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Illinois Extension welcomes experienced 4-H educator to Springfield office

Michelle Norberto-Whipple

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension introduced Michelle Norberto-Whipple as the 4-H educator serving the Springfield metro area earlier this year.

“We are very excited to welcome Norberto-Whipple to Extension. She brings with her over 20 years of classroom experience developing and delivering impactful programming that not only educates youth but builds community,” said Illinois Extension County Director Terri Casey. “Adding Michelle’s expertise to our team will greatly expand Extension’s outreach to youth in the Springfield area.”

Norberto-Whipple, an accomplished and dedicated educator, possesses over 20 years of experience in teaching diverse populations at the elementary level and in higher education. Throughout her career, she has exemplified a commitment to building community in the classroom for culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse learners and community engagement.

A significant part of Norberto-Whipple's expertise lies in developing curricula that enhance, empower, and nurture learners' abilities, not only addressing individual needs but also contributing to creating a sense of belonging through community-building. Furthermore, this approach narrows academic gaps by developing children into reflective thinkers and problem-solvers while positively impacting the broader community.

“My enthusiasm for this role is deeply rooted in my passion for education and youth development,” said Norberto-Whipple. “Being part of an organization that values the holistic development of young individuals and actively contributes to building a better community is truly fulfilling. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact and create lasting relationships that extend beyond the classroom.”

Norberto-Whipple earned a Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in gifted studies from the University of Denver. She received a Master of Arts in teaching from Trinity Washington University and holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and business administration from Howard University.

Norberto-Whipple can be reached by calling 217-782-4617 or via email at She is based in the Sangamon Extension Office at 700 S. Airport Dr. in Springfield. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but is closed between noon and 1 p.m. More information about local Illinois Extension activities can be found at

WRITER: Amy Zepp, 4-H program coordinator, Sangamon County,

ABOUT ILLINOIS 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.