Tinley Park community mourns unexpected death of teacher, 25, who 'saw the positive side of everything' Daily Southtown
That’s when a beloved teacher died unexpectedly in her classroom, doing what she loved.
Abby Ohl was only 25 but she’d already made an impression on her students, their parents and her fellow staffers in the Kirby School District 140 building.
“She was a very bright, very compassionate young woman with a quick sense of humor,” Grissom Principal Deborah Broadwell said. “She was a very positive person. She always saw the positive side of everything — just a rare quality in a person.”
Ohl, a sixth grade special education teacher who also co-led student council, was helping two students with announcements when she suddenly collapsed, said Shawn Olson, District 140 assistant superintendent.
“She was immediately tended to by our school nurse until Tinley Park paramedics arrived,” Olson said. “She was then transported to Palos (Community) Hospital, where her parents were waiting.”
The students involved met with counselors immediately afterward and, Olson said, their parents were contacted.
On Saturday, the district posted about the death on its website. On Sunday, officials opened the building to grieving teachers and staff, and, later that day, to students, Olson said.
“I will tell you a very large percentage of those teachers came together to mourn and in some way celebrate what they knew of Abby and (what it had been like) working with her,” he said.
“We brought all of our counselors and social workers together for this as well — to make sure there was support here for both the teachers and the students,” he said.
Olson said counseling continued through Tuesday and would be available as long as necessary.
“Ms. Ohl really embodied what being a teacher meant. She loved her kids, she loved the staff, she loved everything about being here,” he said.
A graduate of Andrew High School, Ohl is being remembered as a young woman who loved to laugh, dance, watch The Gilmore Girls and help at Special Olympics .
She was preceded in death by an older brother, Taylor, who also died unexpectedly in 2002 when he was 14.
She is survived by her parents, Dennis and Sue, and a brother, Thomas, a U.S. Marine. Ohl’s mother is a teacher at Keller School, also in District 140.
Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at St. George Church, 6707 175th St., Tinley Park. A funeral mass will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, followed by interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Red Cross .
The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Thursday the cause of death is pending.
Meanwhile, the Grissom community remembered the vibrant educator who “had a smile for everyone.”
Kellie Walker, who teaches seventh grade science and social studies, was student council co-leader as well as good friends with Ohl. The two were working together toward their master’s in curriculum and instruction with a focus on English as a Second Language.
“Abby was full of life and could put a smile on anyone’s face. She put her full heart into every task that she was given,” Walker said. “As a Student Council leader, she encouraged the students to present their ideas to better the school and the community.”
Ohl’s colleague Monica Sheedy said, “Abby was Grissom’s ray of sunshine. Her overwhelming kindness and infectious smile made students and staff want to be around her.”
Further evidence of that sentiment came from Ohl’s sixth grade team, which came together to pen a memorial:
“Abby was a beautiful soul who made you feel loved. Her kindness and gentle spirit touched so many lives. We were blessed to have Abby as a colleague, but even more as a friend.”
Parent Elida Solis said she was touched by Ohl’s ability to seemingly provide personal attention to all of her students. She said Ohl often sent progress notes about her son, Noah.
Noah Montoya, an eighth grader at Grissom, said Ohl helped him break out of his shell.
One day while the 13-year-old was in a student council meeting, Ohl told him he was a good speaker and suggested that he give declamation a try. He signed up for the speech club and today it is his favorite activity.
“She turned me from a quiet kid to actually being able to socialize with people,” he said. “She was very kind. Very dedicated.”
High school and college friends recalled Ohl’s constant smile and infectious laugh.
Samantha Labus said her longtime friend was blessed with a “listening ear.” She credited Ohl’s mom with instilling the young teacher’s love for education.
Alli Rose said, “She always knew how to make people smile and she made me laugh constantly.” Will Craft Abby Ohl recently visited her boyfriend Will Craft while he was living in Nordenskov, Denmark, playing professional volleyball. Abby Ohl recently visited her boyfriend Will Craft while he was living in Nordenskov, Denmark, playing professional volleyball. (Will Craft)
29 of the Best Office Pranks & Practical Jokes to Use at Work
If you’ve watched the TV show “The Office” as religiously as I have, the classic “stapler in Jell-O” trick surely sounds familiar. It’s pretty much what the name describes: Simply make a batch of Jell-O, but make sure your colleague’s stapler is hidden inside the mold.
It’s a classic prank. But what other, less conventional pranks are out there to add some kicks to an otherwise average day at the office?
We asked our friends and combed the internet for more examples of some of the funniest office pranks, and pulled together this list to serve as inspiration for your own work pranks.
