Kankakee, IL – Mayor Wells-Armstrong and city council approved the resolution of honorary street designation for the 500 block of South Wildwood Avenue as “Craig Blake Way.” Craig Blake passed away in April of 2019, but his long-lasting impact stretches far in the community.
Blake taught in the Kankakee School District for 40 years, as well as, coached football, softball, wrestling and baseball throughout his career at Kankakee High School, Peotone High School and Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center. One of Blake’s colleagues, Rose Bailey, who is a kindergarten teacher, spoke before city council and talked about his legacy.
“Mr. Blake’s absence is huge and we miss him so much. Mr. Blake made a connection with his students that they never forgot. He often gave them nicknames that they cherished. He was known for being able to reach even the most difficult children. He taught at Steuben long enough to actually teach the grandchildren of some of his students,” said Steuben kindergarten teacher Rose Bailey.
Blake’s wife, Laurie Blake, said it has been an honor to work alongside the staff and students from Steuben, and the response from the community has been remarkable.
“Craig’s dedication and commitment to Steuben and the community will be memorialized and cherished through the designation of this street sign. It is our hope that as students, staff and community members pass this sign, they will enter Steuben Elementary with the same love of life, learning and play that Craig brought into the school each day,” said Laurie Blake.
Recognizing those who strive to make a difference in the community has been a part of Mayor Wells-Armstrong’s Kankakee Forward agenda.
“To see everyone come together to honor Craig Blake’s legacy is what makes a community. His impact and passion for the kids will never be forgotten. We are happy to make sure that his name is one to remember in Kankakee’s School District,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.
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The City of Kankakee is dedicated to protecting, building and nurturing the community while enhancing lives. We are a historic, vibrant, and active riverfront community. We continue to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow, and thrive. Embracing our diversity, we strive to be progressive, inclusive, and innovative. For more information on the City of Kankakee, please visit the website at www.citykankakee-il.gov.