Class of 1976 ~ West
Barb Cascio graduated from West Leyden High School in 1976. After high school, she attended Triton College earning an Associate’s degree in Police Science in 1978, and then attended Lewis University earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1980.
In 1980, she was the first female to be hired as a police officer in Franklin Park. Upon completion of her police training at the Police Training Institute in Champaign, Illinois, she was voted by her classmates as the recipient of the Irvin H. Warren Award. This is given to the most outstanding cadet and the one most likely to succeed in the field of law enforcement. From there she rose through the ranks to Detective, Sergeant, Commander and then Deputy Chief of Police. She spent a great deal of her career working with youth.
According to Ms. Cascio, the highlight of her career took place at East Leyden when she served as the police liaison officer from 1995 to 2002. She touched the lives of many students. In addition, she served as “Officer Friendly” for 27 years; two generations of Franklin Park’s elementary students have been influenced by Ms. Cascio’s instruction and guidance.
Her message to Leyden students is this: “That one person really can make a difference in the lives of others, even if it is a small difference in this large world. A person’s character is her destiny. It is the hopes and dreams we have that make us great. It is important to believe in yourself, remain loyal and honest, and if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish whatever you set out to do.”