About Us


Joann Podkul Murphy: 

With graduate degrees in Sociology, and in Administration & Supervision, Illinois Certificates in History, and in Administration, specialized advanced training both domestically and abroad, Joann Podkul Murphy has had decades of teaching experience, both in the high school classroom and also in various programs sponsored by both the Chicago Public School System and the Chicago Teachers Union, in which she served as teacher/mentor to other professionals for such programs as the Chicago Teachers Union Leadership Training Program on Reform Issues; the CTU-CPS School Improvement Plan for Professional Personnel Advisory Committee; Budgeting; Principal Selection; and more.  She served as the Bowen High school Staff Development/Assessment Coordinator, Service Learning Coordinator, Chair of the Social Studies Department, collaborated with the Chicago State University Department of Curriculum and Development, implemented the Haberman Urban Teacher Interview Process, and served as a Teachers for Chicago Board Member.   She coordinated the Teacher Academy, the first school-within-a-school on the Bowen High School Campus, and subsequently founded and administered the Bowen Environmental Studies Team (B.E.S.T.) Small School until her retirement from C.P.S.

As editor, researcher, and writer, she compiled a Multicultural Bibliography for Illinois State Board of Education Office of Equal Opportunity, authored the "Consensus Unit" for the Chicago Teachers Union Leadership Training Manual, contributed to the book, Teaching in the Desegregated Classroom, and to the book, Creative Encounters in the Classroom, among other things.

Following "retirement," she increased her volunteer activity with community environmental organizations and, as a result, was asked to chair the nascent Calumet Region environmental umbrella organization, the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, which function she fulfilled for nearly five years.   She served on the board of the South Chicago Chamber of Commerce, working on many community related projects, volunteered at the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum, and is an active member of the Southeast Chicago Coalition of Artists. Recently, she has become an increasingly active videographer of community events, and designer/publisher of several community tours (Blues Brothers Sites; Southeast Chicago Green sites; South Chicago Public Arts).   

Kevin P. Murphy:

With a graduate degree in Sociology, and decades of teaching experience, Kevin Murphy has taught courses in sociology, and education, at the undergraduate and graduate level, and has served as an organizational development consultant for client corporations and institutions, both domestically and abroad.  He has designed and taught courses and workshops in conference leadership, group dynamics, and interviewing/counseling for managers. 

While in the military, and also in industry, he investigated various incidents involving government security violations, facility break-ins, and thefts, among other things. 

He has designed and implemented operator-training simulations for computer-based service-delivering networks, video-, and hands-on simulations for military-, and NASA-electronics workers, and situational simulations for teachers working in public and parochial school systems.

A past president of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society, he was also the first Secretary/Webmaster of the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, and is an active member of the Southeast Chicago Coalition of Artists.

He has spent his more recent "career" as a freelance writer, during which time he has served as a theatre correspondent, novelist, and playwright.  He has written two mystery novels, Degrees of Murder, and Out of Order, each of which has received highly favorable reviews after publication; the play, Unfriendly Fire; and the award-winning screenplay, Something Bright and Alien, which has recently been published as a science-fiction e-novel; the dinner-theatre-murder-mystery plays, Hot Time at the Speakeasy (2014), and Murder at the Wartime Book Club Cafe (2016); and contributed to the book, Teaching in the Desegregated Classroom.

As a webmaster, he has created and managed several websites, including, and, which he produces and manages in collaboration with his wife, Joann Podkul Murphy.

As videographer/editor he has recorded and edited more than 350 videos, also in collaboration with his wife, Joann, and posted on YouTube at:

Joann and Kevin bring to this site their belief in the importance of preserving a community's history for the purposes of understanding how the present has been shaped, honoring those who did that shaping, and formulating plans for defining the future of the community. 

© Kevin Murphy 2016