Snow Stories 

CPS employees demonstrate their dedication during the blizzard

February 14, 2011

Last week, in the middle of one of the largest snow storms in Chicago history, dedicated CPS employees were working around the clock, ensuring that everything could get back to normal as soon as possible.  It is only because of the dedication of our employees that we were open for classes less than 48 hours after the last snow flake fell.


Principal Hook of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences believes his school fared well during the snow storm.


Like many CPS employees, Principal Hook spent the night at his school, having packed an air mattress and sleeping bag, knowing that had he gone home on Tuesday, getting to school on Wednesday would have been a major struggle. With the help of his engineers, Principal Hook made sure the parking lots were plowed regularly during the snow storm.


But Chicago Ag isn´t your regular CPS high school — Principal Hook had to make sure that the livestock were fed as well. With the help of the school engineers and even Principal Hook´s sons, Chicago Ag was ready to resume classes on Friday, February 4th.


Read more stories about the dedication of our employees:


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I would like to share a story about my Engineer, Dwayne Lones, who definitely went “above and beyond” the call of duty during the Blizzard of 2011.  On Wednesday, February 2nd, Mr. Lones phoned me to say he had arrived at the school at 4:00 a.m. to begin the task of clearing the snow from the school.  Of course, I was very happy he arrived so early, but I was shocked when he informed me that the side streets were impassable and he had to WALK from his home in order to make it to the school!  I could not believe it!!  He lives quite a distance from the school.  On Thursday, he did the same thing again…walked all the way to the school to ensure it was clear and safe for students and staff.


I am so very proud of Mr. Lones´ commitment and service to the students and staff of Ashburn School.


Principal Diaz
Ashburn Elementary School


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I would like to give huge KUDOS to my engineer at Wentworth, Vincent Zagotta. Although he is only staffed as a substitute engineer, he never fails to give 500%! He is dependable and works without grumbling! Mr. Zagotta showed up and shoveled out during the storm. He left at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, only to return at 6:00 p.m. that same night! He spent the night to make sure that the heat was working properly and that the walkways were plowed.  On Wednesday, none of his custodians came in, but when I arrived early Thursday morning, the walkways were plowed around the entire block-long building. The parking lot was also ready to receive the full staff!


On Friday, you could drive into the lot and walk up to the cozy building with ease. He definitely went above and beyond during this historic blizzard. We have named him staff member of the month, and for me he is the “Employee of the Year.” His efforts are greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten.


Principal Everage
Daniel Wentworth Elementary School



Learn more about Chicago Ag


Learn more about Ashburn


Learn more about Wentworth



Photo: Drake Elementary employees work hard to clean the facility and ensure it is safe for students during the snow storm.