District 158 remembers Reavis stalwart Barbara Gaffney

Reavis staff and current and former District 158 board members flank Barb's husband Mike (center) in front of Reavis School on May 26. (Photo provided)

LANSING, Ill. (June 2, 2021) – For 20 years, Lansing’s Barbara Gaffney was a fixture as a playground supervisor at Reavis Elementary School, and she has been missed since passing away last year.

A stone bearing Barb’s name and engraved windchimes have been placed near Reavis’ front door in her memory. (Photo provided)

To mark the one-year anniversary of her death, the School District 158 community held a remembrance ceremony in her honor on May 26. To celebrate Gaffney’s legacy, school officials planted a stone and hung a set of wind chimes near Door 1 at Reavis, where she would ensure students got in and out of the building safely and on time. In addition to recess, her duties included supervising students during lunchtime and as they arrived at school.

Reavis Principal David Kostopoulos was at the ceremony to offer some words of praise.

“Barbara had the ability to make everyone smile, as she greeted everyone that walked through the door in the morning with an enthusiastic and hearty ‘good morning,’ or a ‘we are happy you are here today,’” Kostopoulos said. “She had a way of making all students feel recognized and special.”

He added that Gaffney’s affinity for Reavis extended beyond her job description. She volunteered at all PTA and school events, such as family craft nights, jamboree day, and the annual talent show. One of her most notable contributions was at the Lansing Area Science Fair, where she served breakfast and lunch to all the community volunteer judges.

“Her decorations and attention to detail at the fair, along with one-and-only chocolate chip cookies, were a special touch that will be greatly missed,” Kostopoulos said.

Gaffney was known as an avid Chicago Cubs fan and gardener, and volunteered at many Lansing community events. She also enjoyed summer drives in her convertible.

Gaffney passed away at age 65 on May 26, 2020. She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Michael R. Gaffney, and children Megan (Bryan) Banyacya and James Gaffney.

W.C. Reavis Elementary School is located at 17121 Roy Street, Lansing, IL.