Humans of Parkland: Tony Hooker

Scott Barnes

Staff Writer

“I am an admissions counselor in the adult re-entry center and I have been here two and a half years. I’m from Villa Grove, Illinois.TonyHooker

A long time ago I was a student here and I worked for Billie Mitchell, who was the director of the adult re-entry center, and she kind of became my mentor. I probably wouldn’t be a counselor or advisor without my relationship with her.

I got laid off from [the] U of I and came out to speak with her for advice and they happened to have a position opening so I applied and was lucky enough to get it.

I have four beautiful kids that occupy most of my free time. Other than that, I’m also the editor of the Villa Grove News and the Southern Champaign County Today newspapers; they have a circulation of around three thousand. So I write a lot of stories and that takes up a lot of my free time.

I have very active children that are involved in sports and scholastic activities and that sort of thing. Other than that, I have two beautiful grandkids. I like golfing. I like bowling. I like shooting sports. My son and I are into target shooting quite a bit; he’s a lot better than I am. He’s 19 and he’s a student here…

I cover a lot of athletic events. I am the voice of the Villa Grove Blue Devils, so I do a lot of PA work and a lot of writing for fun.

I’m just a guy. Parkland impacted my life fundamentally and I hope that I can pay that forward a little bit every day in my interactions with my students.”