Dorothy Krejci, also known as Dottee, gave all kids a head start, especially those with special needs.
Dottee, while serving as the director of Hobson Cooperative Nursery School, became an advocate for education for special needs children.
It was the late 1960s, and there were few options for families with children who needed extra support.
Dottee began her journey with an act of kindness when she took in a child with special needs at Hobson School. Little did she know, it would change her life.
“I don’t know how I ever did it but I stood up and asked the board if I could have the building in the afternoon, nobody was there and there was this need for all this children,” said Dottee.
And that was the unofficial beginning of Little Friends. In 1971, Dottee moved the program to its current location and became director of one of the highest ranked special needs schools in the state.
“The teachers, the staff, the consultants, everybody, we just all worked together. I just did it, I don’t know how. I thought it was always fun. I always enjoyed it,” said Dottee.
In 1990, Dottee retired after her many years of service at Little Friends. The school and board renamed one of the buildings ‘Krejci Academy’ as a tribute to her dedication.
After retiring, she continued to read and tutor the students at her grandchildren’s schools.
An educator till the end.
“I think, like yourself, care for yourself I think is really important. You only come once.”
Dorothy Peterson Krejci was 92 years old. Donations may be made in Dottee’s memory to Krejci Academy.
Naperville News 17’s Dimitri Villanueva reports.
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