Every company has a story about that funny office prank of yore. Whether you’re doing some early April Fool’s Day research, or just feeling a little tricksy, it’s time to get a prank of your own in the books. Here are some ideas.
Funny Office Pranks to Pull on Your Coworkers 1. Caramel Onions When Halloween is around the corner, these caramel onions are no match for other tricks (or treats). Dip each onion in caramel — maybe some red food coloring first, if you need to further disguise them — and stick popsicle sticks down the center. Your colleagues won’t know the difference, but they will wonder why these caramel apples are making them cry so much …
Source: Rant Lifestyle 2. Nicolas Cage Toilet Seat Speaking of Halloween, here’s what nightmares are truly made of. Nicolas Cage is easy to come by in the meme community these days. Print a picture of him at his most, well, enthusiastic — and allow him to greet everyone who takes a bathroom break.
Source: Rant Lifestyle 3. Fish Drawer There’s something fishy about this office prank … Just be sure to include fish food; experts suggest you should feed this prank twice a day.
Source: Reddit user jihadaze 4. Pants in the Stall Usually, when you see feet underneath the stall, you just have to wait your turn. In this case, you might be waiting forever. Set this guy up in your office bathroom and see how long it takes for people to start talking. We just hope nobody called the paramedics on this poor, empty suit.
Source: BuzzFeed 5. Febreze for Days Tighten the zip-tie, throw it, and run for your life. Or, leave it in your coworker’s office when they’re on break. They’re sure to return to a potent workspace.
Source: Emlii 6. Vehicular Sticky Notes This is the perfect use for those sticky notes that keep piling up — especially if they’re all for someone who just won’t finish his or her tasks. The prank below is a wonderful way to remind them before they take off for the day.
Source: Reddit, Bzbzbzbz 7. Misspelling Macro Never ask your work buddy to unlock your iPhone for you, or they’ll make you look like the worst speller of all time when you go to type a text or email. Settings > General > Keyboard > Add new shortcut will make this prank a reality against your most detail-oriented colleague.
Source: Gottabemobile 8. Foghorn Entrance Haven’t you ever wanted to get a room’s attention the second you walk through the door? Well, the prank below will even get the person entering to stand up straight. This is certainly one way to make sure everyone’s alert before a meeting.
Source: Reddit user JJ0EE 9. Ballooned Conference Hey, at least it’s not glitter? This prank works two ways: You can either surprise the next team who reserves this room, or have a day-long meeting in here without anyone knowing your business. You will of course have some static electricity when you exit the room.
Source: Reddit, williebeth 10. Desk Trolls For trolls, by trolls. Luckily, you can buy many of these trolls in bulk. Click here if you’re serious about trolling your coworker’s workstation — just keep in mind you will have to buy more than one pack of trolls to make this stunt worth it.
Source: Dose 11. Water Works Oh look, a budget trip to the beach. This prank gives a whole new meeting to the term, “staycation.” Surprise your coworker when he/she comes back from a beach getaway with, well, another beach getaway. The downside is it’ll be nothing like where they were. The upside is they won’t need a towel.
Source: Imgur user Sanjeev 12. Anti-Gravity Desk “That’s it — you’re suspended.” Just make sure the person who arrives in the morning to a floating desk doesn’t try to sit down …
Source: Daily Mail 13. Nailed the Cake Hey everyone, there’s cake up for grabs in the kitchen! The prank, however, is written in frosting. This is a good gesture to someone who loves the expression, “needle in a haystack.” Happy hunting.
Source: Reddit user blinhorst 14. Psychedelic Supervision “I don’t know, I feel like my boss is always watching me,” your coworker might say. Change their perception of micromanagement when this colorful prank. Suddenly a “quick checkin” doesn’t seem all that bad.
Source: Imgur user DecentLeaf 15. Voice Toast Simple, yet brilliant. Change the terms of breakfast ever so slightly, and the kitchen becomes the most confusing room in the office. This little note pranks the entire office — a true masterpiece of prank-dom.
16. Work From Home As Ron Burgundy from Anchorman says, “I’m not even mad. I’m just impressed.” Help your coworker who loves taking his/her work home, take their home to work instead. As you can tell, you might need to stay late the night before to get this prank just right.
Source: Reddit user BOOMTimebomb 17. You’ve Been ‘Felined’ This could actually make your cat-loving coworker’s day. Or, it could make for the greatest prank of all time against the coworker who’s violently allergic to cats (that is, as long as they’re not allergic to photos of cats, too).
