearbook Class, and Intro to Communications. I am one of the advisors for the yearbook, The EPoCH, and our award winning student newscast, Inside the Tribe.


Monica Falk - 309-698-7532 - mfalk@ep309.org

My name is Monica Siebenthal and I teach Junior and Senior English. I also coach the Raiderette Dance team. In 2011, I graduated from Illinois State University with my English Education degree. After student teaching at EPCHS, I was hired as a full-time English teacher in 2012. Outside of school, I read, write, and spend time with family.


Brandon Oliger - 309-698-7578 - boliger@ep309.org

After growing up in northeast Ohio and earning my Bachelor’s degree in Language Arts Education at Cedarville University, I had the privilege of moving to central Illinois. I achieved my first teaching position in 2013 at Peoria’s Woodruff Career & Technical Center, where I taught 9th grade English for three years. Because I live right here in East Peoria, I was beyond thrilled to begin teaching at EPCHS in 2016. My wife, Katie, and I were married in 2016 and recently became parents. We love being part of the community here in EP, and I personally love the impact I get to have in the classroom here at EPCHS.


Casey Pfeifer - 309-698-7531 - cpfeifer@ep309.org

My name is Casey Pfeifer, and I teach Sophomore English and Dual Credit Composition here at EPCHS. I also teach a Film class elective. I attended ICC for two years and attended ISU and obtained my Bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education. I returned to ISU for my Master's in English Studies. I began my teaching career at East Peoria and have happily remained. I began a student-staffed writing center and am interested in students collaborating through their writing processes.


Tracy Otten - 309-698-7533 - totten@ep309.org

My name is Tracy Otten. I attended ICC where I received my Associate's degree in International Business. I then went to ISU and received my Bachelor's degree in French Education. In 2009 I completed my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University. I began working at EPCHS in 2002. During my time here I have been involved in a variety of activities. I am currently one of the co-advisors of the EPCHS chapter of the National Honor Society and teach Spanish 1-2, American Studies 5-6, and senior English.


Katie Stewart - 309-698-7529 - kstewart@ep309.org


I graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2019 with a BA in Secondary English Education. I will be the first to admit that it took me longer than the "normal" time to complete college, but I still did it and am very thankful that I did. However, I am not done yet. I have plans of going back soon to earn my master's degree. After my student teaching there, I was hired at Quest Charter Academy High School in Peoria. I love to teach, but I also like to have fun. When I am not teaching, I love to read (mostly classic literature), sing, write short stories, spend time with my family, and attend medieval festivals.


Justin Yang - 309-698-7546 - jyang@ep309.org

Mr. Yang was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. He graduated from Woodruff High School, received his Bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, and his Master’s degree from University of Phoenix. Currently, he teaches Academic Sophomores, Reading and Writing Strategies for Freshmen, and AP Language and Composition, which is a class for Juniors and Seniors. In addition to teaching English, he currently coaches football and has done so for numerous years at EPCHS.

English Resources

Resources coming soon!