4 | February 16, 2017 | The Lockport Legend news lockportlegend.com Mentoring teams honored for hard work, dedication Submitted by Homer 33C Hard work and dedication were honored recently as Homer School District 33C hosted a mid-year celebration for its mentoring teams. Teachers gathered in the Multi-Purpose Room at Hadley Middle School on Jan. 31 to reflect on their accomplishments and share examples of their innovative work. When the district hires a new teacher or staff member, the new employee is immediately teamed up with a mentor who offers guidance, support and assistance throughout the school year and beyond. The mentoring teams meet weekly, discussing everything from goal setting and lesson planning to classroom management and communicating with staff, students and families. The mentoring teams meet regularly for two years, but often continue to collaborate on a less frequent basis as their careers progress and challenges arise. Additional support is offered at each school through head mentors, who serve as the backbone to the district’s mentoring program. The district’s head mentors are: Kim Littmann at Homer Junior High; Wendy Pangrazio at Hadley School; Sandy Parus at Butler School; Daniel Gilbert at Goodings Grove School; Chrissy Murphy at Schilling School; and Ellen Buckley at Young School. RIGHT: Homer 33C teachers discuss the accomplishments of the mentoring program Jan. 31 at Hadley Middle School. Photo submitted AFJROTC From Page 3 year’s AFJROTC National Drill Competition. “I have to congratulate my friend Edgar Cana from Lockport,” Senese said. “I’m surprised he didn’t place higher. He did absolutely phenomenal.” In other events, Lockport won the unarmed infantry drill regulation and inspection. The Porters took second in color guard. The armed duet of seniors Noah Frandsen and Antonio Lange, and the unarmed duet of Patrick Mc- Mahon and Lange were both second. “This was [Frandsen and Lange’s] first competition of the season because they had been helping freshmen,” Brown said. “They had a few rusty moves, but I have no doubt they’ll be ready for conference.” Lockport placed third in armed infantry drill regulation and unarmed exhibition and did not compete in armed exhibition. This was the final tune-up before the SWSC championship meet in a season that has been a learning process for both the instructors and the teams. There were originally eight SWSC teams, but that number dropped from six last year to four this season. The teams now have only two regular-season conference invites instead of four. The championship meet had included points earned during the conference season, but this year’s champion will be decided by who is the best at the one-day event. The SWSC championship meet will be Feb. 25 at Bolingbrook. “It’s a totally different ballgame,” Brown said. “You used to come to each The teams fill the gym for the awards ceremony after completing the competition. Adam Jomant/22nd Century Media school, accumulate points to make a difference. Now, it’s getting your teams experience and comfortable with routines to be razor sharp for that one day.” “We treat these meets as competitive practices for the conference championship,” said retired Col. George Ramey, Central’s AFJROTC instructor. “Through all of these events, the [AF] JROTC drills develop unity, teamwork and discipline.” The varsity teams compete in nine events: unarmed infantry drill regulation, armed infantry drill regulation, unarmed exhibition, armed exhibition, color guard, inspection, unarmed duet, armed solo and armed duet. In armed events, competitors use approved performance weapons — mainly rifles. In infantry drill regulation events, competitors all perform the same specific routine, while teams in exhibitions get to create their own routines. The SWSC decided not to host armed inspection and unarmed color guard this year. It did add unarmed duet after Joliet Central and Joliet West left the conference, because the four remaining teams are all AFJROTC programs. “We’re doing that because since we’re all Air Force and want to get to [AFJROTC] Nationals, and we don’t want to have a separate set of SWSC rules and sequences,” Ramey said. Having all AFJROTC teams streamlines the scoring because each service branch drills, marches and executes commands differently. “It’s all about teamwork, precision and concentration,” said Sgt. Dale Steen, East’s AFJROTC instructor.
lockportlegend.com News the Lockport Legend | February 16, 2017 | 5 103-year-old Lockport resident remembered Involvement in community spanned 65 years Erin Redmond, Assistant Editor Marie Cook always wanted to know what would happen next. Staying curious, it seems, was her elixir for longevity. Cook Her curiosity led her down several different and diverse paths. Having spent 103 years on this earth, she had plenty of time to explore and leave her mark on each one. Her impact was so great, in fact, that it helped shape the fabric of both Lockport and Homer Glen. The Lockport legend died Jan. 22 at the Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet. Leaving home Cook was born on Jan. 18, 1914 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. When she was just 16 years old, Cook — who was known as Marie Irwin then — left her family behind and headed west to attend College of St. Francis in Joliet, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin in 1935. It was during her time at the college that her ties to Lockport and Homer Glen began, as she met her future husband, Farrell Cook, the stepson of the prominent Lockport businessman William P. Voltz. Marie and Farrell took over the family business, working hand-in-hand operating Voltz News Agency. This was the first of five different businesses Marie would own over a 65-year span. “Those were the days when people came to town... everybody went to Voltz News Agency,” said Audrey Manley, one of Marie’s closest friends. “If you needed a card for anything, you went to Voltz News Agency. It was a beehive of activity. “Every kid in Lockport ... they all worked for Marie as one of her newsboys. Every man in Lockport in their 60s or 70s was a newsboy for Marie Cook.” Passion for Fashion With Marie on board, it didn’t take long for her to influence the agency’s operations. The lifelong fashionista added jewelry and purses to the shop, a precursor to what her future would hold. The couple also helped run the Voltz Hotel at 10th and State Street as well as the Voltz Gift Shop before Marie began to move out of her inlaws’ shadow and embrace her entrepreneurial side. She pursued her passion for fashion and opened Cookie’s Clothing on State Street in the early 1960s. Years later, the couple relocated the boutique into Lockport’s historic district and renamed it Worldly Things. Farrell continued to run the news agency out of an office in the back, allowing them to work sideby-side each day. She attended trade shows at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, of which she was a Charter Member, and around the country in Dallas and New York. She used her eye for fashion to bring unique styles to her boutique, which often turned heads. “A lot times we’d go out and I’d wear something I bought [at Worldly Things] and I can’t tell you how many times people would stop us and say ‘where do you ladies shop?’ And we’d say ‘Worldly Things,’” Manley recalled fondly. Marie sold the boutique a few years after her husband’s death in 1985, which was around the same time she met Manley. The store changed hands four times and Marie worked for each of the new owners until she finally retired at age 91. Leaving her mark Marie’s curiosity and passion to help local business owners led her down a political path. She served on the Lockport Planning and Zoning Commission for 42 years and it was here she cemented her legacy in Lockport. “She was a mentor,” said Jay Ozbolt, who served on the commission alongside Marie during the mid-to-late 90s. “She guided us until we got a firm idea of what in the world was going on and what was expected of us. “She was very businessminded. She was the one who wanted to see downtown Lockport succeed with her efforts to help the business people be successful... She was very knowledgeable at what she did.” Her impact expanded beyond the borders of Lockport, too. Marie was on the commission when the boundaries of Homer Glen were established. She helped decide what parts of Homer Township would remain in Lockport and what would become incorporated into the village. And before developers could set up shop in Lockport, they had to go through Marie first. “She was very good with quizzing the developers when they came in,” Ozbolt said. “She asked a lot of pertinent questions that were very well taken and she was not afraid to put them on the spot and have them tell the planning commission exactly what they were doing and what they weren’t going to do.” Small, but mighty Manley described her late friend as a “very tiny lady,” who had an endless supply of energy. Even in late 90s, Marie enjoyed shopping, getting her hair and nails done and dining with friends. Manley said her outings with Marie would often wear her out, despite being 25 years younger than her. Manley said she and Marie’s friendship began on a somber note, commiserating over the death of her father and Marie’s husband, who died around the same time. But their 30-plus years together were filled with more good times than bad, Manley said, and she will never forget her quick-witted friend or her Irish sense of humor. “She had a quip for everything,” Manley said. “When we would go out, I would laugh — it was always a good time. My daughters, who are now in their 30s and 40s, I would take them with us and they loved going out with Marie.” Marie’s spirit of curiosity will live on through Manley. The 78-year-old said she was influenced by Marie to return to the classroom, where she spent her career. She is currently supervising six student teachers and is striving to stay on top of the ever-changing educational landscape. “I’m back because I love to learn. I can’t tell you how excited I was,” Manley said. “I learned so much already. There’s still things happening all the time and that’s how [Marie] was. There was new things happening and going on all the time, especially in politics and she said ‘I just want to hang around and see what’s going to happen.’ She wanted always to keep up things and see how this was going to turn out.” Aunt Marie Marie never had any children, yet she was a motherfigure to many. During World War II, she helped raise her friends’ children while their husbands answered the call of war. Dorothy Farnsworth, Marion Dorr and Kathryn Meyers — her three closest friends — had 13 children between them and Marie was instrumental in all of their upbringings. Though they had no blood connection, they affectionately referred to her as “Aunt Marie.” The children are all grown now with families of their own. They are scattered around the country, but several returned home to bid their final farewells to Marie during an intimate ceremony Feb. 10 at St. Dennis Church. “I love Aunt Marie as all of her 13 God Children [sic] would agree,” wrote Frankie Dorr on Marie’s obituary page. “One of the greatest ladies from the Greatest Generation ... She showed us all how to live ... Love,Laugh, [sic] and to be faithful to our hearts ... May she rest in peace!” Lockport Library gets artsy with upcoming events Staff Report The White Oak Library District’s Lockport branch will be tapping into resident’s artsy sides with its creative upcoming events. It will host a wand-making program for both children and teens at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The event is part of the library’s month-long The Great Read program, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter. The children’s portion for ages 7 and older will meet in Meeting Room B, while the teens — open to seventh graders and older — will be in Meeting Room A. Unlike the children, the teens will be using hot glue guns. Registration is strongly encouraged for both programs. On Tuesday, Feb. 21 and 28, The Artist Guild of Lockport founder Ed Smith will lead a hands-on series of cartooning classes for children and teens. These are the final two classes in his four-part series. A donation of $5 to TAGOL for supplies will be collected. The library will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Paint and Sip event from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7. Attendees will create their own St. Patrick’s Day acrylic painting while enjoying two glasses of wine. This event costs $15 and is open to those ages 21 and older. Registration and a photo ID is required. Registration fees are due by March 5. For information about these and other upcoming programs, visit www. whiteoaklibrary.org.