Teacher Feature: Mrs. Koppers


Freddie Alvarado, staff writer

Dedication, motivation, and involvement both inside and outside of Joliet West define an extraordinary person, this month’s teacher feature; Mrs. Koppers, exceeds those qualifications.

As an English teacher in the Academy of Arts and Communication, Mrs. Koppers has been a Joliet West staff member for eight years. Scrapbooking, road trips, swimming, and shopping are Mrs. Koppers favorite things to do outside of school; however, one of the most important things she is involved in is the Relay for Life organization. Let’s take a closer look at Mrs. Koppers passion for the cure.

How did you first get involved in the Relay for Life?

I participated in the Mokena Frankfort Relay for Life in 2010. A friend of mine from high school started a team, and I worked with her to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

For the students that are not aware, what exactly is the Relay for Life?

The Relay for Life is an event with the American Cancer Society. People of all ages come together and walk from dusk to dawn in hopes of finding a cure for cancer. The motto of the relay is “Cancer never sleeps, and neither do we.” Meaning that the relay walkers can walk for 12 or more hours throughout the day/night. For the hours of the relay, one member of the team will be on the track at all times. Throughout the night, there will be entertainment, games, a survivor’s lap, and a walk in darkness with luminaries lit to honor those who have past, who are fighting, and who have survived. The Joliet relay is from 2 pm June 4 to 6 am June 5th.

What have been your motivations and future goals for this year?

My mom is a 5 year survivor of Breast Cancer. I decided to walk for her and those who have survived, are currently fighting, and those who lost the fight due to Cancer. This year I wanted a team that included stories of all kinds. I am not walking for just my parents but for other families as well. My dad was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been in the hospital since December. My motivation is for my dad to get better and to be a survivor.

There are 10 people that have joined the team. Teachers at West include: Mrs. Meyer, Mrs. Galloy (co-captain), and Mrs. Austin.

What will the fundraiser of April 3rd benefit and what is more information about it for the open public?The benefit that will be held on April 3rd is open to the public and more information regarding it will be on the Relay for Life Joliet site as well as a facebook event. It will be held at Chicago Street Grill in downtown Joliet. Posters will be hung around the Joliet area. We have 15 raffles and counting that have been donated by teachers, friends, families, and local businesses. A 32″ LCD/HDTV will also be raffled off at the end of the fundraiser.

How many and specifically who has been involved that is part of the Joliet Township Staff?

What is one message you would like to give students about your involvement?


Walk for those you remember, who cannot, and those who wish they could. 12 hours could make a difference.

Mrs. Koppers reveals, “The relay is a life changing event. Throughout the day/night, walkers meet other survivors, participants, and families who have been hurt by Cancer. Walking with friends and families gives hope to others that we can help find a cure for cancer. The American Cancer Society helps families with the money raised to pay for gas, bills, and other necessities.”

From grading papers and creating innovative lesson plans, Mrs. Koppers is more than just another staff member at Joliet West. Her passion for important causes and fighting for others is an important lesson for us all to learn from. We support Mrs. Koppers and her Relay for Life Team, The LifeWalkers!

*To find out how you can help support her team, stop by her classroom in room G275 for more information.