Mr. Michael Kish
Born in Belleville IL, Mr. Michael Kish began his life-long walk with the Catholic Faith at Immaculate Conception Parish as a student – graduating in 1963. Mike pursued his calling at St. Henry Prep Seminary in Belleville IL where he graduated in 1967.
During 1968, Mike conscientiously followed his calling to the Church and enrolled at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at Lewis University in Lockport IL. During that year, God’s plan for Mike changed and he enrolled at SIU Edwardsville where he graduated in 1971 with a BS in History with a minor in Education and English. With a love of music as a backdrop, Mike began his teaching career where his journey with Catholic education began – ICS in Columbia.
The highlight of 1971, and of Mike’s last 39 years, was the marriage of Mr. Michael Kish and Ms. Jeanne Jablonski. This young couple became a family and together with daughters Amy, Andrea, and Kristi, this Kish family would become synonymous with Immaculate Conception parish and school. By 1975 Mike would become Principal of ICS, a role he has maintained every since. Along the way, Mike did not sit idle. One could say that the Holy Spirit and the ICS community worked together to inspire Mike to fulfill his life’s mission. Mike completed his formal education with a MS in Educational Administration from SIU Edwardsville in 1980.
In the years that followed, Mike’s leadership generated much acclaim for the academic excellence at ICS which led to several distinguished awards such as the 1993 “Pioneering Partners Award” and the “Catholic Teacher Magazine’s 25 Most Innovative Catholic Schools” to name a few. Perhaps Mike’s greatest contributions to ICS have been done with a guitar in his hands. Whether leading songs at an All School Mass or proudly entertaining students at the annual Literacy Night, Mike continually reminds all families at ICS about the importance of Mission, Community, and Service. Because of Mike and the wonderful faculty that surround him, every student attending ICS graduates with a strong education, a balanced sense of self, and an awareness that Serving others is life’s most rewarding achievement.
Ms. Beverly Meyer-Epplin
I am currently the ICS Secretary and am in my 14th year. I grew up in Columbia, IL and my husband, Doug and I both attended Immaculate Conception School and then Gibault High School. I then received my Associates Degree from Southwestern Illinois College.
When I started my own family, I knew I wanted my children to be part of the ICS Family. My greatest accomplishment is my four boys (which takes most of my free time). Zac is currently an 8th grader and will attend Gibault next year. Lucas is in 5th grade, and I have identical twin boys that are in kindergarten.
Mr. Bill Riley
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA., and have relatives back there to this day. I attended St. Irenaeus Grade School in Park Forest, IL; Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, IL; and Bradley University in Peoria, IL, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. I eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Montana while stationed at Malmstrom AFB, and finally picked my Education degree with a History Major from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. I have completed all of the basic coursework for a Master’s in Instructional Technology, but have frankly lost all desire to accomplish the projects needed to earn the degree. I’d rather spend my time using what I had learned to revise lessons.
My state certification is in US History, World History, Economics, Geography, Civics/Political Science, and Basic Business.
I have received the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, the Edward Jones Teacher of the Month Award, the VFW Teaching Award for Illinois in 2006, and a Teacher Who Inspires Award in 2005 from the Distinguished Citizens Society International of Chicago, IL. This last one meant the most – I have received several nominations from former students.
I don’t display awards – if I am a good teacher, I don’t need to display them; if I am not, all the awards in the world would not hide that shortcoming.
I have taught for 11 years, all at ICS. I enjoy the camaraderie of the faculty, the freedom to teach as I feel I should within the bounds of what I am required to cover, the dedication and support of the parents, and the willingness of so many students to learn. In short, they pay me to do this – what could be finer?
I am an 8th Grade homeroom teacher, which is great because I don’t have to figure out oldest student only to receive handouts! I teach Ancient Civilizations to the 6th Grade, and US History to 7th and 8th Grade. I also have an Accelerated Reading class for 8th Grade.
I am also responsible for discipline within the junior high as Dean of Students, and coach the ICS Track team in the Spring.
My most strenuous hobby is training as a racewalker for Senior Olympic competitions. I also enjoy growing potatoes and vegetables in the summer, and enjoy observing insects, especially ants – that hobby has been with me since childhood. I am also an avid reader, mostly non-fiction.