Meet Gordon McKavanagh – IVS Social Studies Teacher

Mr. McKavanagh teaches Civics and U.S. History for IVS.

I originally grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago, named Deerfield, Illinois. Growing up I became accustomed to trips downstate to southern Illinois to visit my mother’s side in the town of Olney. So, I am familiar with urban and rural settings within the state.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy following professional sports including everything and all things Chicago. I am a die-hard Cubs fan and will continue to keep up hope until the eventual World Series. I am an avid movie-watcher especially of comedy, action, and a few dramas.

I believe every student has the potential to learn in a safe, respectful, and quality environment. As a social sciences teacher, I work every single day to instill in students the necessary skills and intellect to function as a positive contributing member in the global society of today.

Favorite Quote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Meet Ron Chernobrov – IVS History Teacher

I joined the faculty at IVS fairly recently, starting in 2013, but have also been teaching for eight years at Beardstown High School in central Illinois.  I live in a tiny little town out here in the cornfields, where my town might just have less people than your high school (we have roughly 3,000 residents). In addition to my high school classes, I’ve also taught for the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, and Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. Before I started teaching, I obtained my bachelors degree in History and Secondary Education from Knox College, and then completed my Masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Western Illinois University. Since then, I’ve taken a wide array of other graduate level courses in my spare time both to enhance my teaching, and simply because I think learning new things is exciting (corny, I know… but I’m a happy nerd).

I absolutely love teaching, and have taught almost every subject that could be offered by a social studies department, including World History, American History, American Government, Geography, AP European History, AP United States History, and AP World History. I also teach computer classes for the first time this year, and recently earned my endorsement an ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language) teacher.

Outside the classroom, my life isn’t terribly exciting (teaching IS my excitement), but I enjoy computers, video games, television, art, and playing with the newest member of my household, Casey, who is a Labrador retriever puppy with far too much energy for his own good. He’s totally adorable, unless you happen to be a pair of shoes… then he’s terrifying.

Mr. Chernobrov teaches in the IVS Social Studies Department

Meet Cassandra Bilyeu IVS Social Studies Teacher

Mrs. Bilyeu teaches History and Civics for IVS
Mrs. Bilyeu teaches History and Civics for IVS

Cassandra Bilyeu is a member of the Social Studies Department. She has worked for the Minnesota Historical Society at the Oliver Kelley Farm as an historical interpreter. By working there, she did everything at late 1800’s person would do so she is ready for the zombie apocalypse; she can:

  •  make pickles, sauerkraut*
  • capture wild yeast from the air for making bread
  • make ketchups and relishes for masking the taste of old, rancid meat
  • cook on a wood-burning stove
  •  plant, cultivate, and save seeds
  • slaughter animals
  • make salt pork
  • sew, crochet, knit
  • make soap
  • clean clothes with a washboard

Instrument: Clarinet

Major Procrastination: Reddit

Current Project: felt stockings for family members

Current Obsession: Marvel universe

Loves: Discussions and arguments, designing curriculum

Dislikes: Being wrong, but will admit it openly

Learning: Working on a masters in Instructional Design & Technology from Western Illinois University

Travels: Going to France with students summer 2016

Family: Davis (4), Adelaide (1), husband Jordan

Besides working for Illinois Virtual School, Cassandra is also a French teacher at Pekin Community High School in Pekin, IL. She teaches first through fourth year level students. She loves the challenge of finding authentic resources to help students talk and write about their world, find out new information about the francophone culture, and help students become life-long learners.

She was able to study abroad in college at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France at L’institut d’études Françaises pour étrangers

(IEFE). She was the only American in her classes of other non-native French speakers and was able to meet people from China, Japan, Hungary, Sweden, Spain, Columbia, Tunisia and Morrocco. “It was incredible to have discussions in another language and learn about each other’s cultures. I also got to help them understand the real America better than what they’ve seen in TV and movies,” she stated.


Together with her family.
Together with her family.

You can follow her on twitter @cassandrabilyeu or #IVSAmerHist for tweets about what happened on this day in history, interesting historical pictures, and statistics relating to historical data. You can follow #IVSCivics for tweets relating to all things civics, including data, political questions, and historical parallels to current events.