Meet the JA Regional Teacher of the Year: Katie McKown - JA In The News | Junior Achievement of Central Illinois

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Meet the JA Regional Teacher of the Year: Katie McKown

Katie McKown

Hickory Grove Elementary School, Dunlap CSD #323

Katie McKown is a fourth grade teacher at Hickory Grove Elementary School in Dunlap.  She has been teaching for 16 years, spending her entire career in fourth grade in Dunlap.  She is currently teaching a class of 29 full-time remote learners, and is enjoying this new challenge.  


Although this school year has been a bit different with remote teaching/learning, her class traditionally centers around a “McKown Town” theme.  She has a classroom economy, in which students can earn “McKown Cash.”  Students each have their own wallets, and can earn cash for good behavior, extra effort, showing kindness, etc.  Cash can be spent on a variety of experiences, one of the favorites being the opportunity to sit at Mayor McKown’s desk for the day.  In McKown Town, every student has a classroom job to keep the town running smoothly, and they take great ownership of this responsibility.    


McKown graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, with a degree in Psychology.  She was a member of the SIUE softball team, and earned All-American honors. She was recently inducted into SIUE’s Hall of Fame in 2018 for her softball accomplishments. McKown also earned her teaching degree from Illinois State University.  Additionally, she has two master’s degrees, one in Curriculum & Instruction, and the second in Administration.  


McKown is married with three children ages 9, 7, and 3, and resides in Edwards. 


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