Author: Joseph Barr Topinka
Joseph Baar Topinka, a 1990 University ofIllinois graduate, recently published a biography about his late mother, Judy Baar Topinka, a journalist turned elected official who became the first woman elected state treasurer (1995-2007).
The "Just Judy" author believes the principles his mother lived by — good government, civility, ethics and a love of heritage — will resonate with readers, particularly those who aren't familiar with her career, which also included terms as a state representative, state senator and comptroller and a 2006 run for governor. The first Republican nominated for that office lost to Rod Blagojevich.
"I thought a good thing for promoting my mother's legacy was going after the young people," Topinka said. "The biography is about her with lots of lessons, essay questions, references and pictures. It's designed to be something school teachers can use in their classes to illustrate some of the standards that Illinois is promoting in terms of civics." [ Source: Friday, April 12, 2019]
Title: Just Judy: A Citizen & Leader for Illinois (The Story of Judy Barr Topinka)
Just Judy: A Citizen and Leader for Illinois is a wonderful resource for 6th grade and up, with over 100 interactive classroom activities, critical thinking and self-reflection essay questions, and research prompts to fuel additional learning based on the same principles that are covered throughout Judy’s story. Judy Baar Topinka continues to inspire us all and, through the voice of her son, encourages us to follow in her footsteps to support our local communities, actively participate in our civic duties, respect one another, take pride in our own unique heritage, and embrace life-long learning.
Date: July 6, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM