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Team 6 Black Teachers

Meet the Team 6 Black Teachers: Robin Carlson, Karen Nave, Dena Geiger, Bria Richter and Courtney Taylor, 
B.S. Education of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, MacMurray College B.S. Education Learning Disabilities, MacMurray College; Social Emotional Disorders/Educable Mentally Handicapped Western Illinois University M.S. Instructional Technology/Curriculum Design, SIUE National Board Professional Teaching Standards, certified 2003 National Board Professional Teaching Standards, recertified 2012.

Mrs. Carlson has been obsessed with reading and writing since she was a child.  Her mother would not make her do chores if she would read to her younger siblings. Quite the deal for her!  She lives in Edwardsville with her husband, John and her black Lab, Lucy (the sweetest and most intelligent dog on the planet). Her favorite activities are spending time with her children Megan and Sean, reading, writing, and walking Lucy on the trails.

Mrs. Robin Carlson
English Language Arts

Education: Elementary Education, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, 1999 Masters - Education Administration, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, 2006 Previous Assignments:Highland Upper Elementary-grade 5, Alhambra Elementary-grade 4, Grantfork Elementary-grades 5 & 6.

Mrs. Dena Geiger loves to design and build most anything, so teaching math is a natural fit.  She and her husband farm between Alhambra and Grantfork.  Besides raising crops and hogs, they have raised three daughters – Sadie, a crop consultant with CPS, Claire and Olivia, who are both students at U of I. 

Mrs. Geiger enjoys sewing, woodworking, gardening, and cooking, along with leading the Grant Prairie 4-H Club and volunteering at the Madison County Fair. 

Mrs. Dena Geiger


Education: B.S.,Elementary Education, Science Concentration, Eastern Illinois University Middle School Endorsement, McKendree University M.A.E.D., Teacher Leadership, Greenville College. Previous Teaching Assignments: 7th grade Science, Wesclin Jr. High, 5th grade Highland Elementary Community Service: Relay for Life, Highland Hope Praise Band Mrs. Karen Nave grew up on a dairy farm near Trenton. This upbringing led to a love of science and the outdoors. She and her husband have two children, Jessica, and Troy.  Mrs. Nave’s free time is spent at soccer games, with her horses, and singing with the contemporary praise band at her church.

Mrs. Karen Nave
Recycling coordinator

Bria Richter was raised in Marine, IL.  She earned money for college while

volunteering in the AmeriCorps program and attended SIUE to earn a BA in

Anthropology/Biology.  She later attended McKendree and earned an MA in Special

Education in 2010.  She is the mother of four children and the wife of a dairy farmer

in Clinton County.  Her three teenagers are active in soccer, golf, tennis, basketball

and chorus, which keeps her very busy if she isn't teaching.  Mrs. Richter loves the

outdoors and spends most of her free time doing something related to horticulture

and the natural world. She taught at the High School level for four years in Hillsboro,

IL before acquiring a position with HMS.

Mrs. Bria Richter
Special Education

Mrs. Courtney Taylor joins the Highland Middle School faculty as the new 6thgrade Social Studies teacher. She comes to HMS with 4 years junior high teaching experience from Breese Elementary District 12. In 2010, Mrs. Taylor graduated from McKendree University with a Bachelors of Science in Education, and in 2015 she graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Master of Science in Education. Mrs. Taylor also brings with her, experience as an Instructional Designer and Technology Specialist from Greenville College and McKendree University. When not teaching, she enjoys traveling with her husband, spending time with her two dogs, reading, and working with technology. She is excited to bring her passion for history and love of teaching to Highland Middle School.

Mrs. Courtney Taylor
Social Studies