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CCA Foundation inducts two new members to hall of fame

TIFFIN– The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Foundation held their Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 28, between the junior varsity and varsity football games.
The 2012 Clear Creek Amana Hall of Fame inductees were Kathy Brack and Terrance “TJ” Croco. The hall of fame was created in 2001 by the CCA school board and the CCA School Foundation Board of Directors to honor those who have made significant and lasting contributions to our district and to our community. Brack and Croco, through outstanding service and dedication, met the challenge of service, giving of themselves to ensure that our school and our children achieve excellence.
Brack was a teacher with the CCA community school district for 34 years. In the fall of 1974, she began her career as a teacher’s aide at Cosgrove. The next year she was hired as a teacher and had the honor of teaching her own brother’s class, which some have said taught her how to manage a classroom. She was hired as a middle school language arts teacher.
Over the years, Brack directed the school play, coached high school speech, chaperoned cheerleaders, kept score at athletic events, announced athletic events, chaperoned dances, mentored teachers, and for ten years took groups of students to Washington D.C. over spring break.
Many students over the years have reflected on the impact that Brack had on their lives, and came to understand that her passion and excitement was driven by a love for kids. One of Brack’s favorite things to do today is share with others what former CCA students are now doing– keeping track of them in person and via Facebook. She is a firm believer in being a lifelong learner and never tires of sharing that with her former students.
A pioneer at CCA for incorporating technology into her classroom instruction, Brack wrote and received grants to purchase technology for student use.
Although Ms. Brack retired from CCA in 2008, she continues to volunteer and substitute in the district. She has volunteered as a Junior Achievement teacher at CCA Elementary, is an avid knitter that knits caps for premature infants at the University of Iowa Hospital, and has donated gallons of blood over the years as a blood donor. She loves to read and do counted cross-stitch in her spare time. Brack tries to attend many CCA events to support academic and extra curricular excellence.
Brack currently lives in Oxford, where she’s an active member of St Mary’s Church, serving as a lector, Eucharistic minister, religious education teacher, church secretary/bookkeeper, and as pastoral associate. She has also volunteered as chaperone for youth trips to the National Catholic Youth Conference.
Brack has one daughter, Sara, and a grandson Tyler.
Terrance “TJ” Croco grew up in Laramie, Wyo. He earned three degrees from the University of Wyoming and became a counselor at Corwith-Wesley from 1973 until 1976 and at West Branch from 1977 until 1983. He joined the CCA Community School District as a counselor in 1983. At the old Amana school, Croco also taught biology, chemistry, physics, computer technology and environmental issues. After the merger, he worked in the middle school building. Since retirement he has continued to substitute in the district.
Croco has been a bus driver since he moved to the district in 1983. For 20 years, he has been the pool director at the Amana site and also serves as the maintenance person. He has been the coach of the CCA Middle School Swim Team since 1992. Croco was a student council sponsor, first at Amana and then at the middle school.
Croco started at Amana as a volunteer for the old Amana VIP Golf Tournament. After its demise, Croco took the lead in championing many activities that enriched student experiences, the school, and the community. Such projects led to memorable trips for students including trips to Chicago, Omaha and St. Louis, breakout day classes, skiing, equipment for the schools, carnivals at Oktoberfests, and holiday food donations for needy families. The CCA Middle School Student Council started the District Wide Food Bank, which Croco took on until his retirement. Croco, a Boy Scout since first grade, has been involved in Scouts his entire life, eventually as an assistant scoutmaster and is currently on the board of Troop 223.
Croco currently serves on the board of directors for the Community Mental Health Center in Iowa City, which assists people in both Johnson and Iowa counties.
Croco recently received his 40-year volunteer service pin from the American Red Cross, for which he is long-time member of the board of directors. Croco continues to teach courses in first aid, CPR, swimming, and lifeguarding, as well as teaching Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguarding Instructor courses for the University of Iowa Recreation Services.
Croco has served on many school/community groups during his years in the area, was active in the merger of the districts, and on building project committees. He is a member of the CCA Foundation that promotes scholarships. He also is the president of the board of advisors for Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the University of Iowa.
Croco’s wife, Janet, is a retired microbiologist and now works part-time at JMI in North Liberty. All four of their children graduated from CCA: Matthew, his wife, and their children live in Coralville where he operates Croco Orthodontics; Kathryn and her husband live in Denver where she is a lawyer and a librarian for the Colorado Supreme Court; Erinn taught in Harlem, New York City, for Teach for America and is planning to attend medical school; Alana is a treatment counselor for Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids.
In addition to volunteering, substitute teaching and working at the pool, Croco is completing a mountain cabin near Laramie, Wyo. He enjoys working in his garden and engaging in the construction trades.
“My philosophy has always been that people are essentially good. It’s wonderful to see familiar faces of former students and to catch up on their lives,” Croco said. “I’ve never lost my interest in the people of our community. I look forward to many more years of school and community involvement.”
Congratulations to Kathy Brack and Terrance “TJ” Croco for being inducted into the 2012 CCA Hall of Fame. Their commitment to the community is outstanding, and the district thanks them for their service.
Anyone wishing to nominate a community member for the 2013 Clear Creek Amana Hall of Fame can do so by submitting a letter of recommendation by Sept. 1. Guidelines and more information can be found on the CCA website or by calling the central office or any member of the CCA Foundation.
The Foundation is also sponsoring it’s sixth annual golf outing in June 2013 to raise money for scholarships and endowments. Watch for more information on the CCA website and in the North Liberty Leader for this event.
Ayone interested in becoming a foundation member should contact president Mark Schwarting or any foundation member.