Source: Reddit user cstyves 18. The Seedboard Work with your IT department to fertilize this prank perfectly. Soon enough, its user will wonder why their keyboard is growing. We suggest targeting someone who sits close to the window — some pranks just need some sunlight. “You said you wanted to spend more time with nature,” you might say in your defense.
Source: BoredPanda 19. Healthy Creme Who said you couldn’t be helpful while also being a prankster? “The bad news is we’re out of donuts. The good news is you have all these nutritious alternatives to help your immune system cope with the lack of donuts.”
This is just cruel 😂 #officeprank #aprilfools #krispykreme #mean #notcool
A post shared by Free Humor (@scotchandsarcasm) on May 12, 2017 at 12:02pm PDT
20. The Ceilings Have Eyes You could freak out just looking at the photo of this horrifying prank. It might be a little too much for your jumpiest colleague, but for the person who can’t stop talking about scary movies, it’s just the revenge you deserve. (Hint: paper mache, white paint, and a black wig. Done.)
21. Chair Scare Similar to the Entrance Foghorn (prank #8, above), this prank will probably scare more than just the person who sits down. Of course, it’ll be a lesson to anyone who, I suppose, tries to sit too low at their desk.
Source: Reddit user 12q9et Funny Pranks to Pull on Your Boss 22. No Stalling For the man who never has enough time. Or, for the coworker who takes way too many bathroom breaks during the day. Prank them with their very own throne the next time nature calls.
Accounting is getting their toilet replaced, so we decided to play a little #prank on my boss before they install it #officeprank #workingefficiently #multitasking
A post shared by Alice (@alicetaywong) on Jul 17, 2015 at 4:33pm PDT
23. No Stalling: Pt. 2 … Or anyone, really, who never has enough time to make a pit stop — especially if they have specific bathroom decor preferences.
Source: 22words 24. Glitter Bomb About that whole, “At least it’s not glitter” thing in prank #9? Well, this prank can’t make that promise. For the coworkers who don’t yet know the permanence of getting glitter on yourself, this prank is sure to set them straight.
25. Substitute Worker Sometimes, you’re not sure how to ask for another day off. For those days where you simply can’t come into work, but don’t have the heart to call out again, the doll who looks just like you is the perfect substitute. Or, just put ’em at your colleague’s desk and give them a much-needed identity crisis.
Morning after that long weekend.. think they’ll notice? Back to that #workgrind #mondaysbelike #struggleisreal #readyfortheweekend #officeprank bringing the #laughs😂
A post shared by L Weaver (@elleweav) on May 30, 2017 at 5:54am PDT
26. Crushed It When you finally learn about your colleague’s celebrity crush, make sure they know how much you care.
A post shared by Alice Lei (@alicerabbit1) on Aug 1, 2015 at 4:04pm PDT
27. World’s ‘Best’ Boss When words just aren’t enough to express your sentiment, give your manager the perfect way to say “thank you” every time they go to take a sip of coffee.
Thanks @mg2418 and @p2theslingshot for the birthday mug! Love you guys! #smartass #birthday #officeprank #fridayfun #coffee #coffeetime #middlefinger
A post shared by David Miclette (@davidmiclette) on Apr 28, 2017 at 5:54am PDT
28. Cup o’ Spiders “Hey chief, I found a spider on your desk, but don’t worry, it’s been handled.” This prank doesn’t have to have an actual spider in it — the mystery, alone, is all you need to prank your employee.
#tbt to when I did a simple, but cruel joke to my co-worker. I’m just now realizing I may be the reason she left… oops. :p #officeprank #scaredofspiders #donotmove #loveyoumeanit
A post shared by Devan Harrold (@devanalyse) on Apr 27, 2017 at 8:41pm PDT
29. That’s a Wrap And finally, for the boss who has everything, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Want more? Read The HubSpot Culture Code: Creating a Company We Love .
An Airport for Climate Change in New Orleans
New Orleans is building a state-of-the-art, billion-dollar terminal. But is it planning for a future doomed by climate change?
Christopher Schaberg Oct 18, 2018
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Stocking up on supplies—water, batteries, food staples—as Tropical Storm Gordon loomed over the Gulf, I was struck by a familiar sound in the sky as I loaded bags into my car: a bank of airliners forming a loose arc as they slanted down toward the airport, descending one at a time to land. While the city of New Orleans braced for the worst, life at the airport went on as usual.
Gordon ended up missing us completely, having fizzled out after making landfall well east of the city. New Orleans is safe, for now, but hurricane season lingers on through November. And let’s not even talk about 2019, when the storms could strengthen .
