Hampshire Elementary principal finds ways of saying thanks to community
By Denise Moran For Sun-Times Media September 6, 2013 11:40AM
Hampshire Police Chief Thomas Atchison holds a plaque honoring slain Hampshire Police Officer Gregory Sears during a cermony in 2001 in Springfield. Atchison, who retired from the Hampshire force in 2009, died recently at his home in Darien. | AP file
Updated: October 9, 2013 7:44PM
HAMPSHIRE — Hampshire Elementary School Principal David Scarpino came before the village board Thursday night to offer his gratitude to village officials for their ongoing assistance to the school.
“I’m here to say thanks to the village board, village police and fire departments, and public works,” Scarpino said. “I can’t tell you how happy I am that a Hampshire police officer comes to help before and after school. It means the world to me. We have a wonderful relationship with both the Hampshire police department and fire department.”
Scarpino mentioned that the village public works department also has been helpful.
“During the winter, water pipes can burst,” Scarpino said. “I admire the professionalism shown by the streets and sanitation officials. They will meet with me beforehand to tell me if they have to turn off the water.”
Scarpino was the Community Unit School District 300 Associate Superintendent before he became the Hampshire Elementary School principal in 2010. He took over the position from Jim Aalfs, who was the school’s principal from 2007 to 2010. Before that time, Gary Wright served as the principal from 1988 to 2007.
Scarpino is a Hampshire resident and a United States military veteran. He told the board that he would like to start a new tradition at the school.
“On Monday, Nov. 11, we would like to celebrate Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day together,” Scarpino said. “It’s our way to say thank you to the community. There will be two seatings in the school gym for a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and dressing. Village board members and officials, police and fire department members, and the community are all invited. The students will be performing.”
Scarpino said that more details on the event will be announced as they become available.
On a sadder note, Village President Jeffrey Magnussen announced that former Hampshire Police Chief Thomas Atchison, 68, died recently at his home in Darien.
Atchison was born in Chicago in 1945 and served in the United States Army. He is survived by his wife, Faith; his children, Linda (Joe Pitrone), Patty (Jeff Kramp) and Thomas; his sisters, Margie McCullough, Ruthie Caulkins and Katie Frank; and his brothers, Al and Robert Atchison.
Atchison also was a Kane County Sheriff’s deputy and Sugar Grove Police officer. He served as Hampshire police chief until he retired in 2009. Current Hampshire Police Chief Brian Thompson, who served as interim chief after Atchison’s retirement, was sworn in as police chief in May, 2012.
A memorial service for Atchison was held at Ralph Seyller Memorial Park in Hampshire.