Amy Robson Schwiderski ’91
Majored in elementary education
Instructor of Education, Illinois College
When Amy Schwiderski walked on the campus at Illinois College for the first time as a student, she knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“Little did I know, a world I had never been exposed to would come to life. I was introduced to topics in religion and literature that I had never considered before. I was asked to question concepts and ideas about life that I believed I had all figured out."
The elementary education major graduated from Illinois College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and credits James Davis, emeritus professor of history and geography, with having a direct impact on her career choice to become a teacher.
In 1993 Schwiderski took her first teaching job close to home at Washington Elementary School in Jacksonville. She taught sixth grade at Washington and collaborated with the behavior disorder classroom teacher on inclusion until 2006 when she returned to her alma mater as instructor in education. Schwiderski is also an intern advisor assisting secondary block students at Lafayette Center in Jacksonville.
In 2007 Amy received a Master of Science in education degree in multidisciplinary education at Western Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in Saint Louis University’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program and anticipates completing her degree this year. Over her career, Schwiderski has been instrumental in securing grants from the Department of Education and the Walton Family Foundation, developing curriculum for NCAA Title IX teaching and college student diversity training. She plays an active role in numerous community activities and, as a member of the Illinois College Department of Education, has served on a number of committees for faculty searches, capstone projects, student life and the faculty-athletics coalition.
Schwiderski is the founder of 8 Points Charter School, the first of its kind in Jacksonville. The school opened in the fall of 2011 and offers students a constructivist, hands-on approach to learning in a setting with low student-to-teacher ratios, innovative teaching methods, and support for students and their families.