By then, the city of New Orleans plans to open a brand-new, “state of the art” airport terminal. The $1 billion project is currently under construction across the runway from the existing hodgepodge of concourses. But building a new “world-class” terminal in this sinking city is no straightforward matter. It reveals the precariousness of the world in its current state—a world in which airports may be nearing extinction.
Taxiing beside the building site during trip after trip over the past year, I watched the structure slowly rise up out of the swamp. Its undulating glass facade snapped into place one pane at a time, and then jet bridges began extruding from it. The new airport will completely replace the existing terminal and concourses, serving as a fresh, vibrant point of entry and exit for the millions of tourists and business travelers who visit the Crescent City each year. The current airport buildings are being assessed as to their future use—but they are likely to remain vacant until they are slated for demolition.
New Orleans celebrated its 300th anniversary this year, and there is a palpable sense of pride and creative energy here. Air travel in and out of Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) is on the rise , up 20 percent from 2015 to 2017. The new airport gleams across the runway, promising to welcome this burgeoning population of jet travelers in the Gulf South. The future looks bright, from the air.
Less so from the ground. At an average of four and a half feet above sea level, MSY is the second-lowest elevation of any airport in the world, just above Amsterdam’s Schiphol. The low elevation of New Orleans, combined with easily overwhelmed pump systems and an elaborate system of levees, makes the area especially vulnerable to flooding. Meanwhile, the nearby coast is eroding at a staggering rate—roughly a football field’s worth every 100 minutes . Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that the federal government was retiring place names by the dozens for islands and bays that have “simply ceased to exist.”
Almost an island, New Orleans is particularly susceptible to coastal erosion. The grand opening of the new terminal was pushed from February 2019 to May after its gravity-based main sewer line was found to be sagging, requiring a pressurized system with lift stations to be constructed. It’s hard to depend on gravity when construction is already taking place at such a low elevation. What “ground” rests beneath is hardly firm, and it will continue to shift around and change consistency each year. Local developers even refer to the soil here as “ gumbo .”
Read: How humans sank New Orleans
With tropical storms and hurricanes intensifying each year, a tone of bitter resignation sets in here during late summer, mixed with some gallows humor. A colleague at Tulane told me that the university had already acquired land on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, for rebuilding its campus when—not if —the city is finally submerged and rendered unlivable from a big storm. A Tulane official confirmed that this was pure myth, but assured me that the organization does have a robust disaster-recovery plan in place. The short distance from wild rumor to deliberate preparedness reflects a common (if often repressed) attitude here: New Orleans’s days may be numbered.
So why build a new, billion-dollar airport here? From an ecological perspective, the site is already doomed.
MSY is hardly the only American airport undergoing significant renovations right now. In Los Angeles, LAX is in the midst of a $14 billion renovation. In New York, La Guardia is getting an $8 billion upgrade, and JFK a $13 billion overhaul. Kansas City (KCI) has a new, $1.4 billion terminal in the works.
KCI’s investment might be more secure than the others; it is far away from any coast and thus not threatened by rising sea levels. But anyone who has seen a perfectly smooth travel day snarled by a storm across the country knows that when a single airport is taken out of commission, the ripple effects can be staggering. Airlines scramble to accommodate rerouted passengers, and flights get delayed when planes are grounded 3,000 miles away. Extrapolate this to entire airports suddenly rendered useless because of the unstoppable flows of a rising ocean. While it is mostly airports in coastal cities that will be affected directly by climate change in the coming decades, other sites will also be affected.
Of course, airport planning would not get off the ground if it took such apocalyptic forecasts into account. Building and renovations lumber on, pleased with short-term gains and stubborn to reckon with the realities of life on a changing planet. But New Orleans has felt the pain of disaster, and the new airport is an expression of defiance. In the face of our tenuous place and the probable reoccurrence of a major storm, we’re still going to build a new airport.
Symbolically, such a structure will communicate the dynamism of the city. And materially, it could drive future capital investments and professional relocations . The new project reflects these intertwined goals. For example, plans call for a “jazz garden” stage, set amid green space, to feature live performances by local musicians.
Will it be “world class,” as the promotional material claims? That depends on what such a structure would look like and how it would function for actual people of the 21st century. These are strange times for commercial flight, when passengers expect seamless transit but inevitably run into the complexities of global migration patterns. An actual world-class airport would have to find ways to mitigate the individuated stresses of travel while also communicating a more collective truth: Flight is no easy enterprise on an ecologically and economically stressed planet. Perhaps a world-class airport should be humble rather than flashy.