Eight years ago, we lost someone that was simply incredible. Here are some great, virtual gifts to bring a Judy Baar Topinka smile to all your faces and to provide inspiration to teachers all over who teach civics!
This year, the Judy Baar Topinka Charitable Foundation is proud to show you the video taken in 2004 with Bob Sirott and his wife Mariann Murciano. It will make you laugh! The accordion recital is incredible!
Remodeling at the Illinois State Capitol
In addition, we are proud to present to you a copy of a guide that was produced years ago on the remodeling done at the Illinois State Capitol. This is a must for teachers all over Illinois and beyond for their students. Judy served two terms as a state representative and then two terms as a state senator. She loved both chambers in the capitol as they were full of stories, symbols, and history.
Because of her love for the Illinois state capitol, Judy would take her son, Joseph, around the county and the world visiting state capitols and world seats of government. The visits were part of a never ending civics lesson for Judy and her son.
B.J. Ogata | Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois
Finally, we want to highlight the efforts of B.J. Ogata who is a teacher at Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois. B.J. has been teaching for twenty-two years at Staunton High School. He has coached several sports throughout this time at Staunton High School, including being the head track and field coach. B.J. has also taught a variety of social studies classes, mostly at the high school level but some at the junior high level as well. Currently, he is teaching World History, Geography, U.S. Government, and a dual-credit Political Science class through Lewis and Clark Community College.
B.J. is currently using the book, Just Judy, A Citizen and Leader for Illinois, for his high school U.S Government course. This one semester course fulfills the State of Illinois Civics requirement, as well as the requirements to cover the U.S. Flag, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Illinois State Constitution. B.J. uses Just Judy along with a handout in order to inspire his students to consider Judy’s life and Illinois civics. With B.J. permission, we are proud to present you with a copy of his handout that you can download. We hope that teachers around Illinois and beyond use B.J. example going forward.
The foundation is always willing to donate copies of Just Judy to interested teachers. Judy’s story is a positive story in an age of negatives that can inspire young people to do great things for their communities in the future. Judy Baar Topinka was a model for all of us demonstrating that anyone with passion, drive, and hard work can triumph in the face of great odds.
Just like Judy, you can take on the establishment and make changes which are good. Like Judy, you may not always win, but you should never give up. During this holiday season, Judy would often wish you a pleasant and loving season: “FA LA LA LA LA LA!” (This is actually a Judy quote.)