Community Pulse: It’s back to school time

Jeff Lind

September usually means we’re back to school, reestablishing routines, watching football, and awaiting the arrival of crisp autumn air. With all the academic and social activities that take place, I’m also reminded of the pivotal role local schools have in their communities. As a former teacher and husband to a current one, I know how hard teachers, administrators, and support staff work to provide the best education for their students. At home, parents make great sacrifices to ensure their children’s success in school and life after their formal education. Now in a local government role, I see firsthand the impacts a high-quality education system has on a community’s quality of life and economic vitality. Setting ourselves up for a promising future means investing in our kids now. So, beginning at a young age, students need strong role models, who challenge them intellectually but also emphasize proper civic and social responsibilities. By the time students leave high school and begin entering the workforce, they must be equipped with the necessary academic, technical, and increasingly sought after “soft” skills. For its part, the Village of Minooka continues to build solid partnerships with local schools, particularly in the area of safety. Starting during the 2022-2023 school year, the Minooka Police Department has a school resource officer in both the Minooka Community High School Central Campus building and Minooka Junior High School.

We are fortunate here in Minooka to have such accomplished schools, spanning elementary, secondary, and higher education. Please see the latest from our local school districts and community college.

Minooka CCSD 201

Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Kris Monn, Minooka CCSD 201 has received several awards in recent years, including the 2019 Gold Circle of Quality award for the Minooka Primary Center, the Illinois State Board of Education’s Community Partnership Program award, the Illinois State Board of Education’s highest level of Financial Recognition for five straight years, and numerous student awards for athletics, music, and academics.

Minooka CCSD 201′s community involvement includes programs, such as Parent Teacher Organizations, the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee, and the Allies for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (AIDE) Committee. Additionally, the district frequently hosts community resource fairs, organizes multiple charitable fundraisers each year, and partners with the Minooka Lions Club and Minooka/Channahon Rotary Club to provide support for local families. Lastly, Minooka CCSD 201 puts great effort into connecting its families to other community resources. For a full list of partner agencies and assistance programs, please visit the Community Resources page at

Minooka Community High School District 111

This past August U.S. News & World Report recognized Minooka Community High School in its 2023-2024 Best High Schools rankings. MCHS ranked 204th out of 664 in the state of Illinois and 169th out of 377 in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Best High Schools rankings offer a clear and impartial look into the nation’s top public schools with a specific focus on proficiency in basic skills and college readiness. Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiffbauer credits MCHS’ strong academic curriculum along with the hard work and dedication of faculty and staff. To read the full U.S. News article, visit and search “best high schools rankings.” For further information on the district and its curriculum, please visit

MCHS would also like to invite you to its Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. On Friday December 1, 2023, the Minooka Community High School District #111 Foundation will host an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at 176 West Banquet Hall in Joliet. Tickets come with a buffet dinner, online auction, ugly sweater contest, raffle prizes, and entertainment, including a performance by the country band Whiskeyfist. Tickets will be available soon at

Joliet Junior College

The country’s very first community college is certainly in good hands with second-year President Dr. Clyne Namuo. Joliet Junior College does a fantastic job of preparing its students to enter the workforce by offering a number of career pathways, including award-winning programs in the culinary arts and skilled trades, at an affordable cost. JJC plays a very large role as an anchor institution for the area and a driving force behind Will and Grundy Counties’ strong and consistent economic growth.

Earlier this year Joliet Junior College began its “Westward Expansion” into Grundy County. Grundy Workforce Services, another important JJC initiative, takes pride in serving the greater Grundy County area. It provides paid training for many high demand occupations, resume help, free workshops, and use of its resource room. Please visit their website at and complete the online submission to see if you qualify for a grant. JJC also offers a variety of classes out of the Morris Education Center. Be sure to look for the Morris location, MEC, when enrolling.