Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Tonya Kates


I am Mrs. Kates (cats) and I am excited to be your child's teacher. I would like to share a little bit about myself. I was born in Decatur, Il. and I was raised by my father and step mother who loved me dearly. I am next to the youngest child in our family. I have one sister and four brothers. I was happily married to my husband for 19 years before he was called home in 2017. Together we have two beautiful daughters who are very loved and are the joy of my life. I am excited to say that my oldest daughter will be graduating Richland Community College in May of 2021, as well as getting married in June of 2021. My youngest daughter is a senior in high school and will be graduating in May of 2021 as well. This is a great blessing to look forward to for my family. 

I have a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education with an Letter of Approval in Special Education from Millikin University. I have been in the education field for 17 years at Decatur Public Schools. I have ten years of experience as a teaching assistant for special education and this is my seventh year as an Early Childhood Montessori educator (Pre-K-K). My love for children and teaching Montessori is my true passion. I believe that all children can learn and will reach their highest potential. I look forward to watching each and every child flourish and bloom into a beautiful flower. “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower. Alexander Den Heijer. My goal is for children to become independent learners and successful workers within thier environment. "The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’ Maria Montessori. I can't wait for the day when we will all be untied in our beautiful new building and learning together. 


Mrs. Kates


Phone: 217-362-3370