Elementary School

Arin Cox – Kindergarten – graduated from Central High School in Champaign and received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. She worked for five years as our 1st grade co-teacher with Mrs. Kirby and is now in her eleventh year as our Kindergarten teacher. She and her husband are the proud parents of two sons including a Countryside alumnus.



Stacy Kirby – 1st grade – began teaching at Countryside in 1993. She graduated from Centennial High School in Champaign and received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University. Mrs. Kirby minored in Reading and is a Reading Specialist. She has completed Gifted Levels I and II training and is a Certified Junior Great Books Leader. She and her husband are proud parents two Countryside alumni.



Amena Saleem – 2nd grade –has both a B.S. in Elementary Education from Milliken University and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Illinois. In addition to her teaching certificate, she holds an endorsement in English as a Second Language. Before teaching at Countryside, she student-taught at Stratton Elementary in Champaign. Ms. Saleem has also been a volunteer tutor at East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center and a volunteer Sunday School teacher at Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center. She has a daughter and a son attending Countryside School.


Nicole Heckman – 3rd grade – originally hails from Chicago. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Spanish Language from Knox College. In addition to her K-5 certification, she holds an endorsement in Middle School Spanish. Before coming to Countryside, she student-taught 2nd grade at Mable Woolsey Elementary in Knoxville, IL. Ms. Heckman was a student-athlete in college, playing volleyball for Knox, and she spent time studying in Catalonia, Spain. She also volunteers with Special Olympics and tutors special needs students with autism.


Marci Kyung – 4th grade – grew up in Champaign and attended the University of Illinois, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is now in her eighth year of teaching at Countryside School after student teaching kindergarten and 5th grade at two other local schools. Mrs. Kyung spent five years teaching 3rd grade at Countryside before moving to 4th grade.



Grace Woodcock - 5th grade – taught 2nd grade for five years in Charleston, Illinois before starting at Countryside. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in Elementary Education with middle school endorsements both math and language arts, and she received her Master's degree from Eastern Illinois University in Elementary Education. She has been working with elementary students since she was in junior high when she used to volunteer in her former 1st grade teacher's classroom.