Past Educator Honorees
The Zeolite Scholarship Foundation also honors educators who taught at Mather High School in the early 1960's. These are those people.
Bob Kapolnek completed his high school education at St. Benedict High in Chicago and received his BS in the Humanities from Loyola University in 1959. The same year he married
Bob and Jacqueline Kapolnek
his Jacqueline and began his teaching career at Von Steuben High School where he taught a variety of English classes.
In 1961 he was assigned to Mather High where he taught social studies for five years. While at the school he organized annual student Spring tours of Washington, D.C.
Then in 1966 he transitioned his career from teaching to bank marketing, a profession he pursued until his retirement in 2005. Over those years he served as marketing director at North West Federal Savings, Talman Home Savings, Northwestern Savings, and MidAmerica Bank. He also taught at the Savings and Loan Institute, the educational arm of the industry.
Bob and Jacqueline currently call Oswego home and spend much of their time traveling to visit their seven children and thirteen grandchildren. He continues to volunteer his time as a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener in Kendall County. An inveterate puzzle/game addict, Bob also spends some of his time doing sudoku, crossword, and jigsaw puzzles and challenging his offspring to games on his Wii video system.
Burl Covan grew up in Blue Island (IL), having attended elementary school and Blue Island Community High School (now Eisenhower) there. He then attended the University of Illinois--two years at the Navy Pier extension, then three years
at Champaign-Urbana--BS 1953, AM 1954. He completed
additional studies at Northwestern University, Chicago State University and Northeastern Illinois University.
In 1955 he began full-time teaching with the Chicago Public Schools at Englewood High School. After three semesters he transferred to Von Steuben High School and continued there for four years. In 1960 he transferred to Mather High School, where he taught and counseled for over thirty years. At Mather he served as a guidance counselor after teaching English for several years. Among other functions, he served as senior class sponsor periodically and as chairman of the Guidance Department.
He retired in September, 1990, and pursued a number of activities--active member of the "Saints," volunteers for the performing arts; attendance at twenty-eight Elderhostels (to date); regular participation in an exercise program at the Galter Life Center. He enjoys get-togethers with family and friends, plays, movies, reading and working with the computer.
Hy Speck creates those fiendishly clever trivia contests with an offbeat sense of humor for the Docent News. He has contributed many other DN articles - even including a review of restrooms.
Hy Speck and his grandson
A native Chicagoan, Hy began his love affair with the city at the age of 10. He remembers taking three-cent trolley rides to attend movies in downtown Chicago. Later, summer jobs let him explore the Loop during his lunch break.
Drafted during the Korean War, Hy arrived in Korea almost to the day the war ended. He delights in telling his four grandchildren that the enemy quit when they heard he was coming.
Hy's formal education includes an A.A. degree from Herzl College; B.S. commerce and accounting, Roosevelt Univ.; and M.Ed., administration, Loyola Univ. A grant from the National Sciences Foundation enabled him to take advanced data-processing courses at the Univ. of California.
After a stint as a substitute teacher, Hy taught at Mather High School in Chicago. He then served in administration at the Chicago Board of Education. In 1965, he was appointed chairman of the data-processing department at Harold Washington College. In 1970, he wrote, taught and produced the WTTW college course, "Introduction to Data Processing." The show was broadcast around the country and to the U.S. armed forces overseas. The course enabled him to travel to Europe to visit his armed forces students and to Statesville, Joliet, and Dwight, Ill. - to visit students in prison.
The Historic, Modern, Millennium Park and River Cruise tours are Hy's forte. Two tours are especially memorable. One was a reunion, on the boat, with students from his Mather High School Class of 1964. The other was a Millennium Park tour for blind residents of Friedman Place. In preparation, Hy made models of Cloud Gate and the Crown fountains for the tourees to feel. He also brought jellybeans to feel and eat. And tourees were able to touch the actual "bean."
Hy's interest in architecture goes beyond CAF tours. He has collected pieces of the Trump Tower, Hard Rock Hotel, AON Center, Lincoln/Mather Tower and the London Guarantee Building. For the past two years, he has enjoyed presenting PowerPoint lectures on "Millennium Park" and "Chicago, from the River" at retirement homes and senior centers.
This "Renaissance man" played basketball in high school, set a free-throw record (23 out of 25) at Herzl College, ran in the first Chicago Marathon, and plays tennis weekly. He also walks daily in the Chicago Botanic Garden. So if you're in the gardens, please say Hy!
Patricia Daley Martino
I left Mather High School in 1964 and worked for a real estate research company for one year. I was married in 1966 and taught at Kennedy High School until 1967 when my first child, Courtney was born. Two additional children, Peter and Patrick were born in 1968 and 1969. At this time I was involved
Patricia Daley Martino and Peter Martino
in community activities including the Brennemann School Council, in the Hazel/Huchinson/Junior Terrace area.
I was divorced in 1972 and moved to the home next door to my parents in Bridgeport. I taught at Tilden Tech High School. A few years later I opened a flower business in the Chicago Hilton & Towers and had an interesting foray into the retail business. I then returned to academia as the Director of Development for St. Xavier University in Chicago, my alma mater. I then became assistant to the University's President for Special Projects, one of which involved opening an MBA program in Milan, Italy.
I remarried in 1988 and moved to Hinsdale, IL. I retired in 1998. Today, my life is filled with eight grandchildren, 3 children and my husband, Peter Martino. I have been involved in local tutoring and lately I have become a whiz at Mah Jong. I look forward to seeing all of you in May.
Peter Miscinski attended Austin High School, the University of Illinois Chicago Campus and graduated from the University of Chicago--MA 1960. He began
his teaching career at Mather High School in October 1960 where he taught social studies for 34 years. He served as Student Council and Key Club advisor and managed the school store until June 1994.
For 35 years he worked as a member of the staff of the George M. Eisenberg--Old Town Chicago Boys and Girls Club. There he tutored, mentored college bound students, organized summer softball tournaments and published an in-house newspaper.
In 1997, he joined the staff of Gordon Technical High School working as the book store manager. He left Gordon Tech in June 2004. He now sends his free time playing with his 6 grandchildren, watching the Cubs, listening to the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and viewing the latest movies.
Kay Mulvey grew up in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago's West Side and graduated from Providence High School in Garfield Park. She received her BA in Spanish at Rosary College (Dominican University), MA in Spanish from Loyola University, and MA in Counseling from Roosevelt University. She enjoyed taking additional courses at the University of Wisconsin, Rutgers University
Kay Mulvey and Friend
(National Defense Education Act Institute for Foreign Language), Georgetown University (in Guadalajara, Mexico), and the University of Illinois.
Kay is a third generation Chicago Public School (CPS) teacher. She taught three years in elementary school and was assigned to Mather in 1961. Thus began a wonderful career that ended in 1998. She taught Spanish until 1977 when she became a counselor. Interspersed were other interesting opportunities at Mather. These included teaching Early World History, sponsoring at different times the Future Nurses of America, the National Honor Society, and traveling to Midway Airport for a semester to teach "Air Transportation Career Development." She also taught Spanish in evening school at Kelly and Schurz High Schools and worked in various CPS summer programs.
In retirement Kay became caregiver to her mother and aunt. She is currently living with her sister and four kitties in Park Ridge. There was never a book sale Kay didn't love and she is trying to catch up on a lot of reading! Kay also enjoys walking, biking, libraries, exploring neighborhoods, and get-togethers with family and friends.
Dawn McKee Wyman
I have nothing but fond memories of teaching at Mather 1959-1970. You were smart (some of you) funny, original and interesting. So whether I was teaching AP or Remedial (imagine that today), it was fun and enjoyable.
I married Austin Wyman, Jr. and we had 4 children: Jim, Beth, Jenny and John. With parental names like Dawn and Austin, we went for the old fashion Anglo names. I was a stay at home Mom until all the kids were in school, thought about going back to Mather, but was warned that all had changed - negatively.
Dawn McKee Wyman
One of my husbands clients was a major real estate firm, and they convinced me that the flex time was a perfect fit for my life style. So I tried it, I liked it, and I'm still selling.
Since my husband was active with the Adventurer's Club and the Audubon Society, we did a lot of travel. I never did tell our Audubon friends that Austin hunted - including game birds. But it was participation in Community activities that was most fulfilling. I was born and raised in Edgewater where I still live, and always felt there wasn't a more interesting place to live. Parochial, but true. I convinced my Glencoe born and raised husband to raise our family in an urban, realistic, crazy, diversified community. Of all our contributions, probably the most important was the founding of the Commuity Bank of Edgewater in the early 70's. At the time, our area was redlined, which meant it was almost impossible to get a mortgage. We located the bank in the part of Edgewater known as Andersonville which was then economically questionable. The bank stimulated a positive response - if these guys were willing to put money here, and willing to make loans, merchants were willing to stay, and new business was willing to locate. Andersonville now is renowned for its restaurants and boutiques, and I like to think we helped get it there. (We sold the bank and it is now a US Bank).
So - life is good. All my children married city lovers (from Philadelphia, Detroit, New York) and live in Chicago, so I get to see my 4 grandchildren frequently. (Last one - 8 months old - was named McKee John Wyman). I've renewed old friendships, traveled (not as much fun as a widow), kept up my interest in politics and history, and, yes, I'm still a Goldwater Conservative.