Contact information listed for each teacher. Feel free to contact us by email or by phone through
The teachers for 6 Black have Team Planning Time on Wednesdays from 10:50-11:35. This is a great time to call or meet with the teachers as a group. Please contact the advisory teacher or office to arrange a meeting during this time if needed. 651-8800
Meet the Teachers
Mrs. Dena Geiger loves to design and build most anything, so teaching math is a natural fit. She and her husband, Jake, farm between Alhambra and Grantfork. Besides raising crops and cows, they have raised three daughters – Sadie, an Integrated Marketing Advisor with Nutrien Ag Solutions, Claire, an ag teacher and FFA advisor at Highland High School, and Olivia, a civil/project engineer with Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical. After leading the Grant Prairie 4-H Club for 20 years and serving on the Madison County Fair Board, she is an avid supporter of youth agriculture programs. Mrs. Geiger enjoys sewing, woodworking, gardening, and cooking, but most of all spending time with her first grandchild, Ava Rae.
Mrs. Dena Geiger Math Team 6B firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Karen Nave grew up on a dairy farm near Trenton. This upbringing led to a love of science and the outdoors. She has been teaching for the Highland School District since 2000. Mrs. Nave previously taught at Wesclin Junior High and the Triad School District. She and her husband, Bob, have two grown children. Jessica is a cardio nurse in Wichita, KS, and Troy is an engineer for Spire in St. Louis. Extra time is spent working on landscaping, doing zumba, and pet sitting for her "granddogs".
Mrs. Karen Nave Science Team 6B email@example.com
Mrs. Taylor is an avid traveler; during her time off she enjoys seeing the world. Her favorite destinations have been Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Croatia, and Hawaii. She enjoys learning about the culture and history of each place she visits and bringing that new information into the classroom. Mrs. Taylor loves spending her time with her husband Evan, her daughter Adelyn, and their two dogs (Milo and Lucy). Mrs. Taylor taught junior high for 4 years before coming to Highland Middle School. She has also worked at McKendree University and Greenville University in instructional design and technology. She is excited to bring her passion for history and technology to Highland Middle School.
Mrs. Emily Ham grew up and received her education in Edwardsville. She has spent the last four years teaching sixth grade ELA in Belleville. Mrs. Ham has a love for reading, specifically an obsession with the Harry Potter series. Most of her time is spent reading, but she can also be found socializing with her family, friends, and pets. Mrs. Ham enjoys traveling and collecting magnets from the places she has visited.
Education: BS in Business Administration from SIUE, MA in Teaching, with a LBS1 endorsement from Greenville College.
Ms. Ponce has worked for Highland Community Schools for 15 years as a substitute teacher, Program Assistant, and a Special Education Teacher at Alhambra Primary. She grew up in Highland and has three grown children Brenden, Mitchell, and Amanda. Ms. Ponce enjoys spending time with her kids and watching her daughter play college basketball at Maryville University. In her free time she likes making and canning salsa and jams.
Ms. Lana Ponce Special Education Team 6B firstname.lastname@example.org
B.A., Special Education Major, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2002 M.Ed., Elementary education, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2009. I began my teaching career at Highland Middle School in 2002. I have taught special education since 2003. My husband’s name is Chris and he works at Cooper B-Line in Troy. We have three children: Trent, Madelyn, and Brayden. Outside of school I enjoy exercising, shopping, reading, and spending time with my family.
Mrs. Amanda Holcmann Special Education Team 6B email@example.com
MA in Special Education with Emphasis on Multi-Sensory Instruction from University of Northern Colorado, MA in Sociology from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Certified Learning/Behavior Specialist in both Illinois and Colorado. I moved around the country for about 30 years after graduating from Triad High School many, many years ago. I am very happy to have moved back home to be near family and friends a few years ago and to have found my teaching home here at Highland Middle School. I have two grown daughters, Danica, is an Emergency Room Nurse at Children's Hospital in St Louis, and Hattie recently graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and was working as an assistant designer and fit model until the Coronavirus hit. She recently moved from LA to Marine, IL where she is living with me and safely waiting out this crazy time. When I'm not teaching at HMS, I tutor kids with dyslexia and lead professional development workshops for teachers in the area through the Regional Boards of Education. For fun I like to camp with my fiance, Buddy, and spend time with my family and friends.
Ms. Shelly King Learning/Behavior Specialist Team 6B firstname.lastname@example.org