Sunday, July 29, 2012
John Troy, Mokena District 159 board member since 2009 and current board president, resigned effective Monday, July 23. Troy plans to apply for the district's open business manager role. Vice President Patrick Markham has stepped up as president.
John Troy, President of the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education, resigned Monday, July 23. The resignation comes just two weeks after Troy voiced his interest in the district's vacant business manager position. “I am resigning my position on the Mokena Elementary School District Board of Education effective today [July 23]. Concurrent with my resignation I am submitting my application for the school district business manager position,” Troy's letter read. Meanwhile, vice president Patrick Markham assumed Troy's duties. Markham, who has served on the board since 2011, told Patch he assumed the president role on July 23. Later that day, he was also sworn in as Frankfort Township Collector. The Township reached out to Markham about …
Sunday, July 22, 2012
John Troy, current District 159 School Board President, would apply for the district's vacant business manager position. Troy told Patch the position would be an ideal fit for him, and he is ready to relinquish his role as president.
Following the unexpected resignation of District 159 Director of Business Operations Kirt Hendrick, current school board president John Troy has already openly expressed interest in the position. Although abrupt, the timing of Hendrick's resignation was "nearly perfect" for Troy, he said. A lawyer with an engineering degree from the University of Illinois and a master's in business administration, Troy is wrapping up certification as a chief school business official at Northern Illinois University. Troy added that he feels his schooling and experience within the district make him a prime candidate to fill the position, should the board see fit. “This is my career choice, it's what I've gone to school for,” Troy said. “If I could serve the …
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Staffing changes in D159 made headlines this week, with the resignation of the head of business operations and the rehiring of a familiar face in the music program.
As Mokena District 159 prepares to welcome back former music teacher Rebecca Rodey, the district will also see the departure of a relatively new face. Director of Business Operations Kirt Hendrick has resigned, effective at the end of July. Hendrick has been with the district just over a year. Rodey was previously with the district, from 2008–2011, and helped organize the district's music curriculum, which is still in use. Board members approved the hire at a special meeting July 11. Hendrick resigned at the same meeting, citing "personal and professional reasons" for the decision. For more, check out our coverage of Rodey's hiring and Hendrick's departure from earlier this week.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Former Mokena resident Tommy Connolly spent 28 years of his life in a drunken haze, but now several years sober, his acting and comedy career taking off, Connolly tries to help other through his book.
After 28 years of battling addiction, former Mokena resident Tommy Connolly has a fresh take on life—a sober one. At the age of 17, Connolly said he was a full-blown addict, and it only worsened through his adulthood. Then, one day at the age of 41, Connolly said he had a moment of clarity—and has been sober ever since. For more about Connolly, read our coverage from earlier this week.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Or you can call Aaliyah Brown state champ; Lincoln-Way East's Brown answers to both names nowadays.
Lincoln-Way East's Aaliyah Brown is going by a new name these days: Illinois Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Brown led Lincoln-Way East to a fourth-place finish in the Class 3A state track and field meet in May at Charleston. She won the 200-meter dash (24.18), placed second in the 100-meter dash (11.67) and also ran a leg on the Griffins' second-place finishing 4x100 relay team (47.66). She later placed second in the Adidas Grand Prix Dream 100 in New York. She was clocked in a blistering 11.44. The time ranked her fourth among all prep competitors nationwide in 2012. She was recognized by an ESPNHS panel based on three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and …
Sunday, June 17, 2012
One D159 music teacher resigned in May, and now the second has stepped down, leaving the district without any music teachers.
Jennifer Thomas, the remaining half of District 159's music teaching staff, recently announced her resignation. Following the resignation of former music program teacher Jessica Maffia in May, Thomas' departure leaves D159 without any teachers in the music department. Thomas and Maffia were responsible for all band, choir and music classes in the district, traveling between buildings throughout the day to complete their schedules. Superintendent Steve Stein said that Thomas' resignation was not a surprise, and that she is leaving to pursue a doctorate in music education. For more on the news and how Mokena parents have reacted, see our coverage from earlier in the week.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Yankees think L-W East grad and Frankfort resident Dietrich Enns has a bright future with the ball club—now he just has to decide if he'll join them, or finish off his college career.
Dietrich Enns, Lincoln-Way East graduate and Frankfort resident, has a big decision to make. The Lincoln-Way East High School grad was drafted by the New York Yankees in this week's Major League Baseball draft. Enns, a junior at Central Michigan University, was picked in the 19th round, 607th overall. A left-handed pitcher, Enns has become a versatile member of CMU's staff in his three years on the team, working out of the bullpen as a closer and finding his way into the starting rotation this season, according to Central Michigan Life. In his first start this season, he threw a complete game shutout and went on to post a 2-0 record as a starter with a 0.89 ERA. Overall for the season, Enns went 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA. Now the junior at …
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Patch sat down for a chat with Ted Golden, who stepped down from his role as chief of Mokena Fire Protection District. It's not too late to get to know more about him.
Ted Golden, who dedicated himself to the Mokena Fire Protection District for the last 32 years, retired Friday, June 1. Golden worked his way up the ranks, from code enforcement officer to the highest rank of chief, Golden now leaves behind a career—and his dream since the age of five. Mokena trustees recently recognized Golden for his years of service to the village. Read more about Golden and his reflections on retirement in this week's coverage.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
This week, Mokena Mayor Joe Werner shared his views on Tony's Villa Rosa Pizza and Great Lakes Bank lease dispute, why he didn't reach out to the bank and his future meeting with the bank's president.
Mokena Mayor Joe Werner purposely stayed out of the situation between Tony's Villa Rosa and Great Lakes Bank, he told Patch. Despite the best efforts of Tony's management and Village staff, including Trustee Don Labriola and Director of Community and Economic Development Alan Zordan, Great Lakes Bank and Tony's couldn't reach a lease agreement, forcing the pizza shop to close its doors in Mokena. Werner didn't pipe up, he said, because it wouldn't have helped. “I didn't only because I was aware of so many other people bludgeoning them,” Werner said. “I believed in my own mind, that if there's something that Great Lakes could have done differently, they would have.” Read more about why Werner didn't interject, and what readers had to say …
Sunday, May 20, 2012
D159 music teacherJessica Maffia tendered her resignation May 16, effective at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Maffia told Patch she is leaving the district after budget cuts increased her workload to the point of compromising her teaching style.
Jessica Maffia, a District 159 music teacher for the last nine years, handed over a letter of resignation May 16, effective at the end of the 2011–2012 school year. Citing an overload in work and increased administrative duties brought on by budget cuts, Maffia addressed district parents with concerns about the additional stressors and the effect on her work. “I still feel like I'm not giving the students what they deserve,” Maffia said. “That I don't have enough time in the day to prepare well enough for them, to give them quality rehearsal time. … I feel like, because of my limited time, I'm just barely teaching them how to kind of 'parrot' the music back to me, instead of actually learning about the music and the reasons it